The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

‘Oscar and the Lady in Pink’ at Rawabet Theatre

‘Oscar and the Lady in Pink’ at Rawabet Theatre

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.

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