“Song of Death”

It’s a play that revolves around revenge, family ties and forgiveness. In amidst all these conflicts a mother kills her only child losing all that she has to live for and the only hope to avenge her husband’s death.

In the latest theater productions at the American University in Cairo (AUC) the Gerhart Theatre presented one of Tewfik al Hakim’s plays “The Song of Death” in classical Arabic. The play was directed by graduating theatre student Amira Gabr,  as her graduation project.

The play was presented in classical Arabic which the audience found it both  appealing and challenging at the same time, but necessary to keep the spirit and originality of the play.

“Speaking in classical Arabic was necessary, and it the directing of this play unique,” said Madina Mohammed, Chemistry Sophomore. “The actors were trying hard and they were speaking with a good upper Egyptian(Saedy) accent.

The play itself written by al Hakim is about a woman (Asaker) who sends her only child to live in Cairo after her husband has been killed, hoping that he would grow up to avenge his father. However,  despite the mother’s hopes the kid grows up to become a religious man in Al Azhar and refuses to kill the man who killed his father and confronts her that she lives in an ignorance of wrong traditions. The mother angry at her son orders his cousin to kill him to wash away what she calls the family’s sin.

The way the play was presented and the directed were not the only highlight to the play the actors caught the attention of the audience as a near perfection lot, who grasped the characters they were playing and gave a classy performance. 

“The acting was really good, the facial expressions were all too real, and the directing too the actors movements and usage of the whole stage and their positioning on stage  was a benefit to the play”.

By: Mennatallah Youssef