Plays from Iran and Italy take centrestage at the International Theatre Festival of Kerala
This time, the plays have diverse themes—while some deal with the after-effects of war, others tackle contemporary issues plaguing our own country in an innovative manner.
Like a flower that blooms in the unlikeliest of places, art often flourishes in the harshest of environments. Tehran-based writer and director, Mostafa Koushki, is the living embodiment of that statement. Despite hailing from a country that prosecutes theatre professionals for strange reasons—Iran’s judiciary recently punished a few organisers behind an adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream—the 34-year-old has successfully showcased over 160 shows in his hometown.
Now, his firm, Mostaghel Theatre Company, is headed to Thrissur to perform their circus-inspired take on the classic Shakespearean comedy at the 11th edition of the International Theatre Festival of Kerala (ITFOK). Another foreign organisation participating at the annual fête is Italy’s experimental theatre troupe Instabili Vaganti. Led by Italian actors, Anna Dora Dorno and Nicola Pianzola, they will stage a play titled The Ritual.
“This time, the plays have diverse themes—while some deal with the after-effects of war, others tackle contemporary issues plaguing our own country in an innovative manner. Besides high-quality performances and pure entertainment value, there’s a lot of form-and-content interplay on display here,” states renowned actress, Arundhati Nag, one of the festival’s directors.
True to Arundhati’s words, Mostafa’s 80-minute acrobatic production revolves around Athenian lovers who struggle to find refuge within a jungle filled with magic and elves. Similarly, Anna’s left-field depiction of the ‘circle of life’ combines symbolic elements like rice and soil alongside video projections.
At ITFOK 2019, Thrissur.
On January 25-26.