Art And Culture

'The Nut' on Stage at Performance House

'The Nut' on Stage at Performance House'The Nut' on Stage at Performance House

Over a year has passed since last spring when Mohsen Qassabian, 46, brought his play, 'The Nut' on stage for the first time.

He has now restaged the play "emphasizing the formalistic aspects of his work". The show opened on July 17 at the Performance House of the Theater Department affiliated to the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry, Mehr News Agency reported.

"I believe that in each fresh appearance, a theater performance finds a new identity. The restaging of a play cannot be considered in the same light as the first performance. The course of time, and the change in stage settings and other elements, all leave their mark on the show," Qassabian said.

"A new musician Milad Aryan has replaced Pouya Norouzi. And a new role has been introduced to the work, which is played by Benyamin Sayadi. The new play is now more formalistic," which means greater attention to arrangement, style, or artistic means, he said.

The Nut was written 15 years ago by playwright and script writer Farhad Naqdali. It is based on the story 'The Malefactor' by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) in which Denis Grigoryev a poor peasant is sentenced to prison for unscrewing a nut by which rails are fastened to the sleepers.

"In the play, peasants and villagers have unscrewed the nuts to use them as fishing weights. The Nut tells us of the people who are oppressed due to their cultural and financial constraints," Qassabian said.

"I love working with stage tools and accessories; but The Nut is more focused on characters and their acts. The two leading roles of the play are in fact a pair of clowns who narrate the story in each other's company. They represent both the villagers and state troops."

"Guitar is played live on the stage. I would have liked to include kamancheh (a bowed string instrument), but there was not enough time for its practice," he added.

The Nut humorously criticizes social concepts. Qassabian has created an absurd atmosphere for the play by applying old Iranian techniques of performance. He is also in the cast with Pezhman Abdi and Sayadi. The play starts at 8 pm on all days, except Saturdays, and will run through August 12 at the venue at Ferdowsi Square in Tehran.