“Hammam Laâyalate” previewed Monday in Rabat

Other representations in view depending on the health situation

After a preview, Monday in Rabat, the play “Hammam Laâyalate” (women’s bath), directed by Latefa Ahrrare, other performances are planned for a later date. “We should start with nearby towns like Casablanca and Kénitra. We will also have another representation in Rabat. However, it is difficult to continue programming in other cities that we will be announcing. It will depend on the epidemiological situation. For the time being, we have not yet set dates. I hope that the theaters will not be at a standstill yet ”, specifies the actress Fatima Boujou who participates in this work alongside Saadia Ladib, Khouloud Betioui, Nora Koraichi, Sakina Lafdaili and Majda Zabbita. This work, presented by the “Tokos art” troupe in partnership with the Mohammed V Theater, is designed according to an idea by the artists Khouloud Betioui and Anas El Akel. It tells the story of women, from different societal backgrounds, who meet in a hammam (Moorish bath), in a period of health crisis due to the coronavirus. The opportunity for them to chat and disclose the suffering and the psychological and economic pressures they have suffered. In the plot, this play puts the spotlight on the open wounds of society during this pandemic.

In this regard, Latefa Ahrrare indicates: “The hammam, this true place of purification of the body and the soul, is also the place of all the meetings. Where men, separated from women, talk about their lives, introduce their children and make friends there. Our show is a place where women meet, bodies, stories of happiness and setbacks ”. For her, each of the six women has her own social space, her own experience and are all in confrontation, in symbiosis and sometimes in compassion towards each other. “When my colleagues, the actresses, called on me as a director, to put on a show together, I immediately responded because directing women dealing with a subject of women is a desire that ‘has always accompanied especially that the theme speaks of the condition of women through women, ”she says. In his view, it is an issue which supposes maturity and abnegation without falling into either the victimization of women or the demonization of men.

“I suggested to actresses, as usual in all my creations, to work on the basis of improvisation of course directed towards the construction of well-defined characters and in space and time while respecting the experience and the lexicon of each of the women working or coming to the spa, ”she adds. And that’s not all ! The director does not fail to recall having appealed to two women, Aziza and Jamaa (gummers of the Hammam Marassa in Rabat) who came to share through their testimony of women and workers suffering from the closure of hammams because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Better still, the playwright took the actresses to a truthful place, that is to say a hammam or swimming pool “where their bodies touched, saw and listened to the sounds of water, of damp walls”. “This step allowed us to refine the text and the features of each character then to clarify the intentions and relationships of each other,” she continues. As for the last stage of its staging, it introduced stylized dance tables. An approach which, for her, “draws its inspiration from our Moroccan oral heritage”. What to make more the interest of the work.

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