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Award Winning Iranian Play Going to Lisbon
Award Winning Iranian Play Going to Lisbon

Award Winning Iranian Play Going to Lisbon

It is not just the lives of three women, but also the story of the society in which they live, the neglect they face and the glances they withstand. It is bold, daring and deeply tangible to the audiences cutting across age and gender

Award Winning Iranian Play Going to Lisbon

The play ‘A Bit More Everyday’ directed by actor and theater director Afsaneh Mahian, 42, will go on stage next month in Lisbon.

The play was awarded at the annual Fajr Theater Festival in 2015 for best original screenplay written by theater director and playwright Mahin Sadri and also for best actresses Setareh Eskanadari, 42 and Elham Korda 38, who co-acted with Baran Kosari, 31.

The play (in Portuguese ‘Cada Dia Um Pouco Mais’) is scheduled for November 5 at 9 pm and the following day, November 6, at 5:30 pm at Lisbon’s Luis Miguel Cintra Theater.

The theme is on the lives of three Iranian women. It is a tale of love, loss and solitude. Over a span of 33 years (1981-2013), writer Sadri and director Mahian follow the lives of the three women who, in unique ways, share their joys and sorrows and the men with whom they are passionately in love. The men are not physically present on the stage, but their presence is felt.

“Three women, each with her own story,” the Guardian wrote about the play. “None has a name, but their identities emerge from the tales they tell. Each narrates a monologue, never acknowledging the others. But they have common memories, of childhood, of war, and when their stories cross, one stops and another picks up the thread. They cook as they speak, each in her own kitchen corner, chopping, cutting, mixing, and sometimes pausing to reflect.”

The play is not just the lives of the three women, but also the story of the society in which they live, the neglect they face and the glances they withstand. It is bold, daring and deeply tangible to the audiences cutting across age and gender.

 The Three Women

Though the identity of the women is never mentioned throughout the play, they are familiar. Elham Korda plays Mahnaz Daliri Fard, wife of the Iranian war pilot Abbas Dowran. In July 1981, when his Phantom jet was hit on a mission to attack a refinery in Baghdad, Dowran flew the plane into the city’s Al-Rashid Hotel, where Saddam Hussein was due to host a conference of the Non-Aligned Movement. “After 20 years I received a leg bone,” says Mahnaz Daliri Fard. “For 20 years I had cried over an empty grave.”

The second woman is Shahla Jahed, mistress of the late football player Nasser Mohammadkhani. Setareh Eskandari appears in this role. Charged with the murder of Mohammadkhani’s wife, Jahed was held in the limbo of courtrooms for eight years before writing in 2010 to the head of the judiciary asking for her trial to come to a close. She was convicted and hanged a short time later. Mohammadkhani watched her die without intervening on her behalf.

Baran Kowsari takes the role of Leyla Esfandiari, the acclaimed Iranian mountain climber who died in 2011 on the way down Gasherbrum II on the China-Pakistan border and the world’s 13th highest mountain. She had expressed to friends her wish to remain on the mountain if she were to die there, so her body was never recovered. After starting a career as a microbiologist in a hospital, Esfandiari quit her job to climb mountains, funding most of her expeditions personally, even selling her home.

“So pure and so perfect was this play that I had to take pen to paper and let the world know,” wrote actress Pantea Bahram, 46, in the Persian daily Sharq.

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