Theatre

Jalaluddin Rumi
Jalaluddin Rumi

In her desire to expand her work on Jalaluddin Rumi, the 13th century Persian poet, Maufroy became interested in a staging of his life. This exploration into the theatre led her to initiate and produce the play Love’s Journey.

Love’s Journey, a “meditation-play” based on the life and work of Rumi, was first performed in 1998. At the time, Rumi’s work was often presented as a one man show, usually accompanied with music. But who was Rumi? What kind of life was his? Why had he composed such poetry and in such quantity? None of these questions were really addressed. Love’s Journey, on the other hand, showed Rumi’s work in the context of his life.

The play was illustrated with quotations from Muriel’s book Breathing Truth, as well as with various extracts from Coleman Barks’ adaptations of Rumi’s work. Two storytellers and lovers of Rumi’s work, Ashley Ramsden and Duncan Mackintosh, enthusiastically accepted to take part in the project. Several musicians accompanied the actors, among them, in 2003, two great Iranian musicians.

Love’s Journey was first performed in the spring of 1998 at the Kufa Gallery in London, the next year at the Gurdjeff Centre, also in London, then again in 2000 in Douai Abbey, a Benedictine monastery located near Reading, and finally in 2003 in St Mark’s Church, Myddelton Square, in London.

Sue Best directed the play. She has worked with the Royal Opera and the English Shakespeare Company and lives in mid-Wales with her husband. Their company Shakespeare Link regularly produce Shakespeare plays in their eco-friendly willow theatre.

Hossein Omoumi, was ney player (the ney is the traditional reed flute) and avaz singer (in the Iranian tradition). He is now based in the United States.

Fariborz Kiani played the tombak and the daff. He is one of the best known promoters of classical and folk Persian music in the United Kingdom.

A new production of Love’s Journey is currently envisaged with the possibility to have it performed at the Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, North Wales.