War Casts Shadow over Egyptian Theater

Published September 25th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

The recent terrorist attacks in the US and the threats of war sweeping the world have cast long shadows over Egypt's theater scene, according to the Arabic daily Al Sharq Al Awsat. 

Most of the shows at state-owned theaters have closed before the end of the regular summer season, mostly in view of the minimal revenues generated most nights. In other cases, producers have been spurred to pay actors' wages from their own pockets to keep the shows going until the end of the season. 

The shows, which achieved big success at the beginning of the season, have not managed to bounce back after an experimental theater festival wrapped up as planned.  

Observers say audiences have been diverted from the stage by political events. 

Among the plays to close have been Awlad Al Ghadab Wal Hubb (Boys of Anger and Love) costarring Anoshka and Ahmed Rateb, and Rasasah Fil Qalb (Bullet in the Heart) costarring Angham and Ali Al Hajjar. 

The conditions at private theaters have been no better, as most shows brought down the curtain, particularly those designed for the summer tourists in Alexandria. These include Houdeh Karamah, costarring Ahmed Adam and Abeer Sabri; Shawerma, costarring Yunes Shalabi and Wahid Saif; Lailat Auns, costarring Ahmed Ibrahim and Fadia Abdel Ghani; and Ana Wamrati Wa Monica, starring Samir Ghanem. 

Plays which have withstood the storm and are still being staged, include Bodyguard, by Adel Imam, and Kidah OK, costarring Muna Zaki and Ahmed Al Saqqa.  

Revenues generated by these plays have nevertheless drastically declined over the past week, reaching 60 percent of their normal levels.  

Producer Mohammed Fouzi, meanwhile, has had to cut the number of shows to two per week for the play HiloWa Kaddab (Sweet and Liar) costarring Ashraf Abdel Baqi and Wafaa Amer, in order to minimize losses - Albawaba.com 

© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)


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