By Tamjid Alkohali
For 19 days in January, Yemeni actor Saddam Mohammed al-Edlah participated with a puppet in a play named “The Hole” in the Hanager Center for the Arts at the Egyptian Opera House. Al-Edlah said that he designed the puppet to fit with the performance and the show, showcasing dancing, fighting, and brawling.
He added that the play addressed poverty and corruption that is present in many countries, including Yemen. “The play showed the suffering of people who are from the middle class and their conflict with physical and societal factors as well as the government and the corruption which exists in it.”
Currently, al-Edlah lives in Cairo and receives training at the Cairo Puppet Theater, which is considered the first specialized center in the Arab world and the African continent in the art of porcelain dolls.
Al-Edlah is also offering some of his own puppetry workshops for children in Cairo. “My performances in Cairo will reflect positively through interacting with the community, the government and those around me or will reflect negatively as a result of the absence of the government,” al-Edlah said.
Al-Edlah confirmed that he would back in Yemen to work on the development of a puppet theater in his homeland.
Al-Edlah is the manager of the Thraa Puppet Theater and the Yemeni representative at the International Union for Puppet Theater.
He established the Thraa Foundation in 2012, which has organized nine training sessions for employees with children and six programs for children as well as theater performances specializing in dolls and puppet theater using traditional and advanced techniques.