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  • Five questions for… Marjan Poorgholamhossein


Five questions for… Marjan Poorgholamhossein

INTERVIEW! Catch "Flight Nr. 745" at Theater der Dinge on Nov 12 at Schaubude.

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Photo by Nogol Taheri

For seven days starting on November 9 the international Theater der Dinge festival comes to Schaubude Berlin – and its all about object theatre. In 16 productions artists from around the world tell extraordinary stories with theatre based around objects and props, rather than actors. Think puppets, found objects, video, etc. In Flight Nr. 745, Iranian director Marjan Poorgholamhossein tells the story of a girl who returns to her homeland of Iran after 10 years and while in her parent’s house, recounts memories of war… using a small-scale model of a dead-end alley and miniature puppets, live-projected on screen. Catch it November 12, 8pm.

Give us the elevator pitch for your show.

Flight Nr. 745 is about growing up as a kid in the middle of a war. Somehow I hope, that we can stop war around the world through art and theatre.

How did you come up with the idea?

The idea of the girl who comes back to her homeland after many years, to sell her parents house in Tehran, was based on my own life. I grew up during the war between Iran and Iraq and my brother left Iran at age 18, when I was just 4 years old. He left because he had to go fight in the war, and he needed to run away from Iran. He didn’t come back until 12 years after that. He missed all of my childhood.The main inspiration for the show, is on relation between my brother and me and my sister, and how he missed us while we were growing up. It’s kind of sad, but when I see him now that’s all we talk about. Also, all the memories and nostalgia that we had as a child during the war between Iran and Iraq were an inspiration.

Who wouldn’t you invite to see your show?

I think I couldn’t not invite someone: everybody should see it. Especially politicians. I am trying to show how kids all around the world feel when there’s a war going on. It’s about being a kid, but also about family relations and how they are effected by war.

How are people reacting to Flight Nr. 745?

In Iran the show was very well received, because it has a lot of nostalgia in it about the mid-1980s in Iran. But I think in general, I just want to make an emotional connection with people. Move them in a way. The very best compliment that I got so far, was in Belgium. One of the visitors came to me with eyes full of tears, and said: “This is why we need art than more than anything in the world.”

Is there a connection between the show and Berlin?

Both Tehran and Berlin have been through a war. A 92-year-old visitor to my show in the Netherlands told me that he remembered that when he grew up during the Second World War, the only information he got about the war was from his father. But he had no idea what it was exactly. And that’s also how I felt growing up. All the bad thing that happen during a war, and the effect that it has on people afterwards, that relates very much to Berlin.

What’s the weirdest thing that happened so far?

The show was produced three years ago, and we have travelled a lot with it ever since. Because of that, the whole set – which consists of a dead-end-alley with five houses on it – had to be renovated four times. But the only house that has never been renovated from the beginning until till now, is the main character’s house. It just didn’t need any repairs. It’s so weird. It’s like it has been the safest place in the alley. We don’t know why!

Theater der Dinge: Flight Nr. 745, Nov 12, 20:00, 13, 21:00 | Schaubude Berlin, Prenzlauer Berg