A/V Room









Snippets of everyday life in modern Iran

Preview by Jack Foley

30 BIRD, London's only professional Anglo/Iranian theatre company, is to present the premiere of Majnoun at Riverside Studios, in Hammersmith, from Tuesday, March 30 to Sunday,
April 18.

The production is written and directed by Mehrdad Seyf, and portrays humorous snippets of everyday life in Iran and the modernisation that swept the country during the 20th Century.

The performance unfolds through a montage of visual installations and
images with a soundscape of traditional Iranian and underground pop music.

30 Bird presents a new perspective of this beguiling country, in a surreal and comic exposé of the veil, the nature of love and the relationship between Iran and the West.

Majnoun promises to blast the popular western image of Iran through the roof.

The seminal love story, Leili O Majnoun, by Nezami, the 12th Century Persian poet, was the original inspiration for writer Mehrdad Seyf, with just a passing nod to the films of Hitchcock!

The Anglo-Iranian cast - including Kourosh Asad, Jonathan Hansler and Roxana Pope - will give a bi-lingual performance, in both Farsi and English.

30 Bird Productions is a film and theatre company producing new writing using sculptural design and visual installations to create surprise out of the ordinary.

Artistic director, Mehrdad Seyf, works closely with award-winning resident designer, Leslie Travers, developing each project via workshops, placing an emphasis on visual story-telling, without sacrificing the oral tradition.

Established in 1995, by Mehrdad Seyf and Claire Summerfield, 30 Bird's previous productions include the critically-acclaimed The Parable of the Blind and Death by Heroine, a production that strengthened the company's creative reputation.

The company's first documentary, But you speak such good English,
was a huge success at festivals around the world culminating in a screening at the Barbican, as part of its 2001 Iranian Contemporary Art & Culture event.

30 Bird were resident theatre company for nearly two years at Studio Voltaire, where they produced Jean Genet's The Maids.

In January 2003, the company was invited to Iran, as guests of the 21st International Fadjr Festival of Theatre, Tehran.

A rehearsed reading of Majnoun was
performed, in January, at the V&A Museum, as part of the Friday Late Iranian Night, organised in conjunction with the Iran Heritage Foundation.

Co-founder and artistic director of 30 Bird, Mehrdad Seyf, was born in
Tehran and has lived in the UK since his teens. He was educated at the Lycée Francais, in Tehran, and London.

After studying Literature and Philosophy, he trained as a psychoanalyst at the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research
and, subsequently, worked for three years as an analyst.

Mehrdad trained as an actor/director with Complicite, Monica Pagneux, Rick Zoltowski and Lorna Marshall.

He has written all of 30 Bird's productions to date, as well
as the play script, The Veil, the film script Two Obstacles to Marriage, and has recently completed research and development on the libretto for an
opera - Beginnings.

Claire Summerfield, co-founder and Producer of 30 Bird Productions,
trained as an actress at Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama and with Complicite, Monica Pagneux, David Glass and Del La Guarda.

Claire has co-run 30 Bird Productions and produced all their work to date.

In 1999, she co-wrote her first film script, Two Obstacles to Marriage, with Mehrdad Seyf.

Resident designer, Leslie Travers, works closely with Mehrdad Seyf from the very inception of a project, creating their distinctive visual style
and highly original theatrical images.

Leslie was a top prize-winner in the European Opera Competition organised by Camerata Nuova and the Confederation of European Opera Houses for his designs for H. Marschner's opera Hans Hailing.

Trained in theatre design, at the Wimbledon School of Art, his
designs include Shirley Valentine (Derby Playhouse), Swan Lake (K-Ballet, Tokyo), Silent Cry (WYP), Tales of Hoffmann (Folks Theatre, Stockholm), Veriete (Lindsay Kemp Company, World tour), The Lark Ascending (English National Ballet, London), and Faust (German National Films, Munich).

Majnoun, From March 30 to April 18 (Tuesdays to Sundays), Riverside Studios, Studio 3, Crisp Road, W6 9RL. Box Office: 020 8237 1111.
Times: Tuesday to Saturday 8pm, Sunday 7pm. Prices: £12 (Conc. £8), Tuesdays first 30 tickets £5, early bird, group and school discounts available.

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