“Tazieh of Poor King Lear” blends Iranian, Western theater styles

December 1, 2021 - 18:32

TEHRAN – Iranian and Western theater styles merge in director Melika Razi’s new project “The Tazieh of Poor King Lear”.

She plans to blend an Iranian story and William Shakespeare’s tragedy “King Lear” to stage a play by adopting the style of tazieh, Iranian passion play, and other Iranian dramatic elements.

The play written by Hossein Jamali will be performed during the 20th edition of the Traditional and Ritual Theater Festival, which will open on December 5.

“In ‘King Lear’, Shakespeare tells the story of a king who plans to relinquish his power and land to his daughters. One of his three daughters refused to accept their father’s decision, therefore he disinherits her, forcing her to marry the French king,” Razi told the Persian service of MNA on Wednesday.

“In its Iranian version, the play goes toward an epic ambiance, in which Siah [the character of Siah-bazi, a type of Iranian folk play featuring a blackfaced harlequin] arrived at the king’s palace and the plot and two other stories are combined as the play progresses,” she added.

Razi noted that the play features the elements of repetition in an absurdist play and is almost under the influence of tazieh.   

“If we plan to work in the field of ritual and traditional theater, we should raise our knowledge of this genre, myths and folktales as well as learn about origins and basic topics in this field,” she stated.

“Sometimes, I have seen people taking negative attitudes toward traditional Iran plays, but I have also seen other countries still regard their classics and plays written based on their own folktales. As a stage artist, I have a duty to introduce our native culture to the world,” noted Razi who has previously directed numerous plays from the world’s literature, including Ingmar Bergman’s “Persona” and “The Operetta of Orang’s Deceit” and Marsha Norman’s “'night, Mother”.     

“The Tazieh of Poor King Lear” has previously been staged by Hossein Jamali at the Yerevan Shakespeare International Theater Festival and several Tehran theaters.

Photo: A scene from “The Tazieh of Poor King Lear”. (Theater.ir)

MMS/YAW

Leave a Comment

4 + 14 =