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‘They Told Me It’s Here’ Mime Play at Rawabet Theatre

‘They Told Me It’s Here’: Mime Performance at Rawabet Theatre

  • 3 Hussien El Me'amar St. ext. of Mahmoud Basiouny St.
  • Cultural Centers
reviewed by
Zainab Magdy
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‘They Told Me It’s Here’: Mime Performance at Rawabet Theatre

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.

360 Tip

It's a 55-minute performance that will not bore you even for a second. And entrance is free of charge.

Best Bit

It's a 55-minute performance that will not bore you even for a second. And entrance is free of charge.

Worst Bit

It can get a bit crowded down at the audience's end.

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