In these pages you will hopefully find interesting tips on how to take advantage of Cairo's many cultural opportunities, with particular attention to live events. Cairo Live Events Guide does not pretend to be exhaustive but will try to cover main events open to the public.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Al-Arayes Theatre

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.

I would forget about even thinking of finding a parking spot there. If you go with your car, the best thing to do is to leave it in the big multistorey parking building in Ataba square (sitting just between the mouths of the two dowtown tunnels). Never did it myself so cannot tell you how safe it is or what are the opening times (though I guess it is open 24/24).
I strongly suggest you take a taxi to Opera square and walk from there, or the Metro (station Ataba on the Shubra-Muneeb line).

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