While groups from all over the world are performing amazing shows, new friends are made and the sun is heavily shining, the Cairo theatre festival is in grief. A few weeks ago forty-four people, primarily actors, directors and critics, were killed in a horrible fire in the Beni Sueif Theatre in Egypt. This event has, of course, a big influence on this year’s festival. I have no problems being involved into this collective mourning, because I know so well what it is to loose your loved ones. Compared to the way of working in Holland there are hardly any safety regulations here. Up till now I always thought this lack of regulations is heaven.

As jury members we don’t see all performances, only those that are selected for the contest. Every night we see three or four shows. Ahmad (photo right)drives us hither and thither through the city, from small theatres to the huge opera building, and Heba (photo left), my interpreter, whispers all translations in my ear. The meetings with the jury members are an event on its own; all those languages, interpreters, ideas and different characters… I’m not allowed to tell anything about it yet but when you realise we come from Argentina, Japan, Italy, Iraq, Germany, Russia, Egypt, France, China, USA and Holland, you can imagine that when I finally fall in my bed late at night I’m exhausted…

And some new chairs from the heaven of garden chairs.