Art And Culture

Long Rehearsal for Ali Rafiee’s ‘Kitchen’

Long Rehearsal for Ali Rafiee’s ‘Kitchen’ Long Rehearsal for Ali Rafiee’s ‘Kitchen’

Veteran Iranian theater director Ali Rafiee will stage the play ‘The Kitchen’ in April 2017 at Iranshahr Theater.

Written by the late British dramatist Sir Arnold Wesker, the play will have 38 actors, half of whom will be women. Due to the complexity of the text and the movements, it will take about six to eight months for the performers to rehearse and get ready for staging, Mehr News Agency reported.

‘The Kitchen’ is Wesker’s first work and “one of the 20th century masterpieces,” Rafiee said. “Since I saw the play in London in 1961 and later in Paris in 1967, I have always wanted to stage it. I have planned an Iranian adaptation of the play as well as a western version which I would like to stage alternatively”.

As he said, many critics believe that Wesker was the Shakespeare of modern times as he wrote powerful works of drama, tragedy and even comedy.

Wesker (1932-2016) authored 50 plays, four volumes of short stories, two volumes of essays, a book on journalism and a children’s book. His plays have been translated into 20 languages and performed worldwide.

‘The Kitchen’ (1950) depicts a restaurant kitchen as a metaphor for a society corrupted by greed. There cooks, pastry chefs, dishwashers and waitresses struggle to maintain a decent level of existence.

Rafiee, 77, is a theater and cinema director and stage designer. He received his bachelor and master’s degree in sociology from Sorbonne University. He also holds a bachelor and master’s degree and a PhD in theater from the same university.

He has made two films and staged over 10 plays including ‘Antigone’ by Sophocles, ‘Crime and Punishment’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, ‘Blood Wedding’ by Federico Garcia Lorca and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare.

Last year, he staged ‘Memories and Nightmares of a Clothes Keeper of Mirza Taghi Khan’ at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall. The play on the story of Amir Kabir (1807-1852), chief minister to Naser al-Din Shah Qajar (king of Persia), was warmly welcomed by theater fans.

On the special qualifications of the actors, to be selected next month, Rafiei noted that they need to be creative and able to improvise during the work. In order to achieve the best outcome, “a movement and mime instructor from France will be invited to train the actors in a workshop for three months”.