The minute my friend Yehia al-Fakharani appeared on the stage of the National Theater in the wonderful play “A Night of A Thousand and One Nights” he was in full control of the emotions of the audience, not with yelling and screaming, but with his simplicity that makes him a great actor.
He made the audience cry and laugh and sing along.
The other stars, including Lotfi Labib, Heba Magdy, Mohamed Mohsen, Salma Gharib, Dia Abdel Khalek and Ahmed Sedky, were all very good. Naima Agamy did an excellent job with the clothes, so did Mohamed al-Gharabawy with the set. And Mohsen Helmy was excelled in his direction of this beautiful play.
The play brought musicals back to the stage after a long absence. Its success proves that Egyptian audience likes this type of play. I believe we are on the threshold of a new renaissance of the Egyptian theater after years of confusion between the concept of a theater and that of a cabaret.
Fakharani, the giant of the theater, skillfully took us with him on a beautiful trip where we enjoyed a refined art that respects us. Although the events take place in Baghdad, the Egyptian character of it was clear and influential.
I ask Fattouh Ahmed of the National Theater to continue encouraging such plays for that theater to retain its old glory. I was told the play cost a lot, but the tickets covered it in just one month. So, says who that only commercial plays make money?
I salute Fakharani who bet on the taste of the Egyptian audience and gave us a play that deserves to be watched a thousand times.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm