Even though it is not the first time for Oscar and the Lady in Pink to be performed to an Egyptian audience, the play is expected to play to a full crowd in Rawabet Space for Performing Arts on June 29th and 30th at 9PM.
Directed by Hany El Metennawy, Oscar and the Lady in Pink is based on a novel of the same name by French author Éric Emmanuel Schmitt. Oscar – played by Mohammed Saleh – is a sick ten-year-old boy in a hospital where the nurses in the children's ward wear pink uniforms. During his stay at the hospital, Oscar meets Mamie Rose (played by Dalia Bassiouny) – the lady in pink – and through her, he discovers God.
Oscar is dying of cancer and he secludes himself from all those who cannot cope with his deteriorating condition; he speaks only to Mamie Rose. She opens up a whole new world for Oscar. Instead of living his last days in misery and pain, he experiences joy and contentment thanks to Mamie Rose as he discovers the existence of a God that his parents told him didn’t exist. Every day, Oscar writes to God and waits for an answer. As he waits, he realizes that there is a higher being and that life is worth living; even if just for one more day.
The play’s set is intentionally kept simple and bare to emphasize the most important element: the script. A video of drawings by Egyptian/Sudanese artist Rabab Hakem plays between each scene, adding a beautiful visual element to Oscar's world.
The play’s score is uses compositions from Johann Sebastian Bach's famous Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, which director Hany El Metennawy chose especially. The music along with the visual elements creates a beautiful and tranquil atmosphere as Saleh reads out his letters to God to the audience. It is a bit odd at first to watch a grown man assuming the role of a ten-year-old boy. However, his performance is so convincing that you forget his age and you focus on the spirit of Oscar, which he brings out beautifully.
It is a little strange to hear 'Dear God' spoken in an Egyptian theatre, but the complexity of the issues raised in the play become much simpler and easy to absorb as a little boy experiences this presence. Oscar's character is incredibly engaging and complex: ‘The moment I read the novel, I was amazed by his character’, says El Metennawy. ‘I completely believed him and everything he said, to the extent that he changed my relationship with this world and my whole outlook on life’.
‘This is a play about a great and grand love; a love that creates miracles, and I decided to share this love with the audience’ he says. It is definitely a performance worth watching.The cast of Bassiouny and Saleh, and El Metennawy's direction and vision guarantee a worthwhile evening at the theatre.