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REVIEW - Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World (Theatre) [Travfest23, Edinburgh 2023]


Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World (Theatre) by The Javaad Alipoor Company, Travfest23, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023. Photo credit: Piers Allardyce

"1992, the Iranian pop sensation and refugee Fereydoun Farrokhzad sometimes called Iran’s Tom Jones, was found brutally murdered in his home in Germany, only six months after playing to a sold-out audiences at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The case was never solved."

This interactive show from the Javaad Alipoor company promises to take a deep dive into the mystery of Farrokhzad's death, and into the investigation itself.

Front and centre, writer / director Javaad Alipoor introduces and presents his own show. Confident and charismatic, he did come across as a little egotistical. It takes 30 minutes to get to the details of the murder case, with the first section instead taking the format of a TED-talk as Javaad explains how social media and search tools such as Wikipedia can often lead us down rabbit-holes of interlinked information.

Once the investigation does get going, it takes the format of a podcast. This is personal preference, but I did not care for the podcast angle at all. I understand it is a parody of the multitude of true-crime podcasts that seem to be everywhere at the moment, but I found the tone grating and repetitive.

The technology in this production is the highlight, with stunning projections, varied multimedia and clever use of both virtual and live video feeds throughout. The visual impact created by Limbic Cinema is stunning. With varying levels and depths used on stage too, there is always something to look at and to be captivated by. But sometimes, the visuals become overwhelming; There's too many overlaps and too much going on. An apt metaphor for the internet and information overload I guess.

At the very beginning of the show, Alipoor explains that he wants his show to be a safe space for any neuro-divergent audience members, or anyone who would enjoy a more relaxed environment in the theatre. But he then moves on to present the opening monologue of his play backed by a red flashing light. There was no discernible reason that I can fathom for him to be bathed in flashing light... I had to close my eyes! It was an immediate contradiction to what he'd just said.

The music in the show is beautiful with talented musicians Raam Emami and Me-Lee Hay providing live accompaniment throughout. We do get to hear more from Raam during the show, and I found him to be endearing, compelling and his story a welcome feature of the production.

There is a fascinating idea at the heart of this show, and I appreciate the attempt to delve into the mind-boggling world of both true crime investigation and internet research. The murder case itself is intriguing, and the theories presented by the show are well researched and persuasive. It also puts forward some interesting ideas about fame and locality, and how we can never truly define someone or something.

There is so much to admire here, but I do think this production will be like marmite: Some will love the format and humour, others not so much. Theatre is always subjective, and this show may be more so than most.


When and Where?

Venue: Traverse Theatre - Traverse 1

Date: Tues 15 - Sun 27 August 2023

Time: Varies

Duration: 1h 30 mins

Age guide: 14+

📸 Photo credit: Piers Allardyce



Director Javaad Alipoor

Music Raam Emami

Composer and Music Director Me-Lee Hay

Dramaturgy Chris Thorpe

Co-Creator Natalie Diddams

Production and Video Design Limbic Cinema

Set, Costume & Lighting Design Ben Brockman

Sound Design Simon McCorry


🌟REVIEW - Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World (Theatre) by The Javaad Alipoor Company [Travfest23, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023]🌟

🎟️ Disclosure: I am an Edinburgh Festival Fringe accredited media reviewer and as such I receive complimentary press tickets in exchange for my honest reviews. My reviews and star ratings are always my honest opinions.

📧 For media and review requests contact

💗 To see more pictures and watch my videos follow @Lisa_InTheTheatre on Instagram

Lisa in the theatre, theater, reviews, blog, Scotland, Scottish


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