It is not easy for one to write about a friend’s life, so the words are confused between the elements of the “Egypt Cinema” play. I was keen to attend the play while in Egypt after hearing about it from many critics. The “Egypt Cinema” play was presented by the second batch of the acting department of the artistic innovation center “Talents studio” as a graduation project directed by Khalid Jalal and executive director Ola Fahmy.
The direction effort on stage was distinguished, as everyone is aware of the innovations of Khalid Jalal, and the products of his theatrical displays, and this applies to Ola Fahmy as well. We won’t focus on the direction though it is the most important element in any integrated art work. The play brings the past to simulate the present and confirms the future that Egypt’s Cinema is a civilization and is still present in the history of Arab and international cinema.
The director through his artistic vision had the “Last Night” movie and played on its theme to prepare its plot “amnesia.” Through his theme the director wanted to remind the audience what Egypt Cinema is in more than 15 sketches that he selected from Egyptian films that left a print in the history of Arab and International cinema. He employed those sketches with the “last night” theme, so the dramatic event moved in two parallel dramatic lines towards one goal which is reviving the history of “Egypt Cinema.”
I summarized the idea to give the other elements their critical focus. The actors, who are the main target that the play was based on, brought out their theatrical and artistic talents. More than 60 students gave an outstanding performance and both directors employed their artistic energy in the roles given to them. As some of them went for comedy and overcame amnesia, others brought up the basic tragic characters to remind us of their sufferings in selected scenes.
Students provided musical effects and sang along to enhance the scenes and characters. They all played their role with innovation and professionalism to revive their civilization and bring the Egypt Cinema memory back. The acoustic effects that played between the past and present simulated the future and mix technology with live effects. A musical art mix took us to the past while we were in the present. The theater’s decor, though simple, was in harmony with the play. As scenes were changing, along with the actor’s movement and lightning, there was a bright opening concentrated in the middle of the theater space, as a focal point for a hopeful future.
By Nermin Al-Houthi