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Iranian playwright Akbar Radi dies at 68

TEHRAN, Dec. 26 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iranian playwright Akbar Radi died of cancer on December 26 at Tehran's Pars Hospital. He was 68.

Akbar Radi was born on October 2, 1939 in Rasht, Gilan Province. His family moved to Tehran when he was still a child and he continued his studies in the Iranian capital.

In 1955, he became familiar with the works of author Sadeq Hedayat and began to write. His first story, "Dead Mouse", was published in the Tehran daily Kayhan and he later became interested in playwriting.

Radi's wife at the hospital

In 1959 he participated in a story writing competition held by the Tehran daily Ettela'at and won first prize for his story "Rain".

But his love for playwriting was still within him and he penned his first play "Blue Hole" in 1960.

Around that time he met poet Ahmad Shamlu, who liked "Blue Hole".

From the beginning of his career in the field, his skill in playwriting and his power with words drew the attention of the giants of Iranian theater. His works were compared with the plays of Anton Chekhov and Henrik Ibsen.

Radi himself even believed that in some of his plays the track of Chekhov's style of writing could be observed.

Actors gather at the hospital

Radi regarded his birthplace Gilan as his permanent domicile and had a nostalgic feeling about the province. He had great interest in the memories of his childhood and depicted them in his plays with scenes and sets like big houses with several rooms, wood ceilings, carpets from Kashan, gardens with lots of flowers, and even foggy weather and rain.

His play "Melody of Rainy City" is about his beloved Gilan Province. His feeling for the place is so strong that he named one of the main characters in the play after the province.

"Melody of Rainy City", "The Descent", "The Fishermen", "Death in the Autumn", and "Slowly with the Rose" are some of his plays.

His plays the "Glorious Smile of Mr. Gil" and "Beneath the Passage of Saqqakhaneh" were recently staged by director Hadi Marzban.

He was last seen in public early this year at Tehran's City Theater Complex during the closing ceremony of the play "Glorious Smile of Mr. Gil".

... Payvand News - 12/26/07 ... --

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