Saudi theater talents rise as curtain falls on Jeddah week

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Updated 01 October 2013

Saudi theater talents rise as curtain falls on Jeddah week

The Jeddah Theater Week concluded on Saturday after presenting seven plays.
The Saudi Cultural and Art Society organized the event with the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Information at the Literary Cultural Club Jeddah.
The aim of the week was to promote Saudi theater, artists and Saudi production companies, producers and filmmakers from around the Kingdom.
The first play of the theater was Hijazi thread games tunes, opening a window to the Hijaz region and its culture and traditions. Hamid Al-Ghamdi presented the play and Ahmed Al-Saman directed it. The audience loved the theme and appreciated the presentation.
Director of Jeddah Theater Week Riyan Sika said that he would continue to promote Saudi talent and theater and will organize more festivals with the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Information.
Saud Al-Shaikhi, head of the Ministry of Culture and Information’s branch in Makkah, appreciated the efforts of all the participants who worked hard to present their message and entertained the Jeddah audience. He also said there is a lot of talent among Saudi theater artists but they never got a chance to express themselves on a large platform. There are no specialized schools and institutes for them to learn more and polish their talent.
He also said that the plays were full of information about society’s problems, providing solutions and highlighting issues that begged to be tackled.
Through this festival the ministry tried to give artists and theater makers as much support as they needed to bring their talent in front of an audience, said Al-Shaikhi. This support will continue.
The audience loved the theater and all its plays. The last play ‘Hala Bara’ by Kusar Media was very much appreciated. The message of the play was that in olden days people did not have lavish lifestyles but they had feelings. Now we don’t have any feelings but a modern life, technology and luxurious living. We seem to be forgetting our values and what matters most.
The set displayed a coffee shop where people come and go. It used to be a place where people would sit together and share their feelings. Nowadays not much of that is left.
The theater festival was observed by the Chairman of the Saudi Cultural and Art Society Sultan Bazai, Abdul Aziz Ismail, director of the Saudi Culture and Arts Associations as well as a number of artists and dignitaries.


Egyptian satirical puppet Abla Fahita set to premiere on Netflix

Updated 21 October 2020

Egyptian satirical puppet Abla Fahita set to premiere on Netflix

  • The first part of the series was filmed in early August through mid-October in various locations in Cairo

CAIRO: After months of filming, the company behind Egyptian satirical puppet Abla Fahita’s “Live from the Duplex” series has revealed that the character’s Netflix premiere is due to be screened in the first half of next year.

The six-episode “Drama Queen” series will see Fahita starring in an action-packed comedy adventure alongside her children Caro and Boudi, and actors Bassem Samra, Donia Maher, and Osama Abdallah.

The series has been directed by Khaled Marei and written by Abla Fahita with the participation of Muhammad Al-Jamal, George Azmy, Dina Maher, Sara Murad, and Mahmoud Ezzat, and was produced by OKWRD Productions in cooperation with ASAP Productions and executive producer Amin El-Masry.

The first part of the series was filmed in early August through mid-October in various locations in Cairo under strict health and safety precautions designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Fahita returned to present her television program in April, on channel, but due to the lack of a live studio audience as a result of COVID-19 restrictions the show was not as successful as previous outings.

The puppet character was created and is voiced by Egyptian Hatem El-Kashef, who studied theater and traveled to the US to complete his studies. Fahita is a housewife with two sons and first appeared on screens in 2011.

Part of Netflix’s recent focus has been on producing original works directed to the Arab world and in local dialect.

“Paranormal,” taken from a series of novels with the same name by the late Egyptian writer Ahmed Khaled Tawfik, is one such project. It stars actor Ahmed Amin playing the character of Dr. Rifaat Ismail, and premieres on Nov. 5.

Other Netflix productions are linked with Egyptian singer Amr Diab and Tunisian actress Hend Sabry.

Critic, Amer Abu Hatab, said Netflix’s move into Arab works was important and confirmed the global attraction of the region to audiences.