The Javaad Alipoor Company

Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran
Apr 8 - 18, 2021


Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran  
presented by The Javaad Alipoor Company   
written by Javaad Alipoor  
co-created by Javaad Alipoor and Kirsty Housley  

  • DATES: April 8 – 18, 2021 


For me, the end game is how do I make the audience feel implicated in something they didn’t feel implicated in when they arrived; how do I make it feel like it’s here, between us.” -Javaad Alipoor 

Combining digital theatre and a live Instagram feed, viewers will scroll backwards through time to learn the story of two kids who are driving too fast. Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran is a darkly comedic, urgent new play about entitlement, consumption, and digital technology, that explores the ubiquitous feeling that our societies are falling apart.  Presented through YouTube and IG live, Javaad and Peyvand Sadeghian split the screen and tell the story as themselves. The audience participates through Instagram following a fictional feed belonging to the subjects of the story and joining Instagram live periodically.  

Rich Kids, winner of the 2019 Scotsman Fringe First Award, is the sequel to the award-winning The Believers Are But Brothers, and the second part of a trilogy of plays from Javaad Alipoor about how digital technology, resentment and fracturing identities are changing the world. 

“History is a process of accumulation, that the digital archive is evidence that ghosts are always ready for reanimation.” – Artforum, Jess Barbagallo 

To learn more check out this video interview with Javaad Alipoor. 



Friday, April 16, 2021 - Post-performance conversation with Artistic Director Rachel Cook & Javaad Alipoor- SIGN UP FOR THIS ART TALK HERE

Sunday, April 18, 2021 - Post-performance closing night party, open to all who have attended the performance.



Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran uses Instagram as a part of the performance, audience members will be invited to scroll through the show’s Instagram feed, watch the live stream feature, and browse hashtags. We encourage you to download Instagram before the event.  Although it’s not necessary to be on Instagram while you watch the show, it does allow the artists to share more of the world with you.  

Here is an Instagram "how to" for Rich Kids.



JAVAAD ALIPOOR is an artist, writer and Artistic Director of The Javaad Alipoor Company.

In 2017, he began writing a trilogy of plays about how digital technology, resentment and fracturing identities are changing the world. The Believers Are But Brothers, described as “one of the most fascinating shows I have seen in an age” (The Financial Times) excavated the stories of young men at the extremes of hyperreality. It opened at Summerhall in Edinburgh in 2017 where it won a Fringe First Award, before transferring to London’s Bush Theatre. It has toured nationally and internationally over the last four years, and in 2019 was adapted for television by the BBC and The Space.

Its sequel – Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran – “breaks all the rules of theatre behaviour” (The Times) and premiered at the Traverse Theatre in 2019, winning a Fringe First Award. Its London transfer to Battersea Arts Centre in early 2020 and subsequent national tour was postponed by the Covid-19 pandemic inspiring the creation of a new digital version for online audiences which has toured virtually to HOME Manchester, Oxford Playhouse, Electric Dreams Festival and Under The Radar at The Public Theater New York.

Javaad is a former ACE Changemaker and was Resident Associate Director at Sheffield Theatres (2017/18) where he directed a new adaptation of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest for The Crucible, and prior to this was Associate Director at Theatre in the Mill from 2015 to 2017.

He was a founder member of the International Alliance in Support of Iranian Workers and The Syria Solidarity Campaign, and the Bradford-based pro EU Migrant organisation #BradfordSaysEveryoneStays.

Javaad's writing about international politics, cultural policy and art has been featured in The Guardian, The Independent and The Stage. His plays are published by Oberon, and his poetry by Art in Unusual Places.

KIRSTY HOUSLEY is a director, writer and dramaturg.

She won the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award in 2003 for Cue Deadly:  A Live Film Project and was twice nominated for The Stage’s Innovation Award, winning in 2017 for The Encounter.

She has worked with Javaad Alipoor since 2017 on The Believers Are But Brothers as Director and Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran as Co-Creator.

Other recent work includes creating The Long Goodbye with Riz Ahmed for Manchester International Festival /BAM; Mephisto (A Rhapsody) at The Gate Theatre (director); Tao of Glass for Manchester International Festival (co-director); Avalanche: A Love Story at The Barbican and Sydney Theatre (dramaturg); Phillip Pullman’s Grimm Tales at The Unicorn (director); I’m a Phoenix, Bitch for Bryony Kimmings (director); Misty at The Bush and in the West End (dramaturg); Myth at the RSC (co-written with Matt Hartley); A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer for Complicite, National Theatre and HOME Manchester (as dramaturg in 2017, and as writer-director on its 2018 international tour), The Encounter for Complicite (co-director); Wanted and 9 for Chris Goode and Company, Transform Festival and West Yorkshire Playhouse (co-director); Walking the Tightrope for Offstage and Theatre Uncut; All I Want for Live Theatre, Leeds Libraries and Jackson’s Lane; Mass for Amy Mason at Bristol Old Vic and Camden Peoples Theatre; The Beauty Project and Theatre Uncut 2012 at the Young Vic; How to be Immortal for Penny Dreadful at Soho Theatre and on tour; Bandages at the Corn Exchange Newbury and on tour; Thirsty for The Paper Birds; and Blue Jam for Etcetera Theatre Company.

Kirsty is currently developing new work with the National Theatre, Complicite, Clean Break and Hampstead Theatre.


Read the full press release here