Art And Culture

Reflection of Social Inequality in Safari’s ‘Lamborghini’

A drama, the play navigates the audience to reflect again on what has happened in the society. It is in fact a reminder of issues people may have forgotten as time goes by
Scenes from the playScenes from the play

The Iranian play ‘Lamborghini’ written and directed by film and theater actor Siamak Safari is on stage at the newly-opened Shahrzad Theater Complex in central Tehran.

Its story deals with recent social issues, namely collapse of the Plasco building, the capital Iconic high-rise, on January 19 in downtown Tehran, and the plight of ‘grave dwellers’ in a cemetery in Shahriar, a working class district in southwest Tehran, which made headlines last December.

Safari, 53, plays one of the characters in the two-actor show beside actor and singer Ashkan Khatibi, 38.

‘Lamborghini’ depicts a night in the life of two grave dwellers (Safari and Khatibi) who talk about the incidents which led them to take refuge in the graves they live in.

Neither of the characters have a name in the work. Khatibi plays the role of a man who believes if he puts a curse on somebody or something, it will surely be effective. And Safari is a former musician at a major orchestra who has lost his job after his orchestra was banned for political reasons.

  Symbol of Power, Wealth

The name of the play refers to an Italian brand and manufacturer of luxury supercars, sports cars and SUVs. It is regarded as a symbol of power and wealth. As the director says, the name highlights social inequality in the country of 80 million people.

A drama, the play navigates the audience to reflect again on what has happened in the society. It is in fact a reminder of issues people may have forgotten as time goes by.

As planned, the rapper Hamid Sefat was to be the third actor in the work and sing in the play; however, as rap singers are not allowed to sing officially in the country (banned by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance), he went on stage for one night and was later banned from accompanying the group.

So without Sefat in the cast, now Khatibi utters some of his dialogues rhythmically. There is also a recorded Kurdish lullaby by Dena Gorginpour, which is played during the show and is accompanied by a body performance by Eideh Aboutalebi.

  Dark Atmosphere

A large curtain, depicting the dark and scary atmosphere of a graveyard, hangs behind the actors, to help the audience connect better with the story and characters.

An interesting point about the play is the teenage audience in the hall despite the story which is more appropriate for adults. Their presence can be attributed to the rhythmic dialogues by Khatibi and the name of the play and the news about the rapper who was not allowed to perform.

Siamak Safari holds a master’s degree in theater directing. In 20 years of artistic career, he has performed in over 20 plays, 10 films and TV series. Ashkan Khatibi has a bachelor’s degree in theater. He has acted in 15 TV series, 15 plays and 10 films.

He is also a pop and rock singer and as a musician plays the piano, guitar and harmonica. Apart from music and acting, Khatibi sometimes translates English plays. He is a chef and owns a restaurant.

The one-hour play is performed at Hall No. 2 of Shahrzad Theater, a large space with 400 seats. It is the country’s biggest private black box theater.

Black Box Theater (or experimental theater) consists of a simple, somewhat unadorned performance space, usually a large square room with black walls and a flat floor.

The play will be on stage until August 4 at Shahrzad Theater located at the intersection of Razi and Neauphle-le-Chateau (Nofel Loshato) Streets in central Tehran.


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