Censoring an Iranian Love Story

Skills: [:en]Works[:es]Obras[:], Featured

By Shahriar Mandaninpour
Translated by Sara Khalili
Dramatised by Hattie Naylor
BBC Radio 4

Contemporary drama from Iran. A writer must cheat the censor to publish his love story.

In order for his book to receive a publishing permit, the writer must convince Mr Petrovich, the all-powerful censor at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, that it will not provoke sin in the mind of the reader.

His characters, Sara and Dara, meet at a riot and are obliged to hide their encounters from both their families and the regime’s Campaign Against Social Corruption, the feared citizen-guardians of Islamic morality. Gender separation is rigorously enforced and illicit passion punished so the lovers exercise their creativity to meet in secret amid the bustling streets of Tehran, in an empty cinema and a hospital A&E unit. Discovery would mean imprisonment, even death.

Yet writing freely of their encounters puts the writer in as much peril as his own fictional lovers in this Farsi Fahrenheit 451.


Writer ….. Kevork Malikyan
Petrovich ….. Philip Arditti
Sara ….. Isabella Nefar
Dara ….. Amir El-Masry
Jafar & Golshiri ….. Raad Rawi,
Stepmother & Librarian ….. Mia Soteriou
Young Dara ….. Beatrice Butler
Mother Sara ….. Nathalie Armin
Father Sara ….. Nabil Elouahabi
Mr Sinbad & Brother Atta …..Pezh Mann
Jafar & Father Dara ….. Raad Rawi
Mother Dara ….. Mia Soteriou

Other roles were played by the cast.

Executive producer: Sara Davies
Sound design by James Morgan and Steve Bond
Music by Gorkem Sen

Produced and directed by Nicolas Jackson

An Afonica production for BBC Radio 4