Engaging comedy from Egypt! 7 Days, a guest Fringe review by Alan Kellogg

7 Days at Edmonton Fringe 2019. Photo supplied

7 Days (Venue 36, La Cité Auditorium)

By Alan Kellogg

Clothes are scattered all over the floor and  two brothers are variously sacked out on a desk and a bed in their modest apartment. The door knocks a few times and finally, after a couple of false starts, a visitor in a nice suit with a large suitcase arrives.

He is the chef. The brothers haven’t a clue why he’s there, along with his much-loved dog. But the chef, with a confident air, seems to know. And then it happens. The canine has made it to kitchen and snarfs down a whack of rat poison, with predictable results.

The chef’s sorrow quickly morphs into anger, and a threat. How to punish these two idiots? Well, he offers the siblings a choice. Either they will fast for seven days in penance and do anything the chef tells them to do or – brandishing a pair of handcuffs – he will turn them into the police.

They pick the former, and then the fun — call it what you will — begins. We enjoy being along for the ride, including the surprise ending, rich in regional irony.

Hailing from Alexandria, Egypt, this engaging trio of Mohamed Breaka Ali Elsaeid, Eslam Awad Mohamed Elnagdy and Eslam Eissa Abdelbaset Essa have staged the play by Aly Abdelnabi Alzaidi in five countries to date and it works just fine here. They combine well-spoken English with Egyptian Arabic, and the combination of the two somehow adds a piquancy and extra comic texture to the proceedings, even if most of us don’t understand half the dialogue. Trust me, these actors have the expressive skills to happily carry us along, regardless.

They’re welcome back anytime.

 

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