Peyvand Sadeghian was born in Canning Town, and East London runs through her veins. Yet, there’s also the scent of something else, from somewhere far away – rose water and pomegranate, from an ancient civilisation the western world loves to demonise. She doesn’t give this much thought until she is 10 years old and first travels to Iran with her father. This is a turning point in her life; it’s when she finds she is not just one person, but two. As well as Peyvand the Londoner, she’s also Parisa the Persian girl. These two identities are set in opposition in this deliberately messy collage about having multiple citizenships and identities, and embedded with a spirit of revolution.
This is certainly something different to the majority of the festival’s shows: rather than a traditional show, it is a scavenger hunt/immersive promenade show, put on by establishedcompany Fire Hazard games. Based on the famous Robert Louis Stevenson story and pop culture icon, this show puts you and your smartphone in a quest to find out what is behind your missing memories from the night before. You can enjoy it solo, or in a group up to 3 people, but it certainly requires a lot of walking, and decent weather certainly helps.
This is the question I get the most often when I mention institutionalised homophobia in a country I’ve left, Hungary. And it’s not so bad there in this regard, they ‘only’ have a ban on marriage equality, same-sex joint adoption, and Gender Studies. After all, a Pride march isn’t the same without skinheads booing from the cordons, and pulling out of Eurovision because it doesn’t agree with traditional national values (read: because it’s too gay). It could be worse.
Much like Bicycles and Fish, the first show Katie Arnstein performed at the festival, Sexy Lamp is a perfect mix of wit, emotion and more serious points, that reflect both her own experiences and the experiences of the majority of women with misogyny, perfectly. In this show, the second of her trilogy It’s A Girl!, she moves on to her first experiences trying to make it in London in the world of acting, once again discussing her struggles against misogyny.