News: Casting announced for Ahlam’s You Bury Me

Paines Plough, The Women’s Prize for Playwriting, 45North, The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and the Orange Tree Theatre, in association with Bristol Old Vic announce casting for Ahlam’s play YOU BURY ME which will play in Bristol, Edinburgh and London from the 24th February until 22nd April 2023. 

Ahlam’s YOU BURY ME is a play about sex, friendship and coming of age in post-Arab Spring Cairo and was joint winner of the inaugural Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2020, an award established by Ellie Keel Productions and Paines Plough. 

YOU BURY ME will be performed by a cast of six actors. Nezar Alderazi (Occupational Hazards) will play Rafik; Olivier-award nominated actor Moe Bar-El (The Jungle) will be taking on the role of Tamer; Tarrick Benham will play Osman (New Voices for a New World); Hanna Khogali (Brief Encounter) will play the role of Alia; Eleanor Nawal (Sherlock in Homes) will play Lina and Yasemin Özdemir (Angel) will play Maya.

Directed by Paines Plough’s Joint Artistic Director Katie Posner, the production will open at Bristol Old Vic from 24th Feb to 4th March before moving on to The Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh from 7th to 18th March and running at the Orange Tree Theatre from 27th March to 22nd April, marking the first show in Tom Littler’s first season as Artistic Director at the OT. Tickets are now on sale at all venues.

This story is about a city. A city of exhaust fumes, drunken phone calls, first kisses, hysteria, sweat and laughter. Cairo.

Coming of age in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, six young Egyptians navigate friendship, loss and secret Grindr dates in the city that made them.

Winner of The Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2020, YOU BURY ME is an explosive, political debut from Ahlam about a generation emerging from a national trauma, determined to live and love freely.

“Only Cairo, eh? Only Cairo will push you to your absolute limits and then suddenly… you’re in love. You’re in love and you’re entangled and stuck. How does this city do that?”

Ahlam moved around a lot as a child. She has lived in Germany, Singapore, Kenya, Venezuela, Turkey and the UK. She initially studied theatre in Egypt, where she created work combining elements of classical Greek Theatre and surrealism with contemporary dance, based on her heartbreak. Her interest in text-based theatre was forced upon her in true British tradition, when she was asked to write a reimagining of Indiana Jones to take to the Edinburgh Fringe. Luckily, it turns out she quite likes writing. Ahlam is a dreamer. Ahlam dreams of revolution. Ahlam dreams of the emancipatory power of day-dreaming. Ahlam dreams of big ensemble theatre with giant sets. Ahlam dreams of pistachio-crusted salmon she ate once in Sicily. Ahlam dreams of love. You Bury Me isn’t the first play she’s written and it won’t be her last. 

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