Cinema Ethiopia


"Ergum Hawarya"


The theatrical performance I attended at UDC's auditorium in Washington, D.C. yesterday evening (Sunday, July 15, 2007) was simply outstanding.  The contradiction of the title itself is no match to the "ergum" and "hawarya" natures of the human species as they are fantastically depicted in the play.  The play is filled with intense moments that take the audience to incredible highs and lows.  It is also filled with humors, wits, and sarcasms that make one roll with laughter.  The eight-member cast members gave the best performance of the highest quality giving each character an irresistible appeal. 
The multi-talented and highly-gifted Tekle Desta wrote the script for the play based on the work of Shambel Fekade Yohannes.  I can only say what a script!  Tekle Desta has managed to create an original Shakespearean-style stage play that can be placed among the great plays that Poet Laureate Tsegaye Gebremedhin wrote.  Poet/Journalist/Artist Temesgen Afework gave his usual best performance.  The rivalry and debates between Yoftahe (played by Temesgen Afework) and Petros (Tekle Desta) and the chemistry between the two are tremendously enjoyable.  As I watched the play I could not help but compare the Petros character with the sinister Iago in Othello.  Petros, of course, carries a grander mission than the destructive Iago. 
Along with Artists Tekle and Temesgen, cast members Ayalkbet Teshome, Abebayehu Taddesse, Wossen Asfaw, Tigest Nigatu, Fikru Teshome, and Robel Tekle gave an unforgettable performance.  What a remarkable group of actors!  
"Ergum Hawarya" is filled with wits and suspense that give each monologue and dialogue eloquence and depth.  The play graphically and effectively illustrates the darkest sides of the human soul and the length men travel either to quench their thirst for greed or, on the other hand, to see justice done.  The social commentaries in the play are very powerful indeed. 
If you have the opportunity to see the play, be prepared to laugh, to cry, to inquire, and to think.  I hope the play will be shown again in successive weeks, not only in the DC area but around the States.  If there is the opportunity to do so, I am definitely going to see it again.  Here is my only suggestion:  I hope the next performance will begin at a "reasonably late" time.  
Temesgen, please extend my sincere admiration and appreciation to Artist Tekle Desta and to all the talented cast members of Ergum Hawarya.
Tewodros Abebe
Springfield, VA  
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