There’s a new Arabic-language musical about to hit the stage in Cairo, and our jazz hands are jittery with anticipation. The first of its kind in decades, Leila, debuts this weekend at The Marquee in Cairo Festival City.
The musical’s plot revolves around two lovers – Leila & Karim – living in a small sea-side town where there’s said to be a witch inhabiting the lighthouse at the edge of the beach. The couple’s envious friends seek the help of said witch to destroy their plan to marry; but will Leila & Karim’s love overpower the witch’s sorcery and the spite of their friends?
Drama, dance and music intermingle in this fantastical tale, reigniting what Egyptian stages were once renowned for. Since the turn of the millennium, beloved Broadway-esque Souad Hosny-type musicals have been absent from the country’s stages. Thankfully, Leila is here to dazzle us once more with its stunning set design, colourful costumes and original score.
The cast features prominent figures, namely, Amy Frega of Fabrica and Voice & Bass fame, and Nile Fm Presenter Sally Sampson, both of whom will alternate the starring role. The show also features up-and-coming talents, such as Hana Ghoniem, who won our hearts in a CineMania performance on CBC’s Sahibet El Saada (more on that, here!).
The musical’s script, music and lyrics were written by Ibrahim Maurice, with Ibrahim Afifi on board as the director. Dalia Farid Fadel choreographed the dance numbers in addition to playing the role of the witch, and the play’s costumes were designed and tailored by Mona El-Tounsy.
Leila opens tonight for a private performance and will run from April 21st – May 21st, on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at Cairo Festival City’s Marquee Theatre. Tickets start at LE 50 and can be purchased here.
For more information, visit the event’s official Facebook page.
By Salma Anderson