Sobhy: ‘Khebetna’ is a magical realism play



Sun, 29 Jul 2018 - 10:41 GMT


Sun, 29 Jul 2018 - 10:41 GMT

Mohamed Sobhy-File Photo

Mohamed Sobhy-File Photo

CAIRO – 29 July 2018: Veteran Egyptian comedian, writer and theatrical director, Mohamed Sobhy revealed the content of his new play "Khebetna", through a statement.

Sobhy stated that he started writing this play in 2004 after the occupation of Iraq and the loss of its ancient civilization and finished writing it in 2007, during this period he was contemplating the fate of our nation in light of what happened in Iraq and concluded what will happen in the world.

"I wondered what our problem was in the Arab world, and answered this question in the drama of this play. "Khebetna" is a magical realism play where you do not know whether what you see is fantasy or reality,” Sobhy stated in his statement.

Sobhy is currently performing the final rehearsals for “Khebetna”. The play is inspired by "The End of History and the Last Man" by Francis Fukuyama, which tackles the final form of liberal democracy; the play is also influenced by the work of renowned historian Bernard Lewis. "Khebetna" was written in 2004, but turning it into a play was delayed several times.

The play has been updated to suit current events. Studio Tamseel (Acting Studio) troupe will participate in “Khebetna”. Alongside Sobhy, the play stars Samah el-Saeed and Nada Maher among others.

Sobhy was born in Cairo in 1948. In 1967, he caught attention by playing the role of “Hamlet” during his final exam at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts. At the time, he wrote, performed and directed “Hamlet” using his unique theatrical vision.

Sobhy graduated with honors and was appointed demonstrator at the institute.
Sobhy started his theater career by performing minor roles in famous plays alongside great actors like Salah Mansour, Mohamed Awad, Fouad el-Mohandes, and Mohamed Negm, among others.

His first minor yet influential role was in the famous play “Hello Shalaby” in 1970. Sobhy’s first leading role was in “Entaha el Dars Ya Ghabi” (The Lesson is Over, Stupid).

Sobhy’s theatrical repertoire includes “Al Joker” (The Joker), “Al Hamagy” (The Barbarian), “Weghet Nazar” (A Point of View), and “Carmen”, among others.

He performed in many popular soap operas; among the most famous are “Fares bela Gawad” (A Knight without a Horse) and the seven seasons of “Yawmeyat Wanees” (Wanees’s Diaries).

Carthage Theater Days Festival, which kicked off on December 8, 2017, honored Sobhy on December 11. CTDF organized a big ceremony to honor the veteran theatrical actor; the honoring ceremony was followed by a seminar discussing Sobhy’s theatrical career and was attended by different media agencies, newspapers and TV channels.

The third edition of Sharm El-Sheikh Youth Theatre Festival management also honored Sobhy; additionally, the edition bore the name of the great theatrical actor and director.
The owner of Sama Company, Egyptian businessman Hassan Rateb, acquired 80 percent of Sonbol City, owned by Sobhy.

Rateb will transform Sonbol City into Sama Sonbol Academy, which will target discovering talents in various fields of arts, such as music, singing, acting, directing and photography. The academy is expected to become the second technical entity specialized in this field, the first being the Academy of Arts.

Sobhy previously explained that the academy is expected to make a quantum leap in the field of discovering artistic talents in order to create a new generation of talented people in the areas of acting, directing, photography and writing.

Rateb previously pointed out that the academy also aims to maximize the cultural and artistic role in the society. Sonbol Academy was built on an area of 20 acres and includes studios and a unique theatre that can hold up about 500 people.

Rateb added that they are planning to update all the studios to be equipped with the best modern equipment in photography, lighting and visual effects. Rateb also plans to introduce a number of specialists meant to better develop discovered talents.

Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, the sovereign ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah, honored veteran Egyptian theatrical artist Sobhy on Tuesday, March 13, at the opening ceremony of the 28th edition of Sharjah Theatre Festival.

A cultured, enlightened and multi-talented artist who has enriched the Arab theater with many of his plays; Sobhy’s rich theatrical experience has made him a role model to all Arab theatrical artists.



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