The first creativity.. “Smoke” by Mikhail Roman makes a fuss on stage


Mikhail Roman released his first play Al-Dukhan in 1962. It caused a violent uproar when it was shown on stage. Al-Ahram devoted three critical articles to it. Ahmed Bahgat wrote about it. Louis Awad said in his famous speech, “Something called smoke in the National Theatre.” Kamal Yassin directed it to the theater and performed Starring the artist Abdullah Ghaith and written by Roman at the age of forty.

Then the works of Roman, who was born in 1923 in Cairo and graduated from the Faculty of Science in 1947 before being attracted by translation and theatre, continued. In subjects and not in artistic forms, and due to Roman’s mastery of the English language, he translated many international plays from English for radio and television, and he also began writing short stories and literary articles, but he turned entirely towards playwriting starting in 1959, writing until his early and sudden death 17 A play, some of which were presented by Cairo theaters, and others were published inside and outside Egypt, but the majority of them are still unknown..

The researcher Mustafa Abboud mentions in his book “Anatomy of oppression: A reading in the theater of Michael Roman” that Mikhail Roman is one of the most problematic playwrights in the Arab theater; He faced the social and political reality in the sixties with a sharp stance represented in rebellion, protest and rejection of all practices aimed at confiscating freedom at all levels, and the exercise of all forms of oppression against human beings.

Perhaps what highlights this sharpness and that overwhelming anger in Roman’s attitude towards oppression and tyranny – according to Abboud – is that he views freedom as equivalent to human existence, and by achieving it, human dignity and humanity are achieved..

In most of his plays, Roman focuses on the character of the individual hero who belongs to the middle bourgeoisie, and always represents the figure of the educated man who suffers from all methods of oppression under tyrannical regimes that almost succeeded through their repressive means in canceling his individual identity.

As for linguistic expression, Roman, like most writers of his generation, resorted to the Egyptian colloquial at its various levels, according to the nature and logic of the character.


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