The Sudanese theater stage is eroding due to censorship and the economic crisis

During the recent period, the role of the Sudanese theater was limited to performances described as weak at different times due to the lack of funding; Censorship also affected the demobilization of the laid-off, as hundreds of them abandoned the profession and turned to alternative professions to face the vicissitudes of life in a country suffering from a severe economic crisis.

Danger of extinction

Playwrights in Sudan fear a greater decline in the theatrical sector, due to the state’s lack of interest in supporting creativity and creators; They point out that theatrical work is in danger unless the state takes care of it.

Actor and dramatist, Mustafa Jar al-Nabi, said in an interview with Sky News Arabia that hundreds of theater and theater workers have left Sudan during the past years. He attributes this to the lack of financial support from the state, especially during the years of the Brotherhood regime. He explains that the Brotherhood leaders during their rule viewed drama and theatrical work as “heretics” because of their intellectual divorcedness, so they neglected it and did not seek to support it financially.

He stressed that this contributed to the displacement of hundreds of demobilized people, some of whom went to other jobs, and many of them took the migration route.

The Prophet’s neighbor stresses that the security control over dramas and the interference of the censors in some works that broadcast messages of awareness, psychologically affected many creators, making them unwilling to produce any works.


Dramatic Musa Baballah did not find a way to continue his theatrical work except to escape from Sudan in the 1990s, when he was forced to emigrate to Europe after his arrest from El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur State at the beginning of Al-Bashir’s rule, for presenting a play that he said criticized the Brotherhood’s control of power.

Baballah explains that since his release and interrogation by al-Bashir’s security apparatus, he left the country for Europe after realizing that Sudan had become an unsuitable place for creativity.

He told Sky News Arabia over the phone from “London” that the disapproval of the rights of intellectuals in general in Sudan and their persecution by the security services is one of the reasons why some refrain from theatre. And he asserts that he preferred emigration in the sense that the Brotherhood regime considered culture and drama as one of its biggest enemies because of the awareness messages it broadcasts that enlighten citizens about their rights. new drama.

neglect of the state

Many dramatists accuse the state of negligence, as they believe that it does not give the dramatists the appropriate attention; Noting that the theater has been marginalized by all the successive governments that ruled the country.

The journalist interested in cultural work, Musab Al-Hadi, told Sky News Arabia that the problem is that culture has not always been a priority in a country that is still looking for solutions to living and economic crises, and has not yet reached the stage of luxury.

Al-Hadi blames the dramatists for their low voice and inability to reflect the problems and crises of the Sudanese theater.

The expected change

After the great transformation in Sudan, following the overthrow of the Brotherhood regime through a popular revolution on April 11, 2019, the theatricalists hope that the state will move towards providing the necessary support for it in order to motivate them to innovate, as theater critic Salah Najmuddin tells Sky News Arabia.

Najm al-Din calls for the rehabilitation of all theaters in the various states of Sudan, including the ancient Omdurman theater, and preparing it to keep pace with the change that prevailed in Sudan.

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