Art And Culture

Garcia Marquez’s Play on Stage

Garcia Marquez’s Play on StageGarcia Marquez’s Play on Stage

Theater director Farzad Amini is staging ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’, a novel by Nobel Prize-winning Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez at Iranshahr Theatre Hall.

The book was first published in Spanish in 1985. Alfred A. Knopf published an English translation in 1988, and an English-language movie adaptation was released in 2007.

On his motivation to work on the story, Amini said: “Love is a highly challenging subject in the rich Iranian cultural history, which is replete with folklores, myths, heroes and poetry collections, all focusing on love.” Passion is not something internal and personal, but is a cultural and historical concept, Honaronline reported.

The hero in the play feels “a deep sorrow of burning love, creating a romantic theme, different from the concept of love in the Iranian version,” he added.

The book is based on the life of two couples. The young love of Fermina Daza and Florentino Ariza is based on the love affair of Garcia Marquez’s parents. However, as Marquez explains in an interview: “The only difference is my parents got married. And as soon as they were married, they were no longer interesting as literary figures.”

The other story is based on a newspaper story about the death of two Americans, almost 80 years old, who met every year in Acapulco. They were out in a boat one day and were murdered by the boatman with his oars. “Through their death, the story of their secret romance became known. They were each married to other people,” Marquez notes.

His main notion is that lovesickness is literally an illness, a disease comparable to cholera. The term cholera used in Spanish as ‘colera’, can also denote passion or human rage and ire in its feminine form. Considering this meaning, the title is a pun: cholera as the disease and cholera as passion, which raises the central question of the book: is love helped or hindered by extreme passion?

The play’s script was written after reviewing all Persian translations of the novel. Amini said the performance is not an interpretation or adaptation of the original play, adding: “I observed fidelity in marriage and preserved the narration of the story and characterization.”

He said the play would be performed in an expressionist ambiance inspired by Berthold Friedrich Brecht’s theoretical teachings.

“Regarding the dramaturgy, the play features Marquez’s literary style labeled ‘magic realism’, which uses magical elements and events in otherwise ordinary and realistic situations.”

The play will be staged through July 30.

Born in 1977, Amini holds a BA degree in theatre from Islamic Azad University of Arak. He also has a masters degree in western philosophy from Islamic Azad University of Tehran, and is now is a Ph.D. student in philosophy at Darmstadt University of Germany.