Hashemi, Seyed Afshin (Iranian playwright, actor, October 12, 1975-____), “The Most Honest Murderer of the World,”
a 40-minute drama in English, translated by Rouzbeh Eftekhari (Iranian translator from Farsi into English, 19__-____), Noushin Seidhosseini (Iranian translator from Farsi into English, 19__-____), Hooman Khodadost (Iranian translator from Farsi into English, 19__-____) from the original Farsi, set in Tehran, Iran, 2002,
1m or 1f (or more)
; • © 2002 by Seyed Afshin Hashemi, English translation; • in Seyed Afshin Hashemi’s The Most Honest Murderer of the World (Tehran, Iran: The Author, 2002); • script/rights available In original Farsi or English translation from Seyed Afshin Hashemi, No. 13, Shahamati Street (opposite to the Esteghlal cinema), Vali-asr Avenue, Tehran, Iran, telephone/fax 009821 8903370, e-mail email@example.com. • Cited by Seyed Afshin Hashemi via e-mail July 16, 2002; Hashemi says,
§ Dramatis Personae Murderer (m or f), _____; Peddler (m or f), _____; Lady Representative (f), _____; Old Man (m), _____; Driver (m extra), _____.
§ Synopsis “The Murderer explains to the audience his next assignment from the Big Boss—to kill the Great Author. Diverted by a Peddler selling unauthorized books at exorbitant prices and paying the authors only with respect, The Murderer challenges the price. The Peddler responds, “Suppose the Great Author dies tomorrow, then what? The prices have jumped up and we have already lost the books. . . . If anything happens to the writer, his books are changed to other books.” The Murderer says, “You’re right. They will be censored, but to what extent? Two or three paragraphs at the maximum which shouldn’t cause such an increase in price.” When the Peddler asks him to leave, Murderer promises to return. The Lady Representative of the Big Boss brings details of the assignment to kill the Great Author. The Murderer protests that the file on the victim is incomplete without a new photo, adding, “You don’t want me to do something against the law. Do you?” He bargains for full payment in advance. The Murderer goes to find the victim. The drunken Old Man sitting at the reception desk asks, “Are you the taxi driver? Have you come to pick him up?” “No, I’m the murderer. I’ve come to murder him.” The drunken Old Man pleasantly gives directions, “He’s in the upper floor, room seven, on the right. For sure, he’ll be glad to meet you.” The Murderer knocked on the door. “We looked at each other’s eyes. His face was very different from the ones at the back of his books. He had grown older but life was still living in his eyes. It was obvious that he has still so many books not written. . . . Again, we looked at each other. He recognized me. He asked no question. He looked up and closed his eyes. Maybe he was praying. I don’t know whether it was real or dreamy. Two beautiful angels came over his head. I put my hands on his heart and pressed it. You know, it was Heart Attack Company’s order. He changed his expression a bit. He complained no more. I continued to press. It was the due time. It finished. He was in my arms.” As The Murderer descends the stairs, The Old Man catches up with him, “Oh, finally I found you. I checked the list and I noticed that the one you wanted to see is on the upper floor, room 7, on the left, not right!” Checking the other room and finding it empty, The Murderer gets a taxi to the train station from which the Great Author will depart. The taxi breaks down, and The Murderer misses the train at the station. He wonders, “Now, I don’t know what should I say to the Big Boss. Just a small mistake! A small mistake between the left and the right; damn to the left and the right!” The Murderer reads aloud a newspaper story, “Today at 12:13 p.m., the Great Author died. He left as he was going to travel to another city to receive the great literary award. Our reporter says that his body was found in the room opposite. According to the reports, because the faucets of the Great Author’s room were out of order, he had left his room to use the toilet of the opposite room, which was deserted, and there he had the heart attack. This big loss . . . .” The Murderer reads aloud the letter from the Big Boss: “Dear Murderer, Once again, it became clear to everyone that nothing can hinder our high goals and instructions. And also once again, your capabilities that had been approved several times in different previous missions have been ascertained. I congratulate you for your careful and exact obedience of the instructions. Beside promotion, you are given the title ‘The Most Honest Murderer of the World.’”
§ Comment “This play . . . can be performed by 1 to 5 actors. This play was performed in Iran by 1 male actor (all the characters acted by 1 actor), . . . then after one year, performed by 2 male actors. In the last year a young group in a small city in Iran performed it using 5 actors. . . . All or some of the characters can be male or female,” according to the playwright. • Addendum July 17, 2002: “The play is a grotesquerie about death and predestination, a joke about the god and his angels. There are no differences between male or female in this play; for example, a woman can portray the Old Man or a man can portray the Lady Representative. The place and time of the play can be anywhere and anytime.” •  Addendum July 11, 2003: "Its American premiere was in the 15th Annual Bailiwick Director’s Festival, Bailiwick Arts Center, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., April 21, 22, 23, 2003, by Susan Galey (an American director). She performed it using 5 actors."
§ Themes angel, award, censorship, crime, death, escape, god, hit man/woman, hotel, inevitability, law, literature, mistaken identity, murder, newspaper, predestination, professional killing, promotion, train.
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