Tehran theater experiences “Episode on an Autumn Evening”

September 1, 2019

TEHRAN – Divare Chaharom Theater, a private hall in downtown Tehran, is currently playing host to a small troupe performing Swiss author Friedrich Durrenmatt’s 1969 crime play “Episode on an Autumn Evening”.

The play is about a bookkeeper who makes a crash entry on a novelist. He’s noticed that the 21 murder mysteries the novelist is famed for just happen to coincide with 21 unsolved actual murders — and the novelist just happened to be in the vicinity at the time of each murder. 

The novelist ridicules any connection but admits it would be a quick way of supplying background and details. He points out that he has written not 21 but 22 mysteries. The bookkeeper disposes of that briskly — he did not count the 22nd murder as it was technically a suicide. A new note crept into the talk when the novelist warns that one does not press a murderer.

The play was translated into Persian by the prominent Iranian stage director and playwright Hamid Samandarian who died of liver cancer at the age of 81 in summer 2012.

“I’ve made no alteration to the text and I’ve actually been loyal to the book translated by Hamid Samandarian,” director Akbar Hassani told the Persian service of Honaronline on Saturday.

Hassani is staging the play to offset the higher cost of his illnesses. He is suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) and was diagnosed with blood cancer about two years ago.

“Due to the sanctions on Iran and also the higher cost of medicines, I could not receive the necessary medical treatment… therefore I really am under pressure,” he lamented.

“As I was fighting the diseases I applied to stage my play at several rent-free state-run theaters to offset the cost of my medical treatment, but all my efforts were in vain,” Hassani said.

Finally, Divare Chaharom Theater, which is managed by actor Payam Azizi, agreed to host Hassani’s performances without any payment in advance.

A cast composed of Azizi, Alireza Madani and Elaheh Purehsan will stage the play until September 22.

Photo: A poster for “Episode on an Autumn Evening”, which is currently on stage at Divare Chaharom Theater in Tehran.

MMS/YAW
 

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