“Ghosts of the Opera” is a play that monitors the fears of the self and the longings of love
An Egyptian youth treatment of one of the masterpieces of world literature
Wednesday – 28 Dhu al-Hijjah 1443 AH – 27 July 2022 AD
Photo from the play (Al-Hanager Theatre).
Cairo: Rasha Ahmed
It was not surprising that the participation of “Al-Hanager” theater in the National Theater Festival, whose performances will continue until August 8 in Cairo, came with the play “Phantom of the Opera”, where the work includes a number of elements provided what made its success a winning bet, which was manifested in All tickets are sold out and seats are full of viewers every night of the show. The work is based on a world-famous text, the novel “The Phantom of the Opera” by the French writer Gaston Leroux (1868 – 1927), with its tension, excitement and public space that was ahead of its time, as well as the roaring energy of the youth Through a group of young actors of both sexes, which the audience saw as a true reflection of their concerns, as well as the sensitivity of the new generation in terms of the linguistic dictionary, the most prominent manifestation of the show remains the “theme” of love and the search for it, not as a mere emotional relationship between two parties, but in its deeper meaning as a state of Cases of self-examination and unity with the other as a source of psychological peace and inner happiness.
The show tells the story of a theater troupe preparing to present its first show, betting on it and holding successive rehearsals for it, hoping to achieve overwhelming success. Young people’s response is to see some mysterious phenomena such as seats. shake and mock. lights out, but they take the matter seriously when it develops into the fall of large decorative pieces in a way that threatens the interior designer and then the collective escape of musicians and instrumentalists who, before the opening one night, at this time, participate in work. Two new managers are appointed and they come to take over the new position and learn about the teams’ problems on the ground. The two managers turn from a potential salvation to a burden, they are very cowardly and shudder at the ghost, and their financial responsibility is not above suspicion!
The director of the show, Marwa Radwan, takes from this plot a framework to reflect her thoughts and concerns that affect the daughters of her generation, while also writing the text. Here women’s longing for love emerges as a kind of salvation and a great source of great energy that helps us face life. This idea is manifested by a number of actresses who begin a monologue about her dreams in life, so she asks for nothing but that heart-shaking tremor when he falls in love. A parallel dramatic line confirms this idea through the relationship of “Shurooq” and “Said”, the two colleagues in the play, who had a strong relationship in the past and differed and separated, but the flame of love quickly flared up again when “Said” recently joined the group. How poignant it was for Shurooq to accurately count the time that had passed during the separation, saying that it was four years, three months and 17 days, and when Saeed corrected her: “Rather four years, three months and 19 days. “
The director also used music and songs that covered a large area of the show to call it the show, giving the work great joy and vitality, as well as some undeniable comic touches by a number of light-hearted characters such as the writer and musician fighting an imaginary one-sided contest against musician Omar Khairat.
“The Phantom of the Opera” was first serialized in the French magazine “Le Gaulois” from September 23, 1909 to January 8, 1910. Although it did not have much success at first, it is now considered one of the Masterpieces regard. of world literature. The novel was first made into a movie in 1925 and then remade in a new version in 2004. The plays taken from it are among the oldest and most successful productions in the history of theatre.
The novel tells the story of the actress “Christine” who is kidnapped by a ghost who inhabits the opera house and falls in love with her, but it soon becomes clear that he is just an ordinary young man who lacks and prefers love and tenderness to live forever in an opera warehouse to escape from people due to some deep deformities that affected his face.
About the similarity between the French origin and the Egyptian treatment, the director and writer Marwa Radwan says: “I worked on the structure or the general framework only to bring the treatment in a pure Egyptian spirit, so that the performance in a lyrical , dramatic dance platform in which we reveal our secrets, fears, dreams and simple human details, as well as our endless journey. In search of self and love together, noting in a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat that the experience in its entirety was stressful, as its producers relied on receiving talents from artists, most of whom are amateurs. About 1,700 applicants were received, then the number was whittled down to 90 who participated in the first season of the play and now take 50 participate in the second season.
Marwa Radwan adds: “We have put in an extraordinary effort over six months of training and preparations, but the success of the show and the audience’s reactions have been very encouraging, giving us a happy ending in direction, writing, decoration , clothing, lighting form. , and above all the performance of the actors.”