Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran
An interactive digital presentation – part onscreen, and partly in your hand on mobile.
While the majority of Iranians live under an oppressive dictatorship, the children of the country’s elite live out their excessive and extravagant lifestyles on social media. Rich Kids is a dive into a world of drug-fuelled parties, fast cars, and hyper-consumerism.
Like any late-night internet binge, we start by scrolling through Instagram, but before we know it, we are taken on a whirlwind journey from revolution, to imperialism, to the entropy of the universe. It is darkly comedic and deeply revealing.
Winner of the 2019 Scotsman Fringe First Award, Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran is Javaad Alipoor’s unique digital storytelling at its best.
Fringe First Award – Edinburgh Festival 2019
“Riveting – breaks all the rules of theatre”
“It’s dazzling, discombobulating and alarming”
“ A spectacular and yet intimate picture of the clash of wealth, faith and technology.”
The Sunday Times****
The gap between the rich and poor is getting bigger and bigger around the world. Social media feeds and accelerates this ever-widening divide. In the global south we see the children of elites and post-colonial dictatorships, flashing cash, dollar signs, Bollinger and infinity pool holidays while the wider population suffers under sanctions and dictatorships.
Rich Kids is a play about entitlement and consumption, about how digital technology is complicit in social apartheid and gentrification. It spotlights the human problem of what successful and brutal people do with their coddled and useless children. It is the sequel to the award-winning, The Believers Are But Brothers, and the second part of a trilogy of plays about how digital technology, resentment and fracturing identity are changing the world.
Rich Kids previewed at Theatre in the Mill (Bradford) in July 2019 before opening at The Traverse as part of their Edinburgh Festival programme. The show then transferred to HOME Manchester for a two week run in October 2019. A subsequent UK tour in early 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID19 pandemic. Rich Kids was presented digitally at Geelong Arts Centre in Australia in September 2023.
Unable to perform the show live, and with continued support from Battersea Arts Centre, Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Arts Council England we created a new digital version of the project, for online audiences, which was streamed live with a range of partners throughout the UK during the summer and autumn of 2020: Battersea Arts Centre; Norfolk & Norwich Festival; Electric Dreams Festival; Traverse Theatre; AMATA at Falmouth University; Oxford Playhouse; Leicester University and HOME Manchester.
The original production was co-produced with HOME Manchester in association with Traverse Theatre Company co-commissioned by Diverse Actions, Theatre in the Mill, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Battersea Arts Centre and Bush Theatre.
The digital production was supported by Battersea Arts Centre and Norfolk & Norwich Festival.
Both versions of the project are supported by Arts Council England