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Iran: Theatre duo detained over Shakespeare production

14 September 2018
Two theatre figures were detained by Iranian authorities over a video trailer for their production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Photo: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by photographer Reza Moatarian / City Theatre Tehran website

 

Theatre director Maryam Kazemi and theatre manager Saeed Assadi were detained by Iranian authorities over a video trailer for a production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on 9 September 2018, reported Associated Press.

The trailer features men and women dancing together, which is illegal in Iran.

Cultural official Shahram Karami said the issue was with the “type of music played” and the actors’ “movements” used in the trailer, according to Al Arabiya English. There was not a problem with the content of the play that had been showing at the City Theatre in Tehran for seven nights before the arrests.

Karami said the pair was detained on the orders of the judiciary and it had caused a “misunderstanding”. Kazemi and Assadi were due to be released from detention on 11 September, each on a bail of three billion Iranian rials (about $23,000 at the current unofficial rate), Al Arabiya English reported.

In a statement on the City Theatre’s website on 12 September, Assadi called for peace and thanked the court and cultural ministry.

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