by Mehdi Moradpour
directed by: Zino Wey
Premiere January 27, 2018
a production of Schauspielhaus
Vienna in cooperation withpart of „Arbeitsateliers“. „Arbeitsatelier“ is supported by
An irreversible decision: Shall Elija have
a serious operation performed on him in order to be able to live his love? Mehdi Moradpour sketches the poetic picture of
a group of people who are fighting fo their place in the world with the most commitment imaginable.
shells at the edge of the sea of houses, turned over oil barrels, an abandoned refinery at the periphery. Young and older
people, marginal people, meet under the mulberry trees in a surreal world.
Elija meets homosexuals, transgender people,
prostitutes. Concerning desires and longings, Elija does not fit into the conventional corsett of the female-male dualism
of hetero- and homosexuality. Because nothing that is moving between these poles is accepted in this society, Elija had decided
– pressed by his former partner - to undergo a sex change operation. The operation offered the only chance to the couple to
live their relationship openly. But it did not bring peace with his own body to Elija. The search continues…
binary: Body without boundaries, without labels. Not black or white, but both and everything in between and everything beyond.
From Elija’s perspective Mehdi Moradpour draws a cosmos of people who are fighting with their bodies in very different ways.
Fanis who wants to give his kidney for his new love. Flo, who wants to increase the market value of his body through technical
extensions. The author discusses bodies that want to change for others and extend for themselves. Bodies that leave conventional
categories behind them. Starting from the fact that homosexuality is pursued in Iran but that at the same time sex change
operations are officially allowed and under certain circumstances even funded by the state, Mehdi Moradpour begins a
reflection on the world on which his latest play is based. Homosexuals in Iran who don’t want to live their partnership in
secret are often forced to undergo a sex change operation against their will.
Meanwhile one can observe a
rapid development of a „radicalised society“ in Europe according to social psychologist Ernst-Dieter Lantermann. Mechanisms
of isolation, distinction and thinking in conventional stereotypes interfere with an open and far-sighted worldview. At the
same time Lantermann refers the direct connection between the possibility to design your own body, to at least control it,
and an alleged security in a more and more confusing world.
Virulent questions that concern the life reality
of Moradpour’s characters as well as ours: Can identity always just form within categories or with isolation? How can
one fight narrowmindedness and thinking in patterns? What happens when you try to question a traditional system of gender
relations? When a body transcends social borders, will it always result in an insurmountable conflict? In a a peotic language
full of images Moradpour is circling around questions of identity formation, self determination and optimisation of bodies.
By connecting these questions with surreal dream scenes, the author creates a complex relationship story. The social imperative
of self optimisation has become the second nature of his protagonists and they question the clear separation of men and machine.
Mehdi Moradpour, born in Tehran in 1979, studied physics and industrial technology in Iran, as well as Spanish
studies, English and Arabic studies in Leipzig and Havanna. In 2001 he fled to Germany and lives as author, translator and
interpreter in Berlin. From 2014-16 he participated at the training course „Forum Text“ of UniT Graz. In 2015 he won the authors
competition of Theatre St. Gallen and Constance for „mumien. ein heimspiel“. In 2016 his musical play „chemo brother“ had
its world premiere at Deutsche Oper Berlin. In the same year Mehdi Moradpour won the exile-playwright award of WIENER WORTSTAETTEN
for his plays „türme des schweigens“.
Zino Wey, born in Basel in 1988, was assistant director at Münchner
Kammerspiele, where he worked with Johan Simons, Alain Platel, Susanne Kennedy, Sebastian Nübling and Armin Petras et al.
During his time as assistant he regularly directed at Münchner Kammerspiele (Ágota Kristóf’s play „Die graue Stunde“).
In 2013 he directed at „Treibstoff“ at Theatertage Basel with Moïra Gilliéron and Ariane Koch the play „Mein Enkel 2017“.
Since the season 2014/15 Zino Wey has been working as freelance director at Münchner Kammerspiele, Schauspielhaus Zurich,
Nationaltheater Mannheim and Kaserne Basel. With his group GKW he regualrly produces his own projects.