Just Let The Wind Untie My Perfumed Hair . . . or Who Is Tahirih?
- Adam Bloodworth
- 11 August 2016
This article is from 2016.
Convincing portrayal of Persian suffragette martyr
An Edinburgh University lecture theatre seems an especially pertinent place to set this play, about a 19th century-Persian poet and later female suffrage martyr. Decades before western suffragettes, the unusually highly educated Táhirih died for equality. A devout practitioner of the Bábí faith, Táhirih believed in equality and unity despite religion and gender.
Writer and performer Delia Olam plays Táhirih and those closest to her, disappearing behind a curtain (symbolic of women being hushed in public) as she changes between scenes. Olam plays Táhirih, Táhirih's mother, and even her executioner in this powerful and dramatic ode to the suffragette.
Olam also composed the captivating live music. She plays the cello and Appalachian dulcimer while she reads Táhirih's poetry, which lifts the weight of the words and further dramatises this storytelling as live theatre.
The rotating cast of Táhirih's nearest and dearest frame her liberal thoughts in a sobering wash of reality. Her own mother offers her no pardon. She wonders if her daughter is dead yet, and wishes she'd remembered her true role as a woman. Olam interracts with the audience in lighter moments, and ultimately offers up a set of convincing performances through her precise verbal delivery and beautiful singing.
Assembly George Square Studios, until 29 Aug (not 16), 12.35pm, £11--£13 (£9--£11).