Ruud Gielens, Rachid Benzine & Hiam Abbass [BE/MA/FR/IL]
In the Eyes of Heaven
24.03 – 25.03.2016
To possess, not to love
To look into the eyes of heaven is to look in the eyes of a woman who you would pay to possess for a few minutes or a few hours in the privacy of a room, away from the gaze of strangers, but rarely to love. A woman who in this world is immersed in the immense loneliness left behind by a fate that pursued her far too early and far too violently, and from which she wants to protect her own daughter.
It is her words that she directs at the powerless heavens, sometimes whispering, sometimes howling. Words that express the secrets, the fury and the disillusionment of a woman who has already been battered by life and who suddenly, at the start of the Arab spring, sees her fragile hope of a new life collapse along with the regime. In this period of waiting, between a yesterday that is lost and a tomorrow that’s a long time coming, she sits, at once unyielding, funny and fragile, amid the bustle of an Arab street populated by the shadows of wanderers and of the dying.
• The French Islamic scholar Rachid Benzine is the author of Les nouveaux penseurs de l’islam (2004) and Le Coran expliqué aux jeunes (2013). With In the Eyes of Heaven he wrote a theatre text on the position of women in the Maghreb and Mashreq. Film actress Hiam Abbass (Paradise Now, Lemon Tree, Munich) performs. The stage director Ruud Gielens (Union Suspecte, Kaaitheater, KVS) – who has lived in Cairo since 2009 – directs the piece.
text Rachid Benzine | with Hiam Abbass | directed by Ruud Gielens | translation Hiam Abbass, Ruud Gielens, Laila Soliman | dramaturgy Laila Soliman | lights Ruud Gielens | costumes Laila Soliman | language consultant Jay Bernard | many thanks to H Howitt, Esther Severi | production Kaaitheater & Moussem | co-production C-Mine cultuurcentrum Genk