Stefan Kaegi/ Rimini Protokoll: RADIO MUEZZIN
Muezzins are special people. They are those mysterious voices calling the faithful to prayer, echoing from the minarets of mosques across Muslim countries five times a day.
Muezzins called out for worshippers to pray from the top of minarets until the 1950s and were often blind so that they could not peep over their neighbours’ fences. For quite some time now the azan, the call to prayer, has been performed simply in the mosque with a microphone in hand, while the chant itself echoes from loudspeakers.
There are approximately 30,000 mosques in Cairo with singing muezzins, who are mostly employed by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Since they normally also perform the duties of mosque caretakers and thus spend their nights at the mosque, they do not get the chance to see their families much.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs has made a decision that from next year on the chanted call to prayer will be performed by a single muezzin only and his voice simultaneously broadcasted from all the minarets of state–owned mosques over a radio signal.
The performance entitled Radio Muezzin features four Egyptian muezzins telling their life stories and thereby presenting their own views on the forthcoming changes and the related personal fears accompanying these changes.
Director Stefan Kaegi is one of the most progressive theatre directors in Europe and will be presented at The Mladi Levi Festival for the third time already. His documentary-artistic approach allows him to reveal the big pitfalls of globalism through small real-life stories. Every single one of his performances spreads out new worlds in front of the audience, while Kaegi’s subtle critical touch never fails to address important political, ethical, and cultural questions. Stefan Kaegi was awarded the prestigious Princess Margriet
Routes Award from the European Cultural Foundation this year for his work.
With: Abdelmoty Abdelsamia Ali Hindawy, Hussein Gouda Hussein Bdawy, Mansour Abdelsalam Mansour Namous, Mohamed Ali Mahmoud Farag, Sayed Abdellatif Mohamed Hammad
Concept & direction: Stefan Kaegi (Rimini Protokoll)
Composition & sound design: Mahmoud Refat
Video design: Bruno Deville, Shady George Fakhry
Dramaturgy: Laila Soliman
Stage design: Mohamed Shoukry
Light Design: Sven Nichterlein, Saad Samir Hassan
Director’s Assistance, Performance: Dia’Deen Helmy Hamed
Technical direction: Sven Nichterlein, Saad Samir Hassan (Cairo)
Video operator: Bodo Gottschalk
Production management: Juliane Männel, Lana Mustaqh
Production Assistant: Katinka Vahle
Touring support: Samah Samir, Ghada El-Sherbiny, Mohamed Mostafa
Translation & subtitles: Ebtihal Shedid, Ahmed Said
Thanks to: Mohamed Sleiman, Sakina Abushi, Neuköllner Begegnungsstätte Berlin e.V., Doa Aly, Khaled Samy, Ahmed El Attar, Mourad Sadek, Heba Afifi
Produced by: HAU Berlin in Goethe-Institute Egypt
In Co-production with: Festival d’Avignon, Bonlieu Scène nationale Annecy, Festival d’Athènes et Épidaure, steirischer herbst festival, Graz and Zürcher Theater Spektakel
Funded by: German Federal Cultural Foundation, Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and Department of the Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs
In cooperation with: El Sawy Culturewheel Cairo
Performance is in Arabic with English subtitles.