Cream of Egypt’s entertainers signed up to appear in Saudi Arabia

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Shakespeare’s tragedy ‘King Lear’ will be performed by veteran Egyptian actors this year. (Social media)
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Shakespeare’s tragedy ‘King Lear’ will be performed by veteran Egyptian actors this year. (YouTube photo)
Updated 10 February 2019
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Cream of Egypt’s entertainers signed up to appear in Saudi Arabia

  • Top playwrights have been hired to write new works to revive Saudi theatrical heritage.

JEDDAH: The veteran Egyptian actors Yehia El-Fakharany and Farouk Al-Fishawi will take the stage in Saudi Arabia this year for six performances of Shakespeare’s tragedy “King Lear” as the Kingdom’s entertainment chiefs spread their global net still wider.

The deal with a Cairo theater group was one of a raft of agreements signed by General Entertainment Authority Chairman Turki Al-Sheikh with producers and promoters in Egypt. It follows similar agreements reached last week on a visit to London.

Other Egyptian highlights include six plays featuring Sherihan, the actress, singer and dancer who retired in 2002 and returned to the stage in 2016.  

She will appear at the Riyadh Festival in October and November this year, and in Jeddah in June and July 2020.

There will be plays and other productions involving comedy actors Mohamed Henedi, Ashraf Abdul Baqi and Mohammed Saad, star of the 2002 hit comedy “El-Limby.”

Playwrights Amir Taima and Ayman Bahgat Qamar have also been commissioned to write several new works to revive Saudi Arabia’s theatrical heritage.

Fans of Egyptian music can look forward to performances by Hani Shaker, Amr Diab and Mohammad Hamaki, and stage shows featuring the music of Umm Kulthum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab and Abdel Halim Hafez. 


Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

Updated 4 min 49 sec ago
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Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

  • 40 works by Edvard Munch go on display for first time in Middle East

DHAHRAN: A dynamic Saudi cultural center is to showcase the works of one of the world’s most famous painters in an exhibition-first for the Middle East.

Forty pieces by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, best known for his iconic “The Scream” painting, will go on public display at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

The special exhibition, titled “Landscapes of the Soul,” is the latest in a series of high-profile cultural events to be staged at the showpiece exhibition in Dhahran.

Developed by Saudi Aramco with the aim of stimulating knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement, Ithra’s theater, museum, exhibition hall and art gallery complex forms a key part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan to promote culture and entertainment.

The Munch exhibition, which runs until Sept. 3, portrays the artist’s personal life experiences of misery, love, despair, loneliness and reflections of the soul, through his distinctive works.

“It is such an honor to host and introduce to Saudi Arabia, and indeed, the Middle East, the work of the world-renowned artist Edvard Munch,” Rania Biltagi, Ithra’s head of communications and partnership, told Arab News.

Munch’s (1863-1944) original exhibition has been located in Oslo, Norway since 1963, and the Saudi display is being staged in Ithra’s Great Hall in partnership with the Munch Museum in Norway.

As well as a lithograph version of his most famous painting “The Scream,” other works on show will include “Summer Night. The Voice,” 1894, “Self-Portrait,” 1895, and “The Sick Child,” 1896.

“A moment that stood out from the opening was when speaking to a couple visiting the exhibit, they mentioned that they were Norwegian and working in Saudi,” Biltagi said. “They explained that they had never had the chance to visit the Munch Museum in their homeland and what an unexpected pleasure it was to be able to see Munch’s work in Saudi.”

Biltagi added that the event epitomized the aim of Ithra in providing a platform to bring together cultures as well as people.

The center, featured in Time magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 places to visit, is a pioneer on the Kingdom’s culture and arts scene, organizing a variety of events, performances, programs and experiences to suit all ages and backgrounds. Previous exhibitions have included a focus on Saudi contemporary art, Leonardo da Vinci, and installations symbolizing creativity and innovation.