|Areas of Focus:|
|Address:||Hadeket al-azbakia, from Midan Opera, downtown|
|Date of Establishment:||1959|
Mon - Wed: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm & Fri - Sun: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Al-Arayes Theater is the biggest Puppet Theater in the Arab world and was established in 1959.
This theatre, normally utilized for puppet shows and local productions of prose works, is tucked away on the fringes of what is presently a huge construction site (new metro line) in Ataba Square. The venue has a rather big stage and an audience capacity of roughly three hundred spectators lodged in sufficiently comfortable chairs.
The theatre bulding proper is in an enclosed courtyard where you will find an open air cafe (downtown style: tea, turkish coffee and soft drinks, forget about eating there). One of the two entrances to the courtyard is facing the famous second-hand Ataba book market; a pleasant stroll if you have some time to spare before or after the performance.
Directions: In Downtown Opera Square (seat of the former opera, nothing to do with the present day Zamalek opera), walk on the pavement along the fence of the gardens, direction Khan el Khalili (east). Just past the entrance of a mosque, you'll find on your left a big building under renovation. This is the National Theatre. The building sits on a corner. Do not cross the big road ahead of you (El Bosta st.) but keep walking on your left along the building. After about 100 mt. you'll find a small alley on your left (and a covered bus terminal in front of you). Take this alley and walk about 200 mt. until you do not see on your left side big neon signs advertising the latest productions above the entrance to the courtyard of Al-Arayes. As a further landmark, I can add that the Egypt Post building towers just in front of you.