Bring your imagination along
CAIRO: “An absurd play composed of split second disjointed scenes that bring out the circus in the streets and the street in the circus, says the synopsis of the play El-Gaw Gameel, (The Weather is Beautiful) by Nada Thabit.
The script is actually an improvised version of the French play by Louis Calaferte, Un Riche, Trois Pauvres. It was translated into Arabic by Syrian theater professor Dr. Marie Ilias.
“We took the translation and improvised on it and this is what came out, explains Thabit, a graduate of the American University in Cairo with a double major in theater and psychology.
What actually did come out is a very colorful black comedy about daily life in Egypt. The four actors represent different social statuses in the country, and the interaction between them on the streets of Cairo.
The play is surreal in a way, and needs one to let go of logic and let your imagination take control. Many of the characters are not actually tangible; it is up to you to create them.
One of the audience members, Esam Abdullah, enjoyed the play, saying “My impression was it is commenting basically on Egyptian society and how there is a lot of corruption and hypocrisy in the government and how it effects the people themselves.
One scene in particular is worth mentioning: a comical segment of each of the four characters begging either for a tip, for customers or for a government approval. Although you cannot see whom they are talking to, as they are imaginary, it reflects the frustrating desperation people of any status go through to get what they want in such a corrupt society.
The actors are all new to the stage. Nadine El-Kashef, who plays the elite woman, enjoyed it immensely. “The nicest thing about the script is we had to improvise a lot. It was a long process though; it took three months of hard work to build character and all that, but the experience was very, very interesting.
In addition to the actors, Thabet uses visuals to make her point. The simple stage, with minimal set, suddenly shows a screen at the back of the stage. Some Egyptian TV commercials and a short documentary show on the screen where the filmmaker asks people at random what they wanted to grow up to be.
The touching film, like the rest of the play, is funny but also sad. It reflects a concept that dreams are rarely gratified but tackles it in a humorous way. Thabit explains that the idea of using TV “is to take people straight into reality.
Catch the play at the Falaki Theater at the American University in Cairo from Sept. 19-22 at 8:30 p.m.