Amir Reza Koohestani – Mehr Theatre Group

Blind Runner

A man posts on his Instagram account that he and his wife, who is currently in jail as a political prisoner, have promised each other to run every night on both sides of the prison wall where she is being held.

Before her arrest, they had been training to run for months as part of a plan to leave Iran and reach England. They were preparing themselves to cover the 27 kilometres of the Channel Tunnel in the only possible moment, in the five hours between the last train in the evening and the first train of the following day. But their training towards a new life was cut short a week before departure upon the woman’s arrest.

Amir Reza Koohestani writes the story of their long-distance training on both sides of the wall, making it a starting point to reflect on contemporary Iranian society. It’s a run that continues despite everything.

We see a woman and a man on stage. In a precise interlocking mechanism, their breathless dialogues intersect with their interior monologues, where classical Persian poetry echoes all possible connotations in the darkness of the night.

Iranian playwright and director Amir Reza Koohestani has received international praise for his work (awarded for the film Modest Reception at the Berlin International Film Festival), noted for its tenderness, a sense of intimacy and pregnant silences. Koohestani tackles political issues such as the refugee crisis and the oppression of women through the unique lens of the current situation in Iran, having mastered an acutely poetic and symbolic language.