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Theatre Royal Stratford East and National Theatre production offers ‘tender and witty’ take on modern Iran

PUBLISHED: 12:19 26 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:19 26 February 2020

Theatre Royal Stratford East and National Theatre co-production Welcome to Iran premieres in April. Picture: Omid Shahpasandi

Theatre Royal Stratford East and National Theatre co-production Welcome to Iran premieres in April. Picture: Omid Shahpasandi

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A new play offering a tender and witty snapshot of modern Iran based on real-life interviews is coming to Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Written and directed by Stratford East artistic director Nadia Fall and co-produced with the National Theatre, Welcome to Iran will make its world premiere at the Newham venue in April and May.

The cast, announced by Stratford East this week, includes Moe Bar- El, Nalân Burgess, Souad Faress, Karina Fernandez, Nicholas Karimi, Serena Manteghi, Maimuna Memon, Isabella Nefar, Kareem Samara and Joplin Sibtain.

The production tells the story of Ava, a 20-something Londoner who, following the death of her estranged father, journeys to Iran in search of his past and her culture.

Exploring this often-misunderstood country, Ava is swept into a world of raves, raids and illicit love, all whilst negotiating family politics, Tehran traffic and the morality police.

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Nadia, whose past productions include Home and King Hedley II, said: "When I went to Iran, I wasn't quite sure what I would find.

"As I met with everyday Iranians, from taxi drivers to baristas, from nail technicians to students, I was able to glimpse under the skin of this incredible country."

Nadia added that with the play, she wanted to "disrupt the illusions and pre-conceptions we tend to hold here in the west".

She said: "People are people, first and foremost, with all their contradictions - love, death, oppression and resistance all coexist together.

"In these recent times of political turmoil between the USA and Iran, I hope that Welcome to Iran will give a voice to Iranian people and their everyday stories."

Welcome to Iran will be showing at Theatre Royal Stratford East from April 18 until May 16, before transferring to the National Theatre from May 21 to June 13.

Visit stratfordeast.com for more information and show dates, times and tickets.


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