On Monday 9th of February, Cairo’s eclectic arts scene welcomes a new venue; Stara Theater. Located in Downtown Cairo, the new space has made its mission very clear: to champion and support Egypt’s ‘underground’ artistes.
As with so many venues of its kind, there’s a lot of hot-air around it; it’s founded on buzzword-heavy premise that “Underground/Independent art is expressed as a revolutionary state, rhythm, gateway and a way of living.” What that means for a theatre/venue is unclear.
At the very base of things, it will function as a cultural space/performance venue for ‘quirky’, presumably unknown, eclectic local talent and even promises to provide Cairo’s independent, disenfranchised artistes – musicians, comedians, writers, dancers, performance artists – with ‘an experienced media (marketing) team’ to ensure they are “seen and known” everywhere.
Ideological contradictions of the phrases 'marketing' and 'underground' aside, though, Stara’s grand opening on Feb 9th is set to welcome a line-up of some established pretty acts.
Aya Metwalli, the intelligently controversial, potty-mouthed singer, will be joined by Fayoum native, Abdullah Miniawy, who is a well-known chanter, trumpet player and composer, as well as Alexandrian musician and sound artist, Ahmed Saleh.
It's an interesting line-up that sends out good signals on the theater's intent - let's just hope that Cairo's relentlessly discerning music fans can be as receptive as Stara is ambitious.
For more information on Stara Theater, click here.