Love, particularly first love, can be a form of liberation, but what happens when it blooms in times of darkness and repression? Can it still find the light? That’s one of the questions at the heart of this prize-winning play set in Egypt, which gets its premiere courtesy of Paines Plough. Its author, known only as Ahlam, has chosen to remain anonymous for their own safety. It tells the story of six young people growing up in the wake of the Arab Spring, whose lives and early experiences have been shaped by political and social upheaval. But what does that do to personal relationships, and what happens when elation when political change seems within grasp turns to despair when it fails to blossom?
This story is about a city. A city of exhaust fumes, drunken phone calls, first kisses, hysteria, sweat and laughter. Cairo. Coming of age in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, six young Egyptians navigate friendship, loss and secret Grindr dates in the city that made them. Winner of The Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2020, YOU BURY ME is an explosive, political debut from Ahlam about a generation emerging from a national trauma, determined to live and love freely. “Only Cairo, eh? Only Cairo will push you to your absolute limits and then suddenly… you’re in love. You’re in love and you’re entangled and stuck. How does this city do that?”