- 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