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The Persephone show was staged at the 2024 Adelaide Fringe Festival at the invitation of Garage International and attracted the attention of critics. What follows is part of the reviews written for this performance:


A clever duo dance within one piece of cloth conjures up images of a range of mythical creatures, morphing from one to the other. This show is also in continuous flux, alternating between life and death. The bare stage contains a tent, the small camping kind, which allow for some cramped costume changes. I believe it is also designed to take us outside, into the fields where the legend of Persephone reigns supreme. She presents the rebirth of new life in spring, the repetitive cycle of nature. The vegetation goddess, she married Hades, so she is also queen of the underworld.

Reviewed by David Cronin



A powerful example of experimental theatre in which contemporary dance and physical theatre play significant roles, “Persephone” opens with Demeter (Sajie Ashouri) and her daughter (Fahimeh Hurmozi) having set up camp at the foot of the mountain with the intention to scale it the following day. The white inner skin and frame of a tent sits opposite the pair engaged in an intense conversation in Persian. An engagingly humorous moment involving the pair enveloped in a white sheath of fabric breaks the tension and the motif of rebirth is introduced when the covering appears to become a vagina. A consistent image throughout, the tent and performers’ bodies are used to profound effect to reinforce this primal symbol of birth and growth.

Review by That Guy in The Foyer, John Doherty:


Hailing from Iran, the team behind the show Persephone have produced a very curious and highly interesting show about common legends, stories that exist throughout the world regardless of the way they developed and where they originated. Whilst this performance is based on legends about life and death from Iran and Japan, the show takes significant influence from the Greek legend of Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. Trapped in the underworld, Demeter hunts for Persephone after being kidnapped by Hades, God of the Underworld. It is difficult to be anything but absorbed in the unfolding dread that takes hold of Demeter as she realises her loss and the frantic search for her child. The show was extraordinary. Both performers were fully committed to the story, showing exceptional skill in their craft. Although mostly being a physical theatre show, there were moments of spoken word performance. A mix of English and Farsi (Persian) gives great weight to the heavy, emotive and at times almost hypnotic atmosphere. A minimalist set which made great use of darkness and shadow, was complimented with a soundtrack that enhanced the desperation of Dementer’s search and the oppression of her sorrow of loss. For the non-Persian speaking audience members, the inclusion of the multilingual elements of the show re enforced the weight of the story as it unfolded. The performance was powerful and passionate, displaying moments of euphoria, elation, terror and trauma.

Review by Simon Lancione :


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