Kardomah94, Alfred Gelder St, Hull

Tuesday 24th February

Tonight was my first theater experience at Kardomah94 and I can certainly say what a great venue it is, intimate and small meaning you are almost part of the show with great sight lines and quality sound and lights, from that point of view it’s probably my favorite small theater venue in the town.

Tonight’s show, Yalda: Iranian Woman, is in development so the majority of the show was actually read from a script but that really made no difference as the character of Yalda was so well written and performed by Roya Amiri that you forgot about the book being held onstage. The staging of the play was minimal with just a few pieces or furniture and some interesting projections in between the scenes to allow for a few small costume changes which allowed you to focus on the performance and story line with the minimum of distractions.

The play itself touched some very culturally relevant subjects with the rise of UKIP and other racial concerns as themes as well as men’s attitudes to women in different cultures. I actually learned quite a lot about Iranian culture and the celebration of Yalda “the longest and darkest night of the year” during which part of the play is set. The character of Yalda seemed very ‘believable’ and I guess some of the situations and characters are drawn from real life experiences and where spiced with enough local references to anchor them in reality rather than fantasy. Not being a regular theater goer my frame of reference is very limited but I can safely say I could see this play being further expanded and refined and becoming quite a success, as it was it drew a decent crowd tonight and apparently was even busier on the opening night.

I can highly recommend Yalda and if you see it being staged again go check it out for a thought provoking but also humorous and very human story.

Words | Darren Bunting

Images: Jerome Whittingham


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