Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran • VIRTUAL

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About the artists

THE JAVAAD ALIPOOR COMPANY

Javaad Alipoor Company takes stories beyond the stage through powerful cross-platform creations that explore the intersection of politics and technology in the contemporary world. Founded in 201, it sits on the shoulders of Northern Lines, the first company founded by Javaad Alipoor – an Anglo-Iranian artist and writer, based in Manchester and built in Bradford – and maintains its commitment to creating new work with diverse artists. for various audiences and communities.

In 2017, Javaad began writing a trilogy of plays about how technology, resentment, and divide identities are changing the world. The Believers Are But Brothers (2017) opened in Edinburgh where it won a Fringe First Award, before moving to the Bush Theater in London. It has toured nationally and internationally, and in 2019 was commissioned for television by the BBC and The Space, and adapted and produced by the company as its first screen project. The sequel to the play – Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran (2019) – premiered at the Traverse Theater, winning a Fringe First Award. His transfer to London and subsequent national tour were postponed by COVID-19, inspiring the creation of a new digital version for audiences online. This new version was commissioned by the Battersea Arts Center and the Norfolk & Norwich Festival and has been presented by a wide range of national and international partners, including The Traverse Theater (Edinburgh), HOME Manchester, Oxford Playhouse, Amata (Falmouth), Leicester University, Under The Radar at the Public Theater (New York), the Electric Dreams Festival (London) and the Sundance Film Festival.

The company is supported by the Arts Council England Elevate program and is an associate company of HOME, Manchester.

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JAVAAD ALIPOOR

Javaad Alipoor is an artist, writer and artistic director of The Javaad Alipoor Company.

In 2017, he began writing a trilogy of plays about how digital technology, resentment and divide identities are changing the world. The Believers Are But Brothers, described as “one of the most fascinating shows I have seen in a while” (The Financial Times) delved into the stories of young men at the extremes of hyperreality. It opened at Summerhall in Edinburgh in 2017 where it won a Fringe First Award, before moving to the Bush Theater in London. It has toured nationally and internationally for the past four years, and in 2019 was adapted for television by the BBC and The Space.

Its sequel – Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran – “breaks all the rules of theatrical behavior” (The Times) and premiered at the Traverse Theater in 2019, winning a Fringe First Award. His transfer to London to the Battersea Arts Center in early 2020 and his subsequent national tour were postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic, inspiring the creation of a new digital version for the online audience that virtually turned to HOME Manchester, Oxford Playhouse, Electric Dreams Festival and Under The Radar at the public theater.

Other recent projects he created for The Javaad Alipoor Company include: What is a Muslim? a digital collaboration with graphic designer and calligrapher Razwan Ul-Haq, exploring Muslim identity and political geography with a group of young men of Muslim origin in London’s Paddington district; and The Color of Our Politics, a podcast series exploring how anti-racism in today’s UK has been shaped by a long history of activism and resistance, created with Tanya Vital.

Javaad is a former ACE Changemaker and was Associate Director in Residence at Sheffield Theaters (2017-18) where he directed a new adaptation of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest for The Crucible and prior to that was Associate Director at Theater in the Mill from 2015 to 2017.

He was a founding member of the International Alliance in Support of Iranian Workers and the Syria Solidarity Campaign and the Bradford-based pro-European Union migrant organization #BradfordSaysEveryoneStays.

Javaad’s writings on international politics, cultural policy, and art have been featured in The Guardian, The Independent, and The Stage. His pieces are published by Oberon and his poetry by Art in Unusual Places.

Kirsty HOUSLEY

Kirsty Housley is a director, screenwriter and playwright. She won the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theater Trust Award in 2003 for Cue Deadly: A Live Film Project and was nominated twice for the Stage’s Innovation Award, winning in 2017 for The Encounter.

She has been working with Javaad Alipoor since 2017 on The Believers Are But Brothers as director and Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran as co-creator.

Other recent work includes the premiere of The Long Goodbye with Riz Ahmed for the Manchester International Festival / BAM; Mephisto (A Rhapsody) at the Gate Theater (director); Tao of Glass for the Manchester International Festival (co-director); Avalanche: A Love Story at the Barbican and the Sydney Theater (dramaturg); Grimm Tales at The Unicorn by Phillip Pullman (director); I’m a Phoenix, Bitch for Bryony Kimmings (director); Misty at The Bush and in the West End (dramaturg); Myth at the RSC (co-authored with Matt Hartley); A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer for Complicite, National Theater and HOME Manchester (as playwright in 2017, and as writer-director on his 2018 international tour), The Encounter for Complicite (co-director); Wanted and 9 for Chris Goode and Company, Transform Festival and West Yorkshire Playhouse (co-director); Walking the tightrope for Offstage and Theater Uncut; All I want for live theater, Leeds and Jackson’s Lane Libraries; Mass for Amy Mason at the Bristol Old Vic and the Camden Peoples Theater; The Beauty Project and Theater Uncut 2012 at Young Vic; How to Be Immortal for Penny Dreadful at the Soho Theater and on Tour; Bandages at the Corn Exchange Newbury and on tour; Thirsty for paper birds; and Blue Jam for Etcetera Theater Company.

Kirsty is currently developing new works with the National Theater, Complicite, Clean Break and Hampstead Theater.

CREATIVE TEAM
Written by Javaad Alipoor
Co-created by Javaad Alipoor and Kirsty Housley
Video design by Limbic Cinema
Music and sound design by Simon McCorry

OF THE COMMISSIONER

“I had become tired after such a long time watching performances intended for the stage through a livestream. Javaad’s play caught my attention because it was made for virtual spaces. I was not deceived. I found this piece to be incredibly compelling! Although the subject matter is complicated and sometimes difficult to navigate, this piece is the work of a young artist with deep intelligence and creativity. From ancient Persian history to our current climate change crisis, and through the framework of storytelling, photographs and a relentless sound score, this piece will make you think, ask questions and be curious about all that is. approached in the room. “

Jane hirshberg

Assistant Director, Campus and Community Engagement and Curator

Program Notes

THE COMPANY

The global divide between the rich and the poor is widening. As the world falls apart, the mighty dance spawn as everyone else is watching. From the company behind award-winning The Believers Are But Brothers, this is an urgent and dark new play on law, consumption and digital technology, exploring the cycles of historical decline and rebirth and the ways in which societies attempt to reproduce. Winner of the 2019 Scotsman Fringe First Award and written by artist, writer and activist Javaad Alipoor, RICH KIDS calls on the public to use Instagram to explore what’s going on in the world in a new interactive and innovative way.

Multimedia

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