Using previously unexploited sources, Philip Sadgrove provides a comprehensive account of the early history of theatre in Egypt, from the time of the French expeditionary force led by Napoleon in 1798, to the British occupation in 1882. His study — now available in paperback — looks at traditional forms of indigenous Arabic drama, the rise of European theatre in Egypt, the first abortive attempts to create a modern Arabic theatre in the early 1870s, and the project for a National Theatre.
Finally, the book tells the story of the émigré Syrian troupes which were to play a decisive part in establishing a modern theatrical tradition. The author also sheds new light on the role of the dramatist and nationalist James Sanua and other lesser-known Egyptian pioneers of the theatre.
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