The awards ceremony held at the Cairo Opera House on the evening of Monday 21 September marked the conclusion of The National Theatre Festival that ran between 4 and 21 September, with the plays Rouh (Spirit), Huna Antigone (Here is Antigone), and Al-Ghareeb (The Stranger) winning the top accolades.
Scooping the lion’s share with seven awards, Rouh was granted The Nabil Al-Alfy Award for Best Play, while director Basem Kenawy received the Saleh Saad award for Best Rising Director. For their roles in the play, Lobna Wanas took the Naema Wasfy award for Best Supporting Actress, while Ahmed Rafei took the Ibrahim Yosry award for Best Supporting Actor.
The Nour El-Sherif award for Best Actor was split between Yasser Abo El-Enein for Rouh as well as Alaa Kouka for his role in Huna Antigone.
Also For Rouh, Yasser Abo El-Enenin garnered the Hatem Shehata Award, while the award for Best Theatrical Music was given to Hatem Ezzat, who shares the award with Mahmoud Waheed for the music in Al-Ghareeb.
In addition to Kouka’s win, Huna Antigone garnered two other awards, including the Samir Al-Asfoury Award for Best Theatrical Direction that went to director Tamer Karam, and the Madiha Hamdy Award for Best Rising Actress going to the play’s leading actress Hend Abdel Halim.
The play Al-Ghareeb came in second place after Rouh and received the Abd El-Ghaffar Ouda Award for Second Best Play. The Feteha Al-Assal Award for Best Theatrical Script went to Mahmoud Kamal, while the award for Best Lighting went to Abo Bakr Al-Shareef.
Mohamed Aly received the Samy El-Adl Award for Best Rising Actor for his role in Equus.
The award for Best Poetry went to Mostafa Selim for Helm Leilet Sayf (Midsummer Night’s Dream) and The Wafik Monther Award went to Mostafa Awad for Nesaa Men Masr (Women From Egypt).
Gevara Troupe was granted A Special Jury Award.
Al Feel Al-Azraq’s (The Blue Elephant) Monadel Antar took the best Choreographer Award, while best costume design went to Ahmed Abdel-Aziz for Hannibal and Best Set Design went to both Wael Abdallah for 3D and Mostafa Al-Tohamy for Soat Al-Feran (The Sound of Mice).
The festival’s head Naser Abdelmonein, and festival director Ahmed Fetouh Ahmed, the newly appointed Culture Minister Helmy El-Namnam, as well as the Head of Opera House Inas Bdeldayem were all in attendance at the awards ceremony.
In a statement at the ceremony, actor Mahmoud El-Hedeiny told the jury that the Arabic language suffers from negligence in theatrical pieces presented in classical Arabic.
He stressed the importance of actors practicing proper vocalisation and pronunciation and called for the language editors to not only care about placing the accents of vocalisiation in the written script, but to attend the rehearsals in person.
El-Hedieny also critiqued the festival by saying that many shows were not polished enough to participate in the festival.
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