Blowing in the Wind
After almost a month full of events, performances and workshops, the end is nigh for the Dimitria Festival. But before the last curtain falls, there is still much to say and much to hear. Amer Mosafer’s Israfil’s Trumpet, by Iranian writer Siavash PakrahI, is one of these last voices, dampened as it were by a series of unfortunate circumstances, both within and without the director’s reach.
Dopo quasi un mese di eventi, performance e laboratori, la fine è vicina per il Festival Dimitria. Prima che cali l’ultimo sipario, però, vi è ancora molto da dire e altrettanto da ascoltare. La pièce Israfil’s Trumpet di Amer Mosafer, scritta dall’iraniano Siavash Pakrahl, è una di queste ultime voci, smorzata da una serie di sfortunati eventi, sia dentro sia fuori dalla portata del regista.
Μετά από σχεδόν ένα μήνα γεμάτο εκδηλώσεις, παραστάσεις και εργαστήρια, το τέλος πλησιάζεται για το Φεστιβάλ Δημητρίων. Αλλά πριν πέσει η τελευταία κουρτίνα, υπάρχουν ακόμα πολλά να πουν και πολλά να ακουσοτύν. Η Israfil’s Trumpet του Amer Mosafer, από τον ιρανό συγγραφέα Siavash Pakrahl, είναι μία από αυτές τις τελευταίες φωνές, η οποία έχει χενερώσει από μια σειρά ατυχείς περιστάσεις, τόσο μέσα όσο και έχω από τά χέρια του σκηνοθέτη.
«Israfil’s Trumpet is a performance about the destructive war of Iran». Overlooking the lack of specificity as to which war is being portrayed (as there have been quite a few over the centuries), the political context in which the play is set could not have been less central in Mosafer’s mise en abyme, which revolves more around the individual mishaps of its characters rather than an historical portrayal of the events. Hence, the play seems to talk about any war (perhaps because of our Western distance from the facts), with a dulling effect on the whole representation, that remains always a few inches away from getting deep under our skin.
«A mother who leaves her child in the care of her dead husband’s mother in an effort to keep it safe. A cruel, foul-mouthed grandmother who seems to have no feelings of love and is motivated only by money. A drunk official who has moved beyond any concept of victory or defeat in war. The city priest, former bar owner, current arms dealer, who supplies weapons to both sides of the war in cooperation with the official. An insane woman in the service of the church who saw the war take her child from her. These are the helpless resident of the city in which the child, the play’s central character, must live». The plot, a stockpile of clichés and tropes, unsurprisingly, never thickens, introducing a series of loose ends that shall remain as such until the end (e.g. the title of the play, the double identity of the main character).
Adding insult to injury, the general haziness of boundaries, either historical or temporal, is paired up with a superficial development of the characters which, despite going through hell from day ‘till night, always seem to keep a stuffy demeanour no matter how unbearable the pain of losing a father, a mother, a son, a friend or a lover is. Just as the soldier’s limp leg, the actors hobble on the stagehand-propelled merry-go-round stage, trying to avoid stepping on each other’s feet (or on a stage prop that gets stuck in its gears) in the darkness, giving a rather amateurish touch to what could have otherwise been an interesting piece of theatre. It is hard to point a finger at one concrete problem with Israfil’s Trumpet. Turning a blind eye on the ever-present out-of-synch surtitles which wearingly reveal one pun after the other before their time, the performance as a whole is filled with some very interesting expedients (the aforementioned rotating stage, to name but one) which, alas, are underdeveloped, either in part or at all, causing the “ship” to sink with all its crew members trapped inside, regardless of their talent.
The show was played at
26th October Street, 35 – Thessaloniki
Thursday 19 October 2017
The 52nd Dimitria Festival presents
written by Siavash Pakrah
directed by Amer Mosafer
set design Amir Hossein Davani
lighting design Abes Kholghi
music composition Farbod Main
cast Illia Nasrollahi, Fatemeh Naghavi, Bahar Katoozi, Kazem Sayahi, Mehdi Hosseini Nia, Maryam Naghibi