With the non-profit Emirati theatre scene struggling to make a comeback, due to all the financial setbacks, the Emirati stars unite to bring a new work for its audience this Eid.
After a long absence, the Dubai Folklore Theatre is partnering up with Al Ahli Dubai Theatre to present the play: “Ers Al Ethnain”, which translates to: the marriage of the couple. The play was written by Talal Mahmoud and is directed by Marwan Abdulla Saleh. The story of the play revolves around the protagonist “Saeed” who is preparing for his wedding party taking place at his home, with all what it includes of challenges from getting a permit to set up a tent at home, to hosting a wedding party that lives to his to-be wife’s expectations, though within his financial reality, with a number of comedic scenes along the way that relate to the contemporary Emirati society.
Though Talal Mahmoud wrote this play two years ago, upon the request of the director Marwan Abdulla, the play never made it to light before due to the expensive production costs. This challenge is a continuous challenge faced by the Emirati theatre, as it’s a non-profit theatre and depends mainly on government support, unlike the commercial theatre, which has almost been deserted by the Emirati community since the early 90s of the last century.
The director Marwan Abdulla took it upon his shoulders to convince a number of the Emirati drama stars to join this work for Eid Al Fitr. The struggle in convincing them wasn’t to accept the roles, but to accept that the only income they would get will be a share of whatever ticket sales the play would make, as opposed to the norm in the regional theatre to be a fixed starting rate aside of the ticket sales percentage. This isn’t the first time Marwan had to follow this path in theatre production, as he believes that even in the lack of financial support, the Emirati artist must create their own opportunities.
The Emirati star Badriya Ahmad stated: “despite my long years in the Khaleeji TV drama, I still came back to the theatre, because I am a daughter of the theatre after all. As per my collaboration with Marwan, I consider it my responsibility and duty as an established Emirati artist to stand by the passionate theatrical Emirati youth.” It’s worth noting that Marwan is a well-known actor and theatrical, he received a number of awards across the Arab region in recognition of his acting and direction skills in both TV and theatre works.
The play will be running on the Cultural and Scientific Association theatre in Al Memzer, on the second and third days of Eid Al Fitr: the 7th and 8th of July at 9 PM. Tickets are available at the Association, and bookings can be made via telephone on these numbers: 0558818115 & 0508883860. Instagram account of the play is @3ers_alethnain. Should the play receive a large demand, the planned play days will be extended.
Written by Ibrahim Ustadi, a media personality, radio anchor, and theatre actor.
The Dubai Folklore Theatre is the first Emirati theatre owning a stage since 1977, and it used to be under the Dubai Folk Arts Association. Al Ahli Dubai Theatre is owned by Al Ahli sports club in Dubai, it’s one of the theatres that introduced many artists to the Khaleeji drama, and it’s one of the theatres that specialized in the elite theatre for years.