Co-produced by HOME, double Scotsman Fringe First winner Javaad Alipoor brings Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran, the second part of a trilogy of plays confronting modern life in all its unpredictability, to the venue where it was made, HOME Manchester, 23 October – 2 November 2019.
The first play in the trilogy, The Believers Are But Brothers, co-commissioned by HOME, which was subsequently adapted for a one-hour TV special on BBC4, featured a WhatsApp group unique to each performance. For Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran, Alipoor and co-creator Kirsty Housley, inspired by the stories powering waves of unrest sweeping across large swathes of the world, have created a play about climate change anxiety, the collapse of political certainties, and how privileged kids behave on Instagram.
While the leaders of certain countries preach an austere form of nationalism and religion, their children enjoy the fruits of their parents’ riches and privileges; social media means that the poorest can see how the rich are living. All around the world more and more people, like their countries, are running out of steam, and their ruling classes are only out for themselves. Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran, one of six HOME-produced shows at Edinburgh in 2019, performed by Alipoor and Peyvand Sadeghian, asks how did we get here, and what might come next.
The gap between rich and poor is getting ever larger around the world, and social media is accelerating this ever-deepening divide. In the global south, the children of elites and post-colonial dictatorships flash cash, dollar signs, bottles of Bollinger, and infinity pool holidays while people languish under sanctions and dictatorships.
“Photographs have always done something weird to how we tell stories,” says Javaad Alipoor. “As Susan Sontag pointed out, they have a way of freezing time, and making things look like they start, stop or at least pause at certain places.
“It’s not that the way we tell the story of our lives on Instagram or by photo is any less truthful than any other way we curate ourselves, but it’s so easy to publish – about 1.8 billion pictures are uploaded to social media every day. That’s 657 billion a year, which is to say, every two minutes human beings share more photographs than existed in total a century ago. And so this is also a show about history, and the way it feels like it is catching up with us.”
Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran is a Javaad Alipoor and HOME co-production in association with Traverse Theatre Company, which is co- commissioned by Diverse Actions, Theatre in the Mill, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Battersea Arts Centre, and Bush Theatre.
Wed 23 October 2019, 19:45
Thu 24 October 2019, 19:45 (caption sub-titled performance)
Fri 25 October 2019, 19:45 (audio-described performance; press night performance)
Sat 26 October 2019, 14:15, 19:45
Mon 28 October 2019, 19:45
Tue 29 October 2019, 19:45
Wed 30 October 2019, 19:45 (British Sign Language-interpreted performance)
Thu 31 October 2019, 14:15
Thu 31 October 2019, 19:45
Fri 1 November 2019, 19:45
Sat 2 November 2019, 14:15
Sat 2 November 2019, 19:45
TICKETS £12.50 (concessions £5-£10.50)