'Possession' links past and contemporary life


Wed, 28 Mar 2018 - 10:51 GMT

“Possession” play during the D-CAF-Egypt Today/Marina Gamil

“Possession” play during the D-CAF-Egypt Today/Marina Gamil

CAIRO – 28 March 2018: “Possession” theatre show, performed at D-CAF from March 21 to 23, highlights the detrimental thoughts facing every person regardless of his religion and culture through the experiences of the desert hermits.

Based on a real story, the play focuses on a spiritually-associated mental illness caused when demons pass negative thoughts about self and others to people’s minds and psychiatrists fail to cure them.

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“Possession” play during the D-CAF-Egypt Today/Marina Gamil

The play takes place during the social and religious movement that happened 1,700 years ago when people escaped from the prosecution of the Roman Empire to deserts and lived as hermits, just praying and working in silence without meeting people.

“I was interested in the lives of hermits in deserts and the reasons behind them seeking silence, especially that the European history was also affected by this movement,” the play’s director Tom Bailey told Egypt Today.

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“Possession” play during the D-CAF-Egypt Today/Marina Gamil

Bailey added that most of the hermits’ writings shed light on their struggles to overcome the negative thoughts planted by demons by praying and working hard.
The four actors in the play with their customs could greatly transfer people to the world of hermits in the third century. The set of the play included wooden boxes resembling the caves where hermits lived, alongside tools used throughout the show.

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“Possession” play during the D-CAF-Egypt Today/Marina Gamil

During the show, the hermits prayed and worked and lived a peaceful life until demons started to control their minds with bad and depressing thoughts. At this point, the hermits found themselves wrestling with those thoughts to keep the situation from getting out of hand; they resorted to psychiatrists to help them, but they could not cure them.

“The religious movement is originally Coptic, but what they encountered is found in every religion and culture so I wanted to make a piece performed by Coptic, Nubian, Muslim and British artists,” he added.

The play builds a bridge between contemporary and past lives, as it puts the life of hermits in the third century with their traditional songs in a contemporary theatre in a way that invites people to meditate upon every incident in the play, Bailey remarked.
This is an enjoyable and piquant play that could transfer the audiences through the set and customs to the life of hermits and their struggles to fight demons..

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“Possession” play during the D-CAF-Egypt Today/Marina Gamil



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