Theatrical Days of the City Nawarat El Jardhoun by Salam Boukef and Abdel Monem Chouayet

The second evening of the Theatrical Days of the City, held from March 27 to April 2 in the Theater of Regions at the City of Culture was magnificently decorated by the representation of an extraordinary play, “Nawarat El Jardhoun” regarding the richness of its style which gathered the image, the sound, the dancing in a subtle dramaturgy where staging and decor were more than excellent. The play started with a slow rhythm, an irregular discourse, confined sentences pronounced by the character, Charlie Gordon, hardly present on the stage. A screen behind him was showing his nearly incomprehensible and delirious discourse throughout the play with incomplete and wrong words … The ambiance was hilarious, with a number of obstacles on stage that the character barely could hold and move to evolve. The rhythm accelerated and the confusion of the character too. The storyline of the play was showing slowly a man in a psychological distress, imprisoned in his idiots’ universe where he was imperatively forced to write a daily report on his mental status. Through the character speech, two doctors show off: Dr. Strauss and Dr. Nemur, who were striving to make Charlie, the major character, put under surgery to reinstall the brainpower he had lost. Performed by Abdel Monem Chouayet, the idiot character was becoming a real guinea-pig spending his days with “Algernon”, a laboratory mouse and sharing the same destiny. She was also under surgery for the same objective. A frail ballerina performed the character of the mouse, moving inside the maze, put by the doctors to measure the IQ of both characters. Starting from that moment, the character relives his evil to discover the extent of his ignorance and embark on a frantic race to re-appropriate his spirit that will lead him to normality. But in this race, for social and professional reintegration, Charlie, the idiot, lost his spontaneity and his naivety and also his friends. But the mouse ended up dying and with his death, Charlie’s hope vanished. This adapted play “Flowers for Algernon” by the American Daniel Keyes deals with interpersonal relationships in a standardized society where singularities are doomed to disappear. It is a manifestation of humanism where the will to live triumphs despite all the vicissitudes. An invitation to reflection that ends with a reverence to life, through the metaphor: “Flowers for Algernon”.

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