Art And Culture

Meyerhold’s ‘Last Nightmares’ in Play at Mowlavi Theater

A scene from ‘Richard III Will Not Take Place’A scene from ‘Richard III Will Not Take Place’

‘Richard III Will Not Take Place,’ a play written by Paris-based Romanian-French playwright, poet and journalist Matei Visniec, 60, is underway at Mowlavi Theater in Tehran.

It opened on December 19 at the theater’s main hall and will run through January 9, 2017. The play is directed by playwright, translator and theater director Asghar Nouri, 40, Mehr News Agency reported.

“The play is about Russian theater director, actor and producer Vsevolod Emilevich Meyerhold” (1874-1940) whose provocative experiments dealing with physical being and symbolism in an unconventional theater setting made him one of the pioneers in modern international theater.

During the ‘Great Purge’ in the Soviet Union in 1936-1938, Meyerhold was arrested, tortured and finally executed in February 1940.

The play is Visniec’s free adaptation of one of the last nightmares of Meyerhold, before he was killed in prison under the orders of the dictator Joseph Stalin (1878-1953).

The show will take the audience back to the era of Stalinist censorship, the climate of fear, cruelty and meticulously programmed physical and psychological torture.

“The play has a surrealistic atmosphere, containing both derision and cruelty. It’s more like a nightmare,” Nouri said.

Nouri said he has directed the play based on Meyerhold’s principle of ‘biomechanics,’ a non-realistic, stylized and movement-centered system of actor training, which is in contrast with the method of Konstantin Stanislavski (1863-1938), another outstanding Russian theater practitioner who subjected his acting and direction to a rigorous process of artistic self-analysis and reflection.

“Our performance is experimental. We have used minimal décor and based the play on movements.

Cast members are Mohammad Reza Charkhtab, Mehrdad Nikjou, Donya Moqadam Rad, Bita Azadi, Vahid Ajorlou, Mostafa Latifikhah, Milad Moradi, Yalda Sarafi and Shahou Rostami.

The 80-minute play starts daily at 8:30 pm at the theater located at No. 16, 16-Azar Street, Enqelab Avenue.


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