Following success in Alexandria, Hakawy Festival readies for Cairo grand opening

Ahram Online , Wednesday 6 Mar 2019

Coming to Cairo, the Hakawy Festival promises a bundle of fun for young audiences, opening 7 March

El Leila El Kebira
El Leila El Kebira's performance in Alexandria (Photo: courtesy of Hakawy)

After two successful days in Alexandria (4-5 March), the Hakawy International Arts Festival for Children is ready for its grand opening in Cairo 7 March.

“We had great fun in Alexandria, during the shows staged on 4 and 5 March. The shows saw a full house in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the Jesuit Cultural Centre and the children were very happy. Alexandria and other cities outside Cairo are not always on the cultural map of artistic activities. We are happy at Hakawy that we could bring a few shows to the children in Alexandria and now we are looking forward to Cairo where on 7 March we will hold an opening day with a large number of the Egyptian and international shows,” commented Mohamed El-Ghawy, the founder and artistic director of Hakawy International Arts Festival for Children.

Cairo witnesses two important opening dates, on 6 March in the presence of Ines Abdel Dayem, minister of culture, and the grand opening for the general public 7 March.

The 7 March show promises numerous Egyptian and international performances.

The mobile library “Stories on 4 Wheels,” with captivating storytelling by Rabia Zein and Shadi Atef, awaits children at the Hanager Centre at 9am.

The day will include three performances of Storm by Bamboozle Theatre (UK), two shows HiHaHuttenBouwers by the dance company De Stilte (Netherlands), and two shows of H2O by Helios Theatre (Germany).

The Hakawy Festival includes numerous performances in the morning, catering to school trips. As such, Hakawy remains faithful to the 18 principles of the Charter of Children’s Rights to Arts and Culture (a set of rights widely adopted by European institutions aiming at bringing arts to children). Principle 12 states that children have the right “to experience art and culture guided by their teachers, necessary mediators who can support and give value to their perceptions.”

Shows will also be staged in the afternoon, welcoming children with their families. This reflects Principle 9 of the Charter of Children's Rights to Arts and Culture, stating that children have the right “to share the pleasure of the artistic experience with their families.”

The unique show Storm by Bamboozle Theatre targets children with autism. Their participation in this year’s Hakawy Festival reflects the events respect for Principle 15 of the abovementioned charter, stating that children have the right “to artistic and cultural projects devised in consideration of their different abilities.”

Among the day’s highlights is the official opening of the Hakawy Festival that will begin at 4.30pm at the Hanager open area with the African drums, later on leading the audience to the Hanager Theatre hall where the iconic Egyptian puppet theatre play El-Leila El-Kebira will be staged at 5pm.

Meanwhile, Falaki Theatre, located inside the premises of the American University in Cairo's Tahrir campus, will stage ZooZoo by Imago Theatre at 9.30am and 7pm.

Imago Theatre is already known to Egyptian audiences as their Broadway show Frogz was staged within Hakawy’s 2014 edition and proved to be a great success.

Check the Hakawy Festival's full Cairo programme here and read more about this year's edition here

Hakawy festival brings ZooZoo performance to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria (Photo: courtesy of Hakawy)

Ahram Online is an official media partner of the ninth edition of the Hakawy Festival.

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