Persian love story, Dorr-e Dari, makes Melbourne premiere this September


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Book Fair Australia 2023

The Tragedy of HAMLET

Dorr-e Dari: A Poetic Crash Course in the Language of Love

Fairfax Studio, 2  3 September

Intimate storytelling and epic ballads from the streets of Kabul, Tehran and Quetta, via Western Sydney, form the foundation of Persian theatre work Dorr-e Dari: A Poetic Crash Course in the Language of Love (درّ دری: یک دورۀ فشردۀ شاعرانه در زبان عشق) which will make its Melbourne debut at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Fairfax Theatre from 2 – 3 September.

The bilingual show tunes in to a thousand-year strong tradition of courtly Persian love poetry from Western Sydney’s leading theatre company for young professional artists, PYT Fairfield.

Afghan-Australian hosts Mahdi MohammadiJawad Yaqoubi and Hasiba Ebrahimi will guide audiences on the path to love – from getting caught in school writing love letters to the art of flirting, romance and forming relationships.

This is the first time the work has been shown to Melbourne audiences following its successful season at the 2021 Sydney Festival.

“People ask us about Dorr-e Dari and how we made the show for the Sydney Festival. Really, the answer is that we took the time to get to know each other. Mahdi, Bibi and I would gather in Merrylands with other members of the creative team. We would sit around the table, tell stories, recite poetry, and I would cook my favourite dish – Lamb Shorba,” says Jawad Yaqoubi.

Inspired by the tradition of private recitals and ‘curtain shows’ performed throughout the Persian-speaking world, this rich and tender work demonstrates how there is a verse for every condition of the heart.

Exploring Persian-language cultural traditions in a contemporary Australian context, the work is theatrical, conversational and spiritual with audiences experiencing heavenly singing, joyous dancing, personal storytelling and sumptuous video imagery.

Dorr-e Dari not only invites audiences to experience the culturally diverse and rich cultures on their doorstep but to also consider how translation and interpretation of universal themes of love and relationships are celebrated and experienced across cultures over time.

“‘Dorr-e Dari’ means the ‘Pearl of Dari’, (Dari is the form of Persian language that many of us speak in Afghanistan). So, when we say ‘Dorr-e Dari’, it shows how precious our culture and language is. It has survived for thousands of years because we carry it in our hearts. And we need to keep on celebrating it, especially now, when our culture is in danger,” says Mahdi Mohammadi.

Special guest performers will appear on video phone calls from Afghanistan, Iran and Canada as they bring audiences into the charmed space of a poetry circle where, at least for a moment, any problem might be solved with a couplet.

Tickets are on sale now via

★★★★ “a nuanced exchange of energy, emotion and ideas, driven by the heart…leaves a growing, glowing warmth.” – Sydney Morning Herald
“Sequences can be naturalistic or theatrical, conversational or ceremonial, spiritual or didactical… Dorr-e Dari is unconstrained in the ways it wishes to communicate.” – Suzy Goes See

About PYT Fairfield

PYT has a reputation as a brave and transformative company who make urgent work that explores the critical issues of our times. We challenge the conventions of traditional theatre by creating innovative performance and social artistic experiences in theatre spaces and across diverse urban sites of Fairfield, Western Sydney and beyond, with a key focus on cultural diversity.
PYT has presented work across Australia including at the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Festival, Arts House Melbourne and Adelaide Festival Centre.
Arts Centre Melbourne and PYT Fairfield present
Dorr-e Dari: A Poetic Crash Course in the Language of Love (درّ دری: یک دورۀ فشردۀ شاعرانه در زبان عشق)
Fairfax Studio | 2 – 3 September

Duration: 75 minutes (no interval)
Warnings: coarse language and brief discussion of adult themes
Age recommendation: 14+

For tickets and more information visit


Creative Team

First Nations Elder: Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor
Concept/Co-Creator/Performer: Mahdi Mohammadi
Co-Creator: Jawad Yaqoubi
Co-devisor/Performer: Hasiba Ebrahimi
Guest Artist: Jalal Nazari
Director: Paul Dwyer
Video Artist: Sean Bacon
Lighting Designer: Neil Simpson
Dramaturg: Bernadette Fam
Production Manager: Neil Simpson
Stage Manager: Angela Tran
Project Intern: Olivia Xegas
Producer: PYT Fairfield

Photo credit: Anna Kucera

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