Untangling braids: Tackling social ills



Fri, 20 Oct 2017 - 01:46 GMT


Fri, 20 Oct 2017 - 01:46 GMT

A scene from play 'Untangling braids'.

A scene from play 'Untangling braids'.

CAIRO – 20 October 2017: From the very first few minutes of the show, you get exposed to a slew of short, heavy-hitting dialogues that set the tone of what is to come.

Untangling braids is a show that is definitely for the young and the old; it gives you the poison wrapped in honey, making you experience sadness, humor and nostalgia all at once.

Premiering on the stage of Husseper theatre last December, Untangling braids was the first theatre performance of the three-part “the Show Goes On Theater Project” that is currently running at AUC’s Falaki theatre in celebration of the year of the Egyptian woman.

Three-part and gender-themed programme "The Show Goes On"

Nour, played by Aliaa Ashraf, was given strict orders from her elder sister not to make trouble while she is away with her friends on a university trip. The story depicts the social struggle every Egyptian woman faces at nearly every turn of her life.

“7al el Dafayer,” or Untangling Braids, is the name of genie that comes out of Nour’s sister’s book to meet the young Nour’s aspirations. Each successive scene tells a story about the social pressure facing Egyptian men and women because of their socially-constructed gender that tend to snuff out their freedom of choice and put strain on their path in life.

A scene from the play 'untangling 'braids

Firstly, Nour has been transformed into a young lady who is heading towards a wedding party and being forced by her patriarchal brothers to wear a specific type of dress they want her to wear.

Turning to men, the show also tackles the male societal obligations. Taking place in a gym court, there is the young man, played by Ahmed Alaa, who is being pressured into having the ideal body shape to appeal to the girl he loves.

A scene from the play 'untangling 'braids

Bringing the past to the present, the play introduces a highly striking scene that compares the status of women in the past and present and how it has deteriorated. Qasr al-Nile Bridge, where lovers in the past were elegantly dating but now is a horrendous hub for harassment and sexual assault, is one such symbol used in the play.

The play also tackles societal expectations placed on women to seek marriage and having children.

A scene from the play 'untangling 'braids

Sexual harassment is featured prominently in the play, which humorously slid on the issue showcasing society’s hostile and misogynist attitudes towards harassment and assault.

The Show Goes On’s last theatre performance called “Mother Line Story Project” will take place from Thursday October 19 until Sunday October 21.

Untangling braids features again at AUC’s Falaki on November 3.



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