Play blending Attar tale, Shakespeare tragedy tops at Fajr Intl. Theater Festival

February 16, 2022 - 18:35

TEHRAN – “A Requiem for Julius Caesar and Several Birds of Simorgh” has won awards in several categories, including best play, at the 40th Fajr International Theater Festival.

Directed by Mojtaba Rostamifar, the play blends William Shakespeare’s drama “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar” and the story of Simorgh, the mysterious bird from Persian poet Attar’s masterpiece “The Conference of the Birds”.

The closing ceremony of the festival was held on Tuesday at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall. 

After accepting his award Rostamifar, who is from the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz, said “I hope that one day I can finally get a public premiere for my play in Tehran.”

“Whenever I apply for a public performance in a Tehran theater, they say they have no vacant theaters. At least tell me when I can get a theater in the capital to stage my play so that I can make my will and give a CD of the performance to my son for a screening in Tehran,” he joked.

Reza Goshtasb has written the play based on “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar”, which follows Brutus, a Roman politician who joins a conspiracy led by Cassius to murder Julius Caesar, and the story of the perilous journey of the world’s birds to the faraway peaks of Mount Qaf in search of the mysterious Simorgh, their king, narrated in Persian poet Attar’s “The Conference of the Birds”.

Baqer Sorush was selected as best playwright for his “Old Age”, written based on Shakespeare’s tragedy “King Lear”, in which King Lear of Britain decides to divide his realm among his three daughters due to his old age and to retire from the duties of the monarchy.

The following is a list of other winners at the festival.

Best actress: Nora Hashemi for “My Fair Lady”.

Best actor: Tinu Salehi for “The Buckle”.

Best set designer: Mojtaba Rostamifar for “A Requiem for Julius Caesar and Several Birds of Simorgh”.

Best costume designer: Ajman Bijaninasab and Najmeh Zarei for “Hamler Bijani”. 

Best composer: William Nayyeri for “My Fair Lady”.

Best lighting designer: Imam Nakhlestani for “A Requiem for Julius Caesar and Several Birds of Simorgh”.

Best make-up artist: Mohammad Mosayyebi for “Possibilities”.

Best choreographer: Mojtaba Rostamifar for “A Requiem for Julius Caesar and Several Birds of Simorgh”.

Photo: Director Mojtaba Rostamifar poses after receiving the best play award for “A Requiem for Julius Caesar and Several Birds of Simorgh” during the 40th Fajr International Theater Festival at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall on February 15, 2022. (IRNA/Asghar Khamseh)

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