The Drama Theater at Katara (The Cultural Village) hosted a discussion session on The Puppeteer, a play by the Doha Theater Company performed at the 34th Doha Theater Festival. The session, which was held the other day, was moderated by Abdul Rahman Al-Mansouri and attended by director Falih Al-Fayiz.
Jalila Al-Fahdiya, Director of the Omani Theater Administration, offered an analysis of the script. She commented that “The overall theme of the play is outstanding, and the playwrite has a unique way of addressing such controversial topics.” She noted that the character of Khalil stirred up feelings of patriotism, but perhaps the calm attitude between him and his wife, Al-Reem, was unrealistic, especially in their isolation during the war. Al-Fahdiya also discussed the symbolism of the puppets hanging on the house walls, which represent the married couple’s shared memories, and the red lights that stand for imminent danger. She concluded her remarks by lauding the actors for their effective performance and clear enunciation.
Several artists and critics who attended the play participated in the discussion. For example, Kuwait journalist Mufrih Al-Shammari commented, “Today, I watched a performance with an honest conversation between a married couple conveying the true meaning of patriotism. As for the calm attitude Al-Fahdiya talked about, I see it as a natural outcome of continuous conflict and war.” He thanked the Doha Theater Company and director Falih Al-Fayiz for the performance.
Actor Ali Mirza Mahmoud added that the absence of mobility on the stage and the limited use of scenography and sound effects made it difficult for the actors to do their best. He noted that some directors are taking an easy approach toward directing, and he emphasized that the actors’ performance was outstanding.
Actor Saad Bourashid focused on the actors’ performance, as he said, “The performance was professional, especially the stellar performance of Hanan Sadiq. Falih Al-Fayiz is, of course, a star, and I have learned a lot from him.” Actor Salim Majid added that the performance was quite creative and he congratulated Falih Al-Fayiz on his resounding success.
Scenographer Abdullah Dasmal Al-Kuwwari explained that the two main characters moved in a very limited space on purpose because space was used to reflect their feelings. The play is about a happily married couple whose lives change when war breaks out. The wife urges her husband, who is a puppet maker, to move away from the conflict zone, but he insists on remaining in their hometown with his puppets, whom he considers the children he never had.