Poland 3 Iran 2 (3 stars)

Merhdad and Chris share the political football


This article is from 2010.

Poland 3 Iran 2

Iran’s narrow defeat at the hands of Poland in the 1978 World Cup serves more as punctuation than as the main text of this lecture-cum-barroom shaggy dog story. Lecture because its main visual element is a slideshow; barroom tale because it’s told in a tiny pub, as the bartender wipes glasses.

For Mehrdad Seyf (representing Iran), football is intertwined with politics. For his counterpart Chris (representing Poland; he’s Essex-born but his dad’s Polish), it’s something to obsess over. For both, the relationship between Iran and Poland has affected their family history.

The resulting I-go-you-go slideshow oscillates between the fascinating, the revealing, the confessional and the merely mildly interesting; and there are some lo-res clips of the match in question, as well. While both men are engaging speakers, and the venue encourages intimacy, the show’s demands on its audience are chiefly intellectual: to take in facts and trivia, and only to respond emotionally at infrequent moments (the tale of Mehrdad’s uncle, in particular). The highly emotive closing image therefore leaves us wondering whether we’ve missed something vital.

Thistle Street Bar, 556 6550, until 28 Aug (not 16, 23), 5pm, £9–£10 (£7.50–£8.50).

This article is from 2010.

Poland 3 Iran 2

  • 3 stars

1976, the best ever Polish football team played the best ever Iranian football team. This match featured the renowned players Tomaszewski, Lato and Deyna as well as the great Ali Parvin for Iran, nicknamed the 'Sultan'. Such a clash of talent led to a memorable game with Poland edging to a 3-2 win. In a humorous…


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