Review: 9428 by Goussan Theatre Company
Canada is 9428 miles from Iran.
Show Date: July 14, 2022 12:45pm
ST. VLADIMIR THEATRE
Review By: Jenn Boulay
9428 miles is how far Iran is from Canada. This show gets you to reflect and consider what those who have immigrated to another country are going through. It is a moving piece of theatre, with brilliant performers.
Through the lens of the protagonist, we follow 7-year-old, Arman, on her journey of immigrating to Canada from Iran, with her family. We witness Arman experiencing culture shock and her struggle of trying to fit into a new culture, while learning a new language. All little Arman wants to do is go back HOME—in Iran. Her worry for and missing her grandparents and family in Iran elevates her anxieties.
As an audience member, I immediately felt a strong empathetic connection with Arman because of my own lived experiences working with youth who have immigrated. It is the overall presentation of the overwhelming anxiety that captivated my attention during the performance, drawing me into the narrative.
With a simple, yet creative set design, the many suitcases added to conveying feelings of being overwhelmed. For me, the suitcases felt like boundaries that also communicated the feelings of confinement that Arman was feeling.
With a creatively simple set design of suitcases, they added to conveying the feelings of being overwhelmed. For me, the suitcases felt like boundaries and represented the feelings of confinement that Arman was feeling; particularly during moments of when the monsters were crowding her in a small space.
One of my favourite aspects of the show was the integration of narration in the storyline—and breaking the fourth wall. The use of clapping to stop and start the scenes before/after the narration, smoothly moved the narrative forward. This made the experience more intimate as almost if they were taking us by the hand and not just telling the story but showing the story.
As I reflect on my experience of seeing this show, I have become more aware of what those who are or have immigrated to Canada are going through.
This show is a must attend! The voices of these artists need to be highlighted and amplified because this is not only a story and beautiful piece of theatre but a reality for many immigrants in Canada.
Jenn Boulay (she/her) is an emerging interdisciplinary performance artist/creator, playwright, singer-songwriter, musician, theatre reviewer, and scholar. She holds BA from the University of Toronto in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. You can find her creative and academic work published in Feminist Space Camp Magazine, Knots: An Undergraduate Journal of Disability Studies, TRiC, and UC Magazine.