SIFA: Amid The Clouds.

banner_amid_1This is one show that definitely left me thinking.

A tale of loss and longing, the audience follows the journey of two Iranian exiles that go in search of new life some place else.

The story was told with minimal costume changes, props and gestures. Everything was kept simple and each movement made had meaning behind it and was done deliberately. The intentions behind it all were really strong and on the simple set up on stage, I thought it was a good choice made.

Also, I haven’t really enjoyed such theatre in a while now so it was really refreshing.

It was all really well thought out and that led to many memorable and impactful images made on stage. For example, a red scarf left to float in the tank of water symbolised fresh blood and how dropping a huge ice block into the body of water seemed to show that the baby was lost.

The key of this show was really in the simplicity of it all and that really captivated me throughout.

And I was really amazed by the use of water and its undying presence.

Personally, I do not really remember having watched any show that have used water in such a way. With the actors submerged entirely in the water, floating or bursting through the surface to breathe, it was all very interesting to me. Even though the sound of water pouring out of their costumes while there was a blackout got quite distracting at times, I did not mind it all that much since I myself cannot come up with a way to reduce the sounds without compromising time and manpower.

I appreciated the sudden splashes and the stillness.

And like the water, the rhythm and volume of the actors’ tone of voice was very much nuanced, calm but with underlying tension.

Anyway, I felt like the main focus of it all was on the text itself and I did not mind that at all because the writing was extremely clever and poetic. All the loose ends were tied up neatly and the references introduced in the beginning will be brought back again nearing the end. The writing managed to reveal the entire story without just presenting everything plainly.

I guess the only pity was the fact that I had to split my attention between the English subtitles and the actors because I did not understand Farsi at all. But thank goodness that did not stop me from really enjoying the rawness of the piece and engaging with the piece.

Thank you so much to the SIFA team for bringing down the Mehr Theatre Group as well as Amir Reza Koohestani and sharing with us the wonders of Iran theatre.

It was magical and honestly, a well night spent at the theatre.

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