Blind Runner

Amir Reza Koohestani / Mehr Theatre Group

Blind Runner © Benjamin Krieg

The powerful and poetic performance takes classical Persian poetry and the story of a prevented escape as a starting point for a reflection on Iranian society.

Artist Talk “Oppression, Aesthetics & Globalisation”
Friday, 16 June 2023, 21:30

Iranian-born director Amir Reza Koohestani presents the audience with a powerful and poetic storytelling performance. A woman and a man on a stage: In a precise interlocking mechanism, their breathless dialogues intersect with their interior monologues, where classical Persian poetry echoes all possible transactions in the darkness of a night. With his project “Blind Runner”, which will premiere in May 2023 at kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels, Koohestani pierces the darkness with a dialogue on his country’s present in the context of inadequate immigration laws and Europe’s inaction regarding the Iranian government’s violent actions against its own people.

A man and his wife, who is currently in jail as a political prisoner, have promised each other to run every night on both sides of the prison wall where she is being held. Before her arrest, they had been training to run for months as part of a plan to leave Iran and reach England. They prepared to cover the 27 km of tunnel in the only possible period, the five hours between the last train in the evening and the first of the following day. But their training towards a new life was interrupted a week before their departure by the woman’s arrest.

Amir Reza Koohestani writes the story of their long-distance training on both sides of the wall, taking it as a starting point to reflect on contemporary Iranian society – a run that continues despite everything.


Ainaz Azarhoush, Mohammad Reza HosseinzadehPerformers

Amir Reza KoohestaniText, direction
Samaneh AhmadianDramaturgy
Dariush FaeziDirector’s assistant
Éric SoyerLightings, scenography
Yasi Moradi, Benjamin KriegVideo
Phillip Hohenwarter, Matthias PeykerMusic
Negar Nobakht FoghaniCostumes
Massoumeh LahidjiEnglish translation and surtitle adaptations
Negar Nobakht FoghaniSurtitles operator
Pierre ReisProduction, administration, promotion
Yuka DupleixLogistics and communication assistant

“Blind Runner“ is part of the festival “Performing Exiles“ by Berliner Festspiele. Production: Mehr Theatre Group, ParisCo-production: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels; Berliner Festspiele, Berlin; Athens Epidaurus Festival; Festival d’Automne à Paris; Théâtre de la Bastille, Paris; La rose des vents – scène nationale Lille Métropole – Villeneuve d’Ascq; La Vignette, scène conventionnée Paul-Valéry Montpellier; Théâtre populaire romand – Centre neuchâtelois des arts vivants, La Chaux-de-Fonds; Triennale Milano Teatro; Festival delle Colline Torinesi/Fondazione TPE, TurinResidencies: Théâtre populaire romand – Centre neuchâtelois des arts vivants, La Chaux-de-Fonds, KWP Kunstenwerkplaats, Brussels, Théâtre Les Tanneurs, BrusselsWith the support of Ministry of Culture – Regional Directorate for Culture in Île-de-France and the French Institut