Bahgaga band - photo courtesy of the band's official Facebook page
CAIRO – 26 December 2017: “Our aim is to revive the art of monologue which is died out now , developing its composing style and even instrumental music ” Ayman Helmy manager and artistic director of comedy crew “Bahgaga” band, told Egypt Today.
Bahgaga brings back the art of monologue through their own unique comedic and dramatic performances, tackling human struggles through humor. The band is comprised of four girls, Asma Abulyazeid, Weam Essam, Raghda Galal and Samar Galal.
Monologue is theatrical performance in which the singer/ actor expresses his/her own thoughts and beliefs in their own artistic creative approach and skills.
In efforts of interacting with the current Egyptian reality, Bahgaga doesn’t depend on the heritage monologues but they compose and write their own monologues about human, political and societal conflicts. Most of Bahgaga’s monologues are inspired by its musicians’ ideas and lyrics which reshapes a unique and realistic final production.
Helmy also mentioned that Bahgaga performances depend on diverse instruments such as guitar, Oud, keyboard and other percussion instruments that altogether creates a modern effect that have resonated in Egypt since 25th revolution.
He also pointed out that Bahgaga has two main targets including entertaining audiences by breaking the routine and hard days in life and light-heartedly tackling societal and political concerns which was clear in their monologue “ Kalo Fi El Hekam” (They said in Wisdom) in which it depicts different types of authoritarian individuals and groups who are now accepted by society. . The band has composed a monologue during 2012 presidential elections shedding lights on some controversial political situations at that time.
Helmy also described the characteristics that classify the art of monologues including a special merge between acting and singing.
“Performing a strong monologue depends on certain elements such as the monologist’s acting skills, , performance and artistic talent,” he added.
As the Egyptian band is inspired by the heritage songs and the art of monologue which is pioneered by the prominent Egyptian comedian Ismail Yassin, Helmy said that Yassin is an ideal model for presenting an artistic piece that contains , specific message, good music composition and simple attractive lyrics.
Although being categorized as a light comedian known only for the funny jokes and style in his movies, Yassin has never received his proper worth for his artistic talents. He was the first Egyptian to prove that through the funny clothes and sarcastic words, you can still deliver deep content.
The prominent monologist and classic comedian Ismail Yassin created his own debut in the world of theater and later in the world of cinema. A monologist will be able to deliver messages once they combine powerful words, talents, and a special sense of humor all together, according to the ambitious artistic director.
. “Acting is about having a sense of humor and natural talent, not an academic degree,” the late Yassin has previously said in an old interview that was aired on radio called “Garab Hazak” (Try your Luck).
He used the art of monologue in his own unique style that tackled vibrant social issues such as relationships between men and women.
Yassin’s first comic monologue featured an unhappy husband complaining about his wife. “Matestaghrabsh Matestaagebsh” (Don’t be surprised, Don’t be astonished) is a monologue in which Yassin complained about the unfairness of life urging audiences not to be surprised if they find a person who was able to reach success effortlessly, while others spend their lives working hard without being rewarded at all.
While in the popular monologue “El Saada” (Happiness) , Yassin confirmed the human innate need for happiness, and that happiness is found in several aspects of life. His monologue contributed to break the popular standard concepts and stereotypes adhered to happiness.
Yassin has performed numerous monologues in films he starred in as well as plays. These monologues were all composed and written by Abu Soud El Ebiary.
Although Yassin started his career life as monologist in theater presenting daily life struggles, human conflicts and thoughts, the monologues still relate to events of current reality.
“Ayamna El Helwa” (Our Happy Days) an Egyptian band of 17 singers, whose common vision is to revive nostalgic classic songs, have previously performed some of Yassin’s monologues on “Sahebat el Saada” (Owner of Happiness) an Egyptian show hosted by the famous actress Ese’ad Younis. The recreation has steamed up massive audience interaction over social media.