Before The Revolution

By Ahmed El Attar




The Egyptian revolution was not just about the desire to change the political system. It was - most importantly - the expression of the accumulation of decades of oppression, deception, insecurity, violence, inefficiency and depression.
“Before the revolution” attempts to place audiences in that emotional and intellectual moment, portraying the stagnation before an inevitable eruption. We hope that this performance will transport audiences to an alternate state, allow them to better understand not just the causes that led to the revolution but also the event itself, the times that came after it, and the future that stemmed from it.
To accomplish such an alternate emotional and intellectual state, it was necessary to step away from traditional narrative, with its capacity to comfort audiences, reassert their perceptions, and reinforce their role as spectators. We opted instead for a more experimental format, one that challenges the audience’s perception of not only the text, but also of the theatrical experience as a whole. By mixing fiction and non-fiction, merging the familiar and unfamiliar, and blending coherent and incoherent narratives within a specifically designed visual and soundscape, and by stripping actors of their most essential tools, we hope to encourage audiences to engage differently with this performance and with the theatrical experience as a whole.

Cast & credits:

  • Writer & Director: Ahmed El Attar
  • Performers: Ramsi Lehner and Nanda Mohammad
  • Music: Hassan Khan
  • Set and Costume Designer: Hussein Baydoun
  • Light Designer: Charlie Aström
  • Producer: Henri jules Julien
  • Production & Stage Manager: Mram AbdelMaqsoud
  • Touring Manager / Subtitles Operator: Nadeen Lotayef
  • Assistant Light Designer & Operator: Saber El Sayed
  • Assistant Set & Costume Designer: Ahmed Ashmawy
  • Production Team: Mohamed Bonga, Sayed Naggar, Mazen Abo El Nagga, Medo Abdel Maqsoud, Mohamed Fares and Islam Tarek.
  • Seamstress: Salam Borhan
  • PR & Marketing Manager: Basma Hamed
  • Graphic Designer: Enas Abd El Rahman
  • Social Media Coordinator: Nada Fathy
  • Photographer: Mostafa Abdel Aty
  • Accountant: Ahmed Nagy
  • English translator: Lara El Gibaly and Nermin Sarhan
  • French translator: Mireille Mikhail
  • Italian translatior: Carolina Landi
  • Editor: Maddalena Milani
  • Created at Rawabet theater in Cairo in October 2017

Upcoming Tours: ---

Previous work:

  • 8Oct.: FIT Festival Internazionale Del Teatro, Lugano, Switzerland.
  • 10-11Oct.: Festival des Arts de Bordeaux (FAB), Bordeaux, France.
  • 26-27Oct.: Bozar, Brussels, Belgium.
  • 21-22Nov.: Les Rencontres a l’échelle, Marseilles, France.
  • 28Nov.-2 Dec.: Le Tarmac, Paris, France.
  • 6 & 7 December: Bonlieu Scene Nationale, Annecy, France,
  • 24-25Jan.: Festival Les Vagamondes, Mullhouse, France,
  • 26-27Jan.: Monty, Antwerp, Belgium,
  • 22-25March: D-CAF Festival , Cairo, Egypt.

Production Details:

  • Number In Company:5 on the road
  • Set: Could be completely constructed and sourced locally or transported from France
  • Setup: 1 Set up and Rehearsal day
  • Stage dimensions and capacities:
  • Opening: 6m (min) - 10m (max)
  • Depth: 5m (min) - 8m (max)
  • Minimum height under pipe: 5.5m
Documentary meets fiction in this performance by the internationally renowned Cairo artist Ahmed El Attar, who takes us back to Egypt before the 2011 revolution. Two actors engage in a series of reflections on a range of themes, including love, family, oppression, money, the future and the other” -Theatre Contemporain - France 2017
Country: Egypt
Genre: Theatre
Duration: 40 mins
Language: Arabic with subtitles

Full Performance (English Sub): (Password: B4R2017)

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Ross Weaver / Producer

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James Franco / Producer