“The Valiant” goes on stage at Tehran theater 

January 2, 2023 - 17:59

TEHRAN – “The Valiant”, a one-act play from the 1920s by Harold Everett Porter, also known by his pen name Holworthy Hall, and Robert Middlemass is being performed at the Hall 3 of Tehran’s Shahrzad Theater Complex.

Amir-Sina Javadi is the director of the play starring Amir Ghaffarmanesh, Mahmud Musavi, Mahshid Javadi, Alireza Ajideh and Mehdi Hassanpur.

The play tells the story of James Dyke, a confessed murderer who has been sentenced to die and now awaits his fate on death row at a prison in Wethersfield, Connecticut. 

The only problem is that no one knows who he really is or where he comes from, and he is determined to take his secret to the grave. 

The prison’s warden and chaplain have nearly given up hope of discovering his true identity until the night of Dyke’s execution when a strange young woman arrives requesting to see him. 

Now, she may be the only key to unlocking Dyke’s mysterious past. Questions are asked, and vague answers are given. Are they truth, fiction, or both? 

One question focuses on Shakespeare, which is denied outright. However, the woman leaves thinking that James is not her brother, but after she walks out, he recites lines from both Romeo and Juliet, and Julius Caesar. 

We are left with the impression that he is indeed her brother and he did not want to reveal his true identity so that his mother would think that her son died nobly in the war. However, this is left to interpretation.

The play became a popular play for local theater groups in America, and is still performed today.

It was copyrighted in 1920 and first appeared in McClure’s magazine in 1921. It first appeared on the stage about 1924, and first appeared on Broadway for one night in 1926. 

Running with success in vaudeville with Bert Lytell, it was made into a film by the same name in 1929 starring Paul Muni, and as “The Man Who Wouldn’t Talk” in 1940.

Photo: A poster for “The Valiant” on stage at a Tehran theater.

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