CAIRO — The month of August in Egypt was busy with theatrical performances at state theaters, many of which had been dark for years. A burst of activity by the Theatre House, which oversees stage productions for the Ministry of Culture, signals a renewed effort to restore the local and regional prestige of Egyptian theater.
During the first week in August, a dozen new comedies, tragedies and productions exploring social issues premiered, along with several plays for children. The most sought-after ticket has been for “Layla min Alf Layla” (A Night Out of 1,000 Nights), starring the television and theater performer Yehia el-Fakharany. The play has been running at the National Theater in Cairo since 2015. Many critics argue that “Layla min Alf Layla” is the play that got Egyptian audiences back in theater seats after some five or six years of declining attendance.