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SceneNoise Select 006: Hamza

'El Leila El Kebira' Operetta Makes a Comeback in Zamalek

The original puppets from everyone's childhood favourite are making a comeback on Saturday, and our inner 12-year-olds are giddy.

Those who grew up in the 60s or 70s probably memorised El Leila El Kebira from hearing it like a million times on the radio, or from seeing it performed live. If you were born in the 80s or 90s, then you were probably mesmerised by the glittery blue backdrop for nearly 40 minutes every time it came on TV, enchanted by the quirky, comical singing and hollering of the puppets. How could you not be in love with the monumental operetta when it was composed by the great Sayyed Mekkawi, lyrics to its songs were by the iconic Salah Jahine, all directed by the brilliant Salah El Sakka? It's as Egyptian as anything could get. Unfortunately, those born in the 2000s likely won't know all about it. It's like VHS and audio cassettes – they'll never quite get it, will they?


Here's the plot twist: El Leila El Kebira is coming – original puppets and all – for a performance in Zamalek!

We're ever so grateful for the people behind The Zamalek Association,who find hidden gems like Massala Garden in the gorgeous neighbourhood, and set up an open-air theatre to immerse us in this much-needed dose of nostalgia and music. Basically, we're grateful that they're allowing us to relive our childhoods. 

At 12 PM on October 22nd, the kids (and the kids at heart, don't worry) get to play and socialise with lots of food and snacks, of course, as well as booths and shops to venture into. We're hoping there'll be a booth that lets you be a puppeteer or make your own puppet – we'll admittedly be equally content with a burger booth. As 5 PM hits, our childhoods come to life again through our beloved puppet friends as the show begins. Since it's a back-to-school event, and Saturday is usually a school night, the magic will come to an end and we'll wave goodbye to the puppets (and hope they notice us) at around 7 PM.

Now we not only want to bring our children, but also bring our parents so we can feel like kids again. Honestly, if there's ever been a great opportunity for cross-generational family bonding, this is it. Seize the moment, everyone. 

Tickets (for you, because kids under 10 get in for free) are available at Urban Toddlers, but we suggest checking out the event page.