The Egyptian education system, with all its setbacks and problems, is rich with material for satire and spoofs. There are so many things to make fun of, from text books, filled with praise for the president and his achievements, to the Thanaweya Amma (secondary school certificate) craziness every year and the enormous amounts of money paid for private lessons.
On 12 November a stand-up comedy show with Akram Hosny took place at El Sakia Culturewheel, with its theme - the current education system. The material was adapted from the satirical book Awel Mokarer by Haitham Dabbour.
With all its potential, it was at least in my opinion, a flop. The jokes were bland and humourless and lacked sharpness, one of the most important ingredients a comedy show should have.
The stage was set as a classroom, with a chalkboard and a writing desk with paper scattered all over it. The show was divided into several lessons, each separated from the next by a school-bell ringing. The Arabic lesson, in which Hosny made fun of popular Egyptian music, was followed by the history lesson, where he spoke about the most important dates in one's life, like the first time you get hit by a teacher. Hosny got two of the audience on stage, one of which was the actor, Maged el Kedwany, which turned into reminiscences about their schooldays.
In the chemistry lesson, Hosny said that the worst thing that could happen during college years is when there’s 'chemistry' between your two best friends. He made several jokes about being the 'third wheel'. In one instance he was describing how he is the mediator between the couple as they’re breaking up and how he has to return the gifts they gave one another, like the boxer shorts with pink hearts she gave him on Valentine's Day. As the audience laughed, a guy in front of me was telling his friend, “I got that before.”
In another lesson, Hosny had a bathroom door on stage, where he read aloud the comments written on it. On the girl’s bathroom door he read “I love Tamer Hosny’s chest hair,” which was received with laughter, while I just sat there in disbelief. “Me too,” he then read and repeated several times.
The show was packed and the audience was laughing.. It made me wonder if I was expecting too much from a comedy show, which obviously not only appealed to the audience but also got a reaction from them.
As I was walking out, I heard Hosny say, “Why are all the AUC girls so good-looking?” I ran out thinking, “I have to get out of here fast!”