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Saturday, May 25, 2013

My article about Josyane Boulos's "3aj2et seyr" in Now Lebanon.

Arabic version link:

3aja2et 3a Monot!
« 3aj2et Seyr » a play by Josyane Boulos

It’s with a lot of enthusiasm and curiosity that we prepared our selves for Josyane Boulos’s new play « 3aj2et Seyr » at Monot Theatre directed by Clément Vieu.
We must admit that her topic is a winner one: Traffic jam in Lebanon.
Based on her writings in the previous years in Femme magazine, intituled “Carton rouge”, the play is about two women in a car. Yasmina is forty and Lisa twenty. They barely know each other, but while stuck in traffic, Yasmina will discover through Lisa, the truth about her boyfriend, Chady.
The play is a satirical Lebanese comedy similar to a road movie in the wild streets of Beirut. It could have been a stand up comedy but Josyane Boulos says she feels much more at ease writing dialogues.
Who wouldn’t want to actually laugh about the tragedy we survive every day? Doing otherwise would be too tough. We live in a third world country that is not moving forward, on the contrary. Aggressiveness, hate, lack of respect, impatience, misogyny and frustration…it’s like war has never ended.
The play shows in fact that we criticize the others at a time where we do the exact same mistakes and that is, the most important message of the play.
It’s one hour long, it could have been a little longer since we felt the initial topic was not treated deeply enough. More situations could have been added like the phenomenon of half naked and furry bottoms on motorbikes and others unbearable situations. But the play is not only about traffic. It’s also about jealousy, the conflict between generations, and love, all ending on a positive note.
On Thursdays and Sundays the lucky francophone can enjoy the French under titles.
The play is entertaining but the actresses are slightly over acting. The part where the “Darak” appears is hilarious. Actually, all the intrusions of the different men character are funny. Tino Karam is good at performing them. We tend to believe he is someone else each time he appears in a different outfit and personality.
The scenography is fair, the set design is simple with some witty ideas and funny tricks like the projection of real traffic jam matching the text. But then again, we would have liked to see more of that in the second half of the play as well as some sound ambiance of the packed streets. We felt the play was too quiet in the background for such a messy environment.
Finally, we heard that Josyane Boulos might have plans to take this project to a higher lever. We do hope she does and we wish her good luck as we wait impatiently to be surprised again!

Deborah Phares

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