Cairo Experimental Theatre Festival to open with Chinese play 'Thunderstorm'

Ahram Online , Monday 19 Sep 2016

The seminal 1936 Chinese drama, directed by Chen Dalian, will make its debut in Egypt on 20 September

Thunderstorm film, based on the theatre drama by Cao Yu to be performed at Cairo Experimental Theatre Festival (Photo: Still from the film)

The 23rd Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre is kicking off with the Chinese play Thunderstorm on 20 September.

Directed by Chen Dalian, Thunderstorm was written by Chinese dramatist Cao Yu in 1935, debuting in 1936 with the writer himself in the lead role.

The play is considered one of the most prodigious and popular works in Chinese theatre from the period before the Japanese invasion.

Centring on the wealthy Zhou family, the play's themes tackle the effects of rigid traditionalism, hypocrisy, incest, oppression, corruption and patriarchy.

The drama was adapted to the screen after the play's wide success, with a 1957 film co-starring actor and martial artist Bruce Lee in a rare non-action role.

The Experimental Theatre Festival, which will run till 30 September, is one of two large-scale state-run festivals taking place in Egypt, with the second one being the Cairo International Film Festival.

A total of 29 plays will be staged during the 10-day festival, 13 from Egypt, six from other Arab countries – Tunisia, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq – and 10 plays from Chile, Sweden, Armenia, the US, Russia, Moldova, Rwanda and Poland.

The plays will be staged at 10 theatres across Cairo. 

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