The debut run of Lipstick: A Fairy Tale of Iran heads to London theatre

In 2010, just after the contested 2009 Iranian election, during riots urging the removal of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from office, writer/director Sarah Chew went to Iran on a theatre residency.

The experience changed her life. Lipstick: a fairy tale of modern Iran is inspired by that time, driven by the passionate desire to address the rise in hard borders and cultural and ethnic exclusion – from a political and from a personal perspective.

Lipstick is about how it feels to be making sincere, charged, powerful art, even under the threat of censorship and imprisonment. At that time, Iran was part of a collection of Middle Eastern territories the US Government still titled “the Axis of Evil”.

Prior to visiting, the title had coloured Sarah’s assumptions of what she would find there – assumptions which were challenged, on a daily basis, throughout her stay. When she got home, Lipstick, was born.

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