Art And Culture

Avignon Festival Stages Koohestani's 'Hearing'

Avignon Festival Stages Koohestani's 'Hearing'Avignon Festival Stages Koohestani's 'Hearing'

The Iranian play 'Hearing' written and directed by Amir Reza Koohestani was staged in the competition section of the Avignon Festival in France.

The 70th edition of the festival which concluded on July 24, had 63 shows in 289 performances at 39 venues where 'Hearing' stage five performances and was welcomed by the critics and audiences, Honaronline reported.

There have been other Iranian plays on the sidelines of the festival but 'Hearing' was the first production from Iran which was accepted for competition. Although it was represented in Farsi, it was accompanied with French and English surtitles (a caption projected on a screen above the stage, translating the dialogues) for the foreign audience.

The 70-minute play is about two university students at a girl's dormitory in Tehran who have to answer questions from the security staff after it was reported that a man’s voice and laughter was heard in their room on New Year’s Eve. But nobody saw the man.

Breaking away from the naturalistic style, Koohestani has used a poetic style to explore the everyday life of characters caught up in the turmoil of their environment.

A production of Mehr Theater Group co-produced by La Batie-Festival de Geneve and BOZAR, Center for Fine Arts Brussels, ‘Hearing’ was written at a time when Koohestani was residing at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, a foundation in Stuttgart which provides residency fellowships for young gifted artists (October 2014-March 2015).

The play had a successful performance in Iran last year and was recently staged at the Festival of International New Drama (FIND) in Germany in April.

Avignon Festival is an annual art event held in the French city of Avignon every summer in July. Founded in 1947, it is the oldest extant festival in France.