Two strangers are stranded in an airport somewhere in Northern Europe. It is the 4th July 1988, the day after the downing of Iran Air Flight 655 by the US Navy.
She is a student, a dual-national, trapped between two cultures. He is a professor, older but not wiser, with a narrow academic view of the political landscape. Inspiration for the characters and their relationship comes from Shakespeare's King Lear.
Together they explore the temporary relationships that we make; the difference between the world and the academics perception of it; the impact of conflict beyond the borders of the countries involved.
Touring Spring 2017
"For me there were two outstanding small-scale touring productions during the year and I really can’t decide between them, so I’ll split the award between Greyscale’s Gods Are Fallen and All Safety Gone (Greyscale is now based in Newcastle) and ZENDEH’s one-woman show CINEMA."
Peter Latham, Review of the Year 2015, British Theatre Guide
"Cinema is a beautifully lyrical piece ... too resonant with today and the nameless, anonymous numbers of murdered individuals that are glimpsed every night on the news."
Disability Arts Online
"Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh's subtle and affecting performance wheels easily between a wondrous disbelief at the cruelty of events and a homespun glee at the simple pleasure of an overflowing saucer or the warmth of a cushion up in the projection booth. The course of Scheherazade's nine lives has taken her across the turmoil of a nation in revolution and Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh's performance crackles with tenderness as she recounts each of her lives snuffed out amid the bustle and noise of an Iran torn between eastern and western identity. "
★ ★ ★ ★ The List
"An ingenious piece of multimedia theatre which interweaves video projections and sound clips, 'Cinema' aims to show the impact of the political upon the personal, to do justice to the individuals caught in the wider narrative of history. The play takes as its focal point the 1978 arson attack upon an Iranian cinema that constituted the gravest terrorist attack pre 9/11, killing five hundred people. This attack against the influence of western culture changed the course of history, triggering the Iranian revolution. Playing with the theme of story-telling and referencing 'One Thousand and One Nights', the stories of the victims of the attack are told by one of the sole survivors; the cinema's in-house cat Scheherazade. "
★ ★ ★ ★ Three Weeks
"Composer Mariam Rezaei's powerful score and Matt Jamie's beautiful video projections provide a haunting backdrop to this powerful poetic fable that would better suit a late night slot, if its message wasn't one of nightmares."
★ ★ ★ ★ Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
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