Art And Culture

Beyzai’s ‘The King Snake’ in Joint Production

Beyzai’s ‘The King Snake’ in Joint ProductionBeyzai’s ‘The King Snake’ in Joint Production

Two theatre groups from Iran and Azerbaijan will stage a joint production based on the play ‘The King Snake’ by veteran Iranian theatre artist Bahram Beyzai.

As per a memorandum of understanding signed between an Azerbaijan theatre company and the Iranian Playwrights Association, Iran’s Lankaran troupe will link up with artists from Azerbaijan’s Azer-Dram for the joint theater project, Mehr News Agency quoted theatre director Kheirollah Taqianipour, as saying.

The play will be performed at the 34th Fajr International Theatre Festival (January 21 to February 1, 2016), Taqianipour said at a press conference attended by director general of Art Bureau’s Dramatic Arts Center Mehdi Shafiei, international office director Mehrdad Rayani-Makhsous and FITF Secretary Saeid Asadi.

It is inspired by one of the stories narrated by Beyzai’s grandmother, when he was a child. Written in 1966, the text “is a Pirandellian exercise” (characteristic of the works of Luigi Pirandello, Italian dramatist) reflecting on the duality of existence.”

“We are also planning to perform the show in other Turkish-speaking countries including, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and in the Iranian cities of Tabriz, Ardebil and Astara. In my last trip to Baku, the play was read by the actors during a rehearsal session,” Taqianipour said.  

Another play will also be co-produced by the two countries, thematizing ‘The Day of Ashura’, commemorated by Shi’a Muslims as a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the Battle of Karbala. This will be the first time that a religious play is to be performed in Azerbaijan.

Beyzai, 78, is a critically acclaimed Iranian film and theater director, screenwriter, playwright, film editor, producer and researcher.

By 1961, he had published numerous articles in various arts and literary journals. In 1962, he made his first short film in 8mm format. In the next two years, he wrote several plays and published ‘Theater in Japan’. In 1971, he made his first feature film ‘Downpour’, which to this day remains one of the best Iranian films ever.

One of Beyzai’s books, ‘Drama in Iran’, published in the late 1960s is still considered as the most important text in the history of Iranian theatre. He is also the first scholar in Iran to publish books on theatre in China and Japan.