As the Rawabet Factory Space filled up with people facing eight empty wooden chairs, slow and sad music began and the eight actors emerged slowly from behind a screen wearing medical coats. Almost an hour later, the audience was clapping, hooting, cheering and feeling perfectly content with the show.

The Cairo Acting School (CAS) will perform a theatrical mime called ‘They Told Me It's Here’ at Rawabet Theatre this Wednesday, May 11th and Thursday, May 12th at 9PM. The performance is directed by Dutch artists Guido Kleene and Jochem Stavenuiter and is the result of an extensive theatre workshop at Rawabet Theatre.

‘They Told Me It's Here’ is not your average theatre performance, so you shouldn't go with any preconceived notion of what you're about to see; that way, the pleasure of watching it will double. There is no plot, no defined storyline or visible ties between the characters. They have one thing in common, though; an obvious sense of discomfort and restlessness.

‘It's about tolerance,’ says director Guido Kleene, ‘which is quite a big topic.’ ‘Tolerance is projected through the movement – touching; you want to tolerate it but you cannot.’

The characters take their medical coats off, and then put them on again. Once they put on the coats, the sense of discomfort disappears. The characters also seem to lose control once they take off their coats; they are pushed around by the ones still wearing them, they are made to wear wigs, masks and ordered to sit in certain places.

As they move around out of the coats, they become characters ‘in dilemmas,’ as Kleene says. They try to tolerate the touch of the person next to them, but cannot and so the pain of this conflict is voiced through their movement and energy. A male character sits with a female character, while another man sits on her other side and begins touching her; the three of them then mime their inner dialogue through their body language.

There is some talk, but not much as it is, after all, a mime performance. Whatever is said, though, adds to the sense of the heavy, unbearable displeasure that they all feel.

The cast of ‘They Told Me It's Here’ does an outstanding job: Amr Abed, Hamdy Eltounsy, Hany El Metennawy, Ibrahim Salah, Karim Kassem, Maryam Saleh, Mayy Salem and Mustafa El Munufi all show great talent and the rare ability to keep the audience captivated by their presence for as long as they are on stage.

It's definitely worth watching – twice! ‘They Told Me It's Here’ is a blend of great directing and acting talent and a great subject matter that was very well-presented on stage. Be sure to catch it at Rawabet Theatre tonight or for its final show tomorrow at 9PM.