Friday, February 3, 2012

The Dictator: Intellectual Crisis

"The Dictator" is a play currently being performed in Beirut, Al-Madina theater. I really am not an expert of any kind of this performing art, not even close to being one, and this is not a critique, but if you care to hear the opinion of someone who happened to watch it, someone who by no means represents anyone else who happened to be there, and someone who left the theater hearing the masses parroting: wow, beautiful, genius, the best play ever, and other words that only bounced back as they touched my ear, and despite that remained someone who left the theater with the feeling that if a torture ritual can heal you and wash away your sins, then I am definitely a re-born person now, and if that was the purpose then the play is indeed a great success, but I have to say this: I found the acting to be good, but between us, this is not the most difficult genre of acting, and the set to be okay, because there wasn't any, I mean it could have been performed in my living room and it wouldn't have made a difference, but the most annoying part was the script, which is by Issam Mahfouz, the guy this play is intended to honor. I am not going to say more especially that I respect the Director Lina Abyad and I have watched and liked some of her other plays, but I advise you to go and watch it and maybe you could tell me if it is the play itself or maybe just me being in a cranky mood. It could be. But before you judge me tell me if this particular genre of drama is an elite art that is addressed to an elite audience then no need to sell tickets widely and next time perform it in a smaller theater and if it is something beyond the grasp of the layman then spare us the torture of feeling intellectually inferior because not everyone is going to cheer what they find hard to appreciate. But if this is a play addressed to us, the masses, then allow me to say that I just don't like it, and that it is most probably not my problem.

P.S. Most people in the theater did like the play, so do go and watch it. I told you others did find it stunning. Here is the trailer, and here are some photos.


  1. But tell us why you did not like it? It sounded as if you are unusually reluctant to express your view here?? You should not care even if everyone else liked it.

  2. You did notice my reluctance but that definitely is not because others liked it, that's the least of my concerns, the main reason is that the play just started and very close friends are behind it and I don't wish to harm their promotional efforts. But I will tell you separately. E.