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Lucy Deacon: “The Traditional Ta’zieh Mourning Plays of Moharram”

February 19 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Zanjan tekkiyeh

Introducing the Iranian Ta’ziyeh Cycle
and the Curious Addition of Non-Religious Characters to The Martyrdom of Imam Husain

Before entering the field of Persian Studies, Lucy Deacon had worked for more than a decade as a performing arts professional. Upon coming across the Iranian ta’ziyeh repertoire, a brand of theatre focussing on commemoration of the Karbala martyrdoms, she became fascinated with this anonymous cycle of plays. Combining analysis of the historical ta’ziyeh scripts held by the Vatican Library with fieldwork in Iran, her PhD research at Edinburgh University analyses four central plays of the cycle from a literary perspective and tracks the evolution of the genre during the 19th century.

After giving a general introduction to this fascinating art form, she will give the audience a taste of the fruits of close study of these plays, far from dry portrayals of the stories found in historical sources, sharing her findings on the 19th century introduction of new characters to the climactic play of the ta’ziyeh cycle.


February 19
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm