Khaled El-Sawy, the star of the show (right)
“It allows people to exercise a kind of hour of hate, or whatever George Orwell called it,” said Nehad Selaiha, a drama critic for Egypt’s main newspaper, Al Ahram. “It’s just a piece of political cabaret which is shallow and one-sided; it sort of panders to the feeling of political frustration.”
Some critics were especially disparaging of what appears to be a salute to suicide bombers in the middle of the play. While General Fox is giving a news conference, parrying questions about American casualties in Iraq by pretending that he cannot hear, a fanatic tries to kill him.
The huge television screen used as the backdrop then lights up with a videotaped suicide note from the would-be assassin preaching jihad. The scene never fails to draw big applause.
Mr. Sawy (writer, director and star of the play) defends the scene, noting that the attack occurs when there are only American military men on stage, not civilians.