“Death Knocks” at Tehran theater

June 14, 2022 - 18:42

TEHRAN – A stage reading of Woody Allen’s comic play “Death Knocks” will be held at the Mehr Hall of the Art Bureau in Tehran on Saturday.

Alireza Gilanpur will direct the reading performance with his troupe composed of Farhad Besharati and Hamidreza Moradi. Gilanpur will also play a role in the comedy.

The play takes place in the bedroom of the Nat Ackerman’s two-story house, somewhere in Kew Gardens, in the Borough of Queens, in New York City. 

The carpeting is wall-to-wall. There is a big double bed and a large vanity. The room is elaborately furnished and curtained, and on the wall, there are several paintings and a not particularly attractive barometer. 

Soft theme music plays as the curtain rises. Nat Ackerman, a bald, the paunchy 57-year-old dress manufacturer is lying on the bed finishing off tomorrow’s Daily News. 

He wears a bathrobe and slippers, and reads by a bed light clipped to the white headboard of the bed. The time is near midnight. Suddenly we hear a noise, and Nat sits up and looks at the window.

In “Death Knocks”, Woody Allen provides a new treatment to a classical theme: a man seeing himself on a final mission succeeds in buying time from the ineluctability of death by challenging a personified death to a game that he wins, gaining so a temporary reprieve.

“Death Knocks” has previously been performed by various troupes in Iran.

The latest one was director Shaahin Ramezani’s group, which performed the play during the 2020 Fajr International Theater Festival in Tehran. Ramezani previously staged “Death Knocks” at the Iran Tamasha Theater Hall in Tehran.

The reading performance of “Death Knocks” is part of the bureau’s program “A Laugh on the Stage”, which takes comic plays by the world’s celebrated dramatists on stage.

Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” and Anton Chekhov’s “Swansong” and “A Marriage Proposal” have previously been performed by different groups in the program.

Photo: A poster for the stage reading of Woody Allen’s comic play “Death Knocks” at the Art Bureau in Tehran.

MMS/YAW
 

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