Media Type:



Laila Soliman - No Time for Art (A Salute to the Martyrs and the Living)


Interactive theatre play


Excerpts from Laila Soliman's interactive theatre performance 'No Time for Art'. The play, performed in June 2011, tells stories of the uprising and military and police violence in a minimalist style.
The play is an example of the 'documentary form' of theatre that emerged in post-25 January 2011 Egypt. This form of theatre not only documented the revolutionary struggle but was also a means of extending the struggle through its interactive mode.


Laila Soliman


Aida Elkashef published via

Date Published

Related Resources

    Nesreen Hussein (2015) Gestures of Resistance between the Street and the Theatre: Documentary Theatre in Egypt and Laila Soliman’s No Time for Art,  
  • Contemporary Theatre Review, 25:3, 357-370.



Date Created



Laila Soliman, “Laila Soliman - No Time for Art (A Salute to the Martyrs and the Living),” Politics, Popular Culture and the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, accessed July 21, 2024,

Output Formats


Laila Soliman.jpg


Audience and performers singing section of the Egyptian national anthem
Male Performer 1: “I call for the trial of those responsible for the death of martyr Mohamed Ahmed Mahmoud El-Zeiny, 25 years of age, who was killed as a result of a gunshot wound to the back of the head in Qalubiya, 29 January 2011”
Text: “A Salute to the Martyrs and the Living”
Female performer 1: “I call for the trial of those responsible for the death of martyr Ashraf Nur el-Din Mohamed Abdel-Razek, 35 years of age, as a result of gunshot wound, 28 January 2011”
Female performer 2: “I call for the trial of those responsible for the death of martyr Mohamed Sayed Mohamed, 18 years of age, killed as a result of gunshot wounds in Suez, 28 January”
Different voices merge
Voice of newsreader: “Citizens have indicated their full trust in the police officers and their ability to do their duties within the framework of legitimacy and the rule of law. They also called for a good treatement so that the relationship between the police and citizens can be based on mututal respect”
Voice of male performer 2: “I’ll start from 5pm, on Wednesday, 9th March 2011…”
Voice of Female perfomer 3: “…When we left the Hamidiya café in Bab El-Louq”
Male performer 2: “I made friends with Loubna Essam after a meeting with some friends of ours…”
Female performer 2: “By coincidence, there was talk around prisons in Egypt and the conditions in them”
Female performer 4: “You see God’s wisdom, when he tries to show you something?”
Female performer 3: “We got onto Street [unclear], and just before we reached Bar Maged, we heard a loud noise behind us…”
Male performer 2: “…we looked and saw the army and the people”
Female performer 3: “we saw thugs chasing after people”
Male performer 2: “we looked and saw the army and the people running towards the Square”
Female performer 3: “we looked again and saw people returning with tents”
Male performer 2: “there was a lot of hustle and bustle and people running and some kids yelling ‘the people and the army are one hand’”
Female performer 3: “The thugs were carrying large sticks and they were catching the people in the Square”
Male performer 2: “Loubna [unclear]…and this was the first time she got this scared”
Female performer 4: “After about an hour, a phone rang, the voice said ‘they ran off! The helicopters came and started shooting at them! A lot of people are dying! God save us!’ then the line went off again”
Male performer 2: “I went to the Square again and reached the Egyptian Museum and saw something strange: the army officers were arresting anyone that was filming”
Female performer 3: “and anyone who looks decent!”
Male performer 2: “and anyone who doesn’t say: ‘round them up those sons of bitches that are ruining the country’”
Female performers 3 & 4, repeating: “The people want the Square to be cleared!”
Male performer 2: “Round up those sons of bitches!”
Female performer 4: “Black comedy. A helicopter flew up above us, opened fire above our heads. I saw friends and colleagues falling dead around me. I ran off with a group of around 15 all together. After around a kilometre we found a small building under construction, four pillars and a roof. We hid there, by then we were only 6. The rest fell, injured, dead, I don’t know”
Male performer 2: “’Lie down you son of whore!’ And then he tied my hands behind me. And he tied something pointless around my eyes, I could see everything through it. He dragged me to a place and I was so sure I was going to die there. It was basically lots of bodies lying around on the floor”
Female performer 4: “Lots of bodies lying around on the floor”
Voices merge


3m 29s


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