Iranian director Ali Shams to stage Shahnameh story in Rome  

June 19, 2021 - 18:32

TEHRAN – Iranian director Ali Shams has announced his plan to stage a story from the Persian epic masterpiece Shahnameh in Rome.

Speaking to the Persian service of MNA on Saturday, he said that he has been invited by the Rome Philharmonic to direct “Esfandiar’s Eyes” during a program, which will be organized by the Rome Philharmonic (sic) for the official reopening of theaters on June 30 as the Italian government has eased curbs on regular activities following vaccinating people against COVID-19.

He also said that several Italian directors have also been called on to stage performances at the same time.

“Esfandiar’s Eyes” is about the battle between Rustam and Esfandiar, two main characters in Persian poet Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, during which Rustam learns from Simurgh that the only weapon that can affect Esfandiar is a shot to the eyes from a special double-headed arrow made from the branch of a tamarisk tree near the Persian Gulf.    

“I have always been interested in ancient legends, therefore I chose a story from the Shahnameh, which will be performed by an Italian actor,” Shams said.

“Since I have had enough time to work on the script, I will focus on the forms and similarities to communicate with the Italian audience, he added.

He also said that he has asked the Rome Philharmonic to let him stage the play in its courtyard, which enjoys ancient Roman structures and graves helping the audience connect with the performance.

In 2018, Shams’s troupe organized a tour of Europe to perform a play on migration titled “The Mediterranean” in response to the ruthless fascist environment created against the refugees in Europe.

The tour began in Italy on October 15, and the troupe performed in Pescara and Rome.

“As right-wing governments have come to power in Europe and due to a rise in migration numbers from the Middle East and Africa, refugees coming from these regions have become a major concern for Europeans,” Shams said at that time.

The play was in English and the tour continued in Hungary, Sweden and Germany.

Photo: This file photo shows Iranian director Ali Shams in Rome.

MMS/YAW

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