Rashidi’s ‘The Name’ at Iranshahr Theatre
Art And Culture

Rashidi’s ‘The Name’ at Iranshahr Theatre

The French play ‘Le Prenom’ (literally, the name) directed by Leili Rashidi, theater and film actress, is underway at Iranshahr theatre hall.
The play, co-written by Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre de la Patelliere, French directors and playwrights, tells the story of Vincent, a real estate agent and father-to-be who is invited to dinner by his sister Elisabeth and brother-in-law Pierre. When Vincent says he intends to have his son baptized as ‘Adolphe’, his hosts object. The situation eventually gets out of hand, 7Sobh Daily reports.
The comedy film ‘What’s in a Name?’ directed by the same authors, was adapted from the play in 2012. The film was a box office success in France, selling 3.3 million tickets.
The film had five nominations at the 38th Cesar Awards, winning in the categories Best Supporting Actress (Valérie Benguigui) and Best Supporting Actor (Guillaume de Tonquede).
It also won two awards at film festivals in Canada: the Grand Prix Hydro-Quebec at the Festival du cinema international en Abitibi-Temiscamingue, and the Radio Canada Audience Award at the Cinefranco International Francophone Film Festival in Toronto.
The show is the first by Rashidi as director.
“I chose to work on ‘Le Prenom’, because it was sweet and intimate. Additionally, it hasn’t been translated into Persian; therefore I planned its presentation.”
Rashidi has not departed from the original text “except for the narrator’s (Vincent) dialogues, which were shortened.” The thought of omitting parts never occurred to her because if she had done that, “a gross gap would have appeared.”
The story has a starting and ending monologue that might seem unnecessary. However, she said they are inseparable parts of the show, having auditory and visual importance. “The first monologue introduces the setting of the story, in search of the house address after passing several streets.”
On the whole, the play depicts a realistic story in a realistic setting, with boring or even silent moments that happen frequently in reality. The decor includes ordinary interior furniture placed in a small room built on the stage.
To draw the audience into the story, the seating is arranged close to the stage “to show reality within a real scene,” she added.
The cast includes Mohammad Hossein Majooni, Dariush Movaffagh, Abbas Jamali, Sara Afshar and Rashidi in the role of Elisabeth, though she preferred Leila Hatami, renowned Iranian actress in the role, she said. But Hatami’s busy schedules made it impossible.
The show will run through July 31.

Leili Rashidi, 42, born in Tehran, is the daughter of acclaimed actor and director Davood Rashidi and was cast in the main role in the popular Iranian TV series, ‘Ta-be-Ta’ stories in the 1990s.
She has acted in theatre shows ‘Metamorphosis’, written and directed by Nasir Malekijoo (2014), David Almond’s ‘Skellig and Kit’s Wilderness’ directed by Mohammad Aghebati (2012) and movies ‘Shirin’ in 2008, ‘Top of the Tower’ in 2005 and ‘The Homeless’ in 2004.


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