Art And Culture

Sadeq Hedayat’s Magnum Opus Adorns New Play

A scene from ‘The Blind Owl’A scene from ‘The Blind Owl’

The Blind Owl, a play based on two famous stories by Iranian writer and translator Sadeq Hedayat (1903-1951) is underway at the Chaharsou Hall of Tehran City Theater.

Theater director, theoretician, translator and professor of Tehran University Nasser Husseinimehr adapted Hedayat’s two major works for his current play.

One of the adapted stories is ‘The Blind Owl’, Hedayat’s magnum opus, and the other is ‘Three Drops of Blood,’ Honaronline reported.

It took Husseinimehr three years to receive the performing permit for his adapted play from the Performing Arts Center of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. In writing the play, he tried to make it resemble `contemporary literature and imbue it with a fresh mood.

The 85-minute play by ‘Theater 6’ group opened on April 4 and will run through May 12 everyday at 8 pm. In an introduction to his work, Husseinimehr said: “Among Persian literary works, few can be as freshly inspiring for theater as ‘The Blind Owl’. Theater has yet to tap our literary treasure. We have always struggled within the old framework of playwriting, repeating old structures and artificial dialogues”.

“But there is a charming, mysterious structure in ‘The Blind Owl’. In plain language, it speaks about the loneliness of the modern human being. Our play is a free adaptation of the story and ‘Three Drops of Blood’. Their abstract, hallucinatory atmosphere is reflected in the play. ‘Theater 6’ has focused more on visual elements than articulation of the exact words.”

  Visual Moments

There are lots of dramatic elements in the original story. “Regardless of how Hedayat sees society and morality, his work is what I am concerned with,  because it has many pure visual moments,” he noted.

The story of The Blind Owl is narrated by a young painter of miniatures. His name is never given. He feels an overbearing need to recount an experience that has shattered his whole existence. A beautiful woman, an old man and a cypress tree are the recurring motifs.

For his adaptation, Husseinimehr did extensive research, “which was a very difficult job because the entire story is premised on mental fabrication. Some celebrated writers told me that ‘The Blind Owl’ is impossible to adapt.”

Husseinimehr has also designed the décor. Cast members are Babak Qahremani, Mojgan Khaleqi, Nayere Sadat Mirzaee, Shahou Rostami, Ezzodin Tofiq, Meysam Damanzeh, Mahshid Kazemi, Vahid Faridi, Reza Shahra, Esmail Khazaee and Morteza Mazloumi.

Tehran City Theater is located at the intersection of Valiasr and Enqelab avenues.


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