Blind Runner


  • 27.04 > 29.04.2023

A man wro­te on his Instagram account that he and his wife, who is cur­rent­ly in jail as a poli­ti­cal priso­ner, pro­mi­sed each other to run each night on either side of the prison’s wall. In the months befo­re her arrest, they had been trai­ning to run as part of a plan to lea­ve Iran and reach England. They pre­pa­red to cover the 27 km stretch of the Channel Tunnel at the only pos­si­ble moment, the five hours bet­ween the last train of the night and the first one of the mor­ning. But when his wife was arre­sted a week befo­re their depar­tu­re, this trai­ning for a new life was interrupted. 

Amir Reza Koohestani uses the sto­ry of their long-dis­tan­ce trai­ning on both sides of the wall as a star­ting point to reflect on con­tem­po­ra­ry Iranian soci­e­ty. It’s a run that con­ti­nues des­pi­te eve­ry­thing. We see a woman and a man on sta­ge. In a pre­ci­se inter­loc­king mecha­nism, their bre­a­thless dia­lo­gues inter­sect with their inte­ri­or mono­lo­gues whe­re clas­si­cal Persian poe­try echoes all pos­si­ble trans­ac­ti­ons in the dark­ness of a night. 

Koohestani has fami­li­a­ri­sed past fes­ti­val audien­ces with his powerful and poe­tic per­for­man­ces. With this pro­ject – rehear­sed with his com­pa­ny in Tehran over the past months, and pre­mie­ring now at the fes­ti­val – he pier­ces the dark­ness with a dia­lo­gue on his country’s present.

© Yasi Moradi

Text and direc­ti­on: Amir Reza Koohestani | Dramaturgy: Samaneh Ahmadian | Director’s assis­tant: Dariush Faezi | Lights and sce­no­grap­hy: Éric Soyer | Video: Yasi Moradi, Benjamin Krieg | Music: Phillip Hohenwarter, Matthias Peyker | Costume design: Negar Nobakht Foghani | Performers: Ainaz Azarhoush, Mohammad Reza Hosseinzadeh | French and English trans­la­ti­ons and sur­tit­les adapta­ti­on: Massoumeh Lahidji | Dutch trans­la­ti­on: Werkhuis / Erik Borgman | Surtitles ope­ra­tor: Negar Nobakht Foghani | Production, admi­ni­stra­ti­on and dif­fu­si­on: Pierre Reis / Bureau Formart | Logistics and com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on assis­tant: Yuka Dupleix / Bureau Formart
Production: Mehr Theatre Group | Coproduction: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Berliner Festspiele, Athens Epidaurus Festival, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Théâtre de la Bastille, La rose des vents – scè­ne nati­o­na­le Lille Métropole, La Vignette — scè­ne con­ven­ti­on­née Paul-Valéry Montpellier, Théâtre popu­lai­re romand – Centre neuchâ­te­lois des arts vivants, Triennale Milano Teatro, Festival del­le Colline Torinesi/​Fondazione TPE I Residencies: Théâtre popu­lai­re romand – Centre neuchâ­te­lois des arts vivants, KWP Kunstenwerkplaats, Théâtre Les Tanneurs I With the sup­port of Ministry of Culture – Regional Directorate for Culture in Île-de-France and the French Institut