Adaptations of “Pseudolus”, “The Dumb Waiter”, “The Zoo Story” on stage at Tehran theater

May 10, 2022 - 18:36

TEHRAN – Adaptations of ancient Roman playwright Titus Maccius Plautus’ “Pseudolus”, Harold Pinter’s “The Dumb Waiter” and Edward Albee’s “The Zoo Story” are currently on stage at Tehran’s Sepand Theater.

“Pseudolus” is an independent production by a cast of young actors, director Siamak Safari told the Persian service of MNA on Tuesday.

Dating back over two thousand years, the play was written by Roman comedy writer Plautus and is being staged in Iran for the first time, he added.

Safari has made modifications to the original play to stage it in Iran.

“This play has a comic structure, and it has been rewritten in a way to make it appropriate for all people; inappropriate jokes have been removed from the script,” he noted.

“Pseudolus” is one of the earliest examples of Roman literature. The play begins with the shortest prologue of any of the known plays of Plautus, though it is not known whether Plautus wrote this prologue himself or if it was added later. 

It was first shown in 191 BC during the Megalesian Festival, which was a celebration for the Greek Goddess Cybele.
The play is about Calidorus, a lovesick and impoverished young man, who faces the loss of his beloved, Phoenicium.

A cast composed of 20 actors, including Nadia Behdarvand, Ramyar Jenani, Adel Sahebi, Hamed Qanbari and Nazgol Mahani, is performing the play.

In his next production, Safari has merged Pinter’s “The Dumb Waiter” and Albee’s “The Zoo Story” to create “The Floating Ball”.

“The story of the play is set in an atmosphere completely different from what is happen in the two original plays,” said Safari who has co-written the play with Mojtaba Bayat.

Safari, Bayat and Mehdi Rezai are the members of the cast.

“The Zoo Story” explores themes of isolation, loneliness, and miscommunication as anathematization, social disparity and dehumanization in a materialistic world.

“The Dumb Waiter” combines the classic characteristics of early Pinter – a paucity of information and an atmosphere of menace, working-class small-talk in a claustrophobic setting – with an oblique but palpable political edge and, in so doing, can be seen as containing the germ of Pinter’s entire dramatic oeuvre.

Photo: A poster for the play “The Floating Ball” written based on Harold Pinter’s “The Dumb Waiter”, and Edward Albee’s “The Zoo Story”.


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