Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran

Theatre (political, contemporary)

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  • Traverse Theatre - Traverse 2
  • 16:30
  • Aug 25
  • 1 hour
  • Suitability: 14+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: Javaad Alipoor and HOME in association with Traverse Theatre Company
  • Warnings and additional info: Strictly no latecomers.
  • Accessibility: May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


The global gap between rich and poor grows. As the world is decaying, the spawn of the powerful dance like everyone is watching. From the company behind the award-winning The Believers Are But Brothers, this darkly comedic, urgent new play about entitlement, consumption and digital technology, invites audiences to use Instagram to explore what's happening in the world around in interactive, innovative new ways. Created by artist, writer and activist Javaad Alipoor. Co-commissioned by Theatre in the Mill, Diverse Actions, Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Battersea Arts Centre and Bush Theatre.

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General venue access

  • Accessible entry: Information not supplied
  • Wheelchair access type: Building Lift

  • Stairs: 20+
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
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  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Stephen Hackett 116 days ago

What a lot of hype this play had. But what a string of platitudes all delivered as if no one had ever thought of them before, while the whole world is saying this stuff over breakfast, listening to it on Radio 4, discussing it in Year 10 PHSE classes, thinking they might say it in the pub but thinking better of it. There was a certain effect created by the audience all watching what was going on on the stage on their phones, and this was a bit interesting, I suppose.

Sean Davis 117 days ago

Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran (***)
This show attempts to integrate Instagram into the performance focused on how one spoiled rich kid came to die in a car crash in modern day Tehran. The images and movies from the fellow’s life certainly contributed to a sense of his life being cutting edge, but the lack of bandwidth in the Traverse made the Instagram feeds badly out of sync with the performance. Between trying to repeatedly trying to connect to the feed, and then hearing the actual performance with multiple delayed echoes on our smartphones the whole play became one big jumbled failed experiment.

This was the 66th most enjoyable of the 95 Fringe shows I have seen so far this year. You may see my other three-sentence reviews, in order from most enjoyable to worst, at my non-commercial website:

Warren Hoffman 122 days ago

Extremely disappointing. Barely a theater piece and more a tech infused lecture. The tech piece though is totally disappointing and the concept of being online while the show is going on is poorly executed. There are big ideas here about time, race, social status and money but none of it is pulled off in a meaningful way.

Jane Ellis 122 days ago

Sadly, though an interesting idea, this show didn't work. On a show of hands, well over three-quarters of the audience couldn't connect to wi-fi (the show is in a basement!). Although the same screens flashed up on large projections behind the performers, it was impossible to see the bottom row unless you were sitting at the front. The parts spoken behind screens were so echoey at least several of us couldn't make out the words at all. The structure of telling us the story backwards got too confusing to take in once we got past the recent history. On a separate point, anyone with limited mobility needs to be able to sit at the front as there are stairs up to the seats with no handrails.

Joe Hungry 123 days ago

First the technology: the Instagram on audience members' phones is out of synch, messy and incoherent. Second: the story - we already know about the Shah, the revolution and BP - this heavy-handed lecture with a bolted on bit about two kids in a car crash didn't work on any level. Poor.

UK Theatre Network 124 days ago

The Traverse Theatre can always be relied upon for presenting ground-breaking drama.

But Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran may be too innovative for its own good.

Kate Gaul 124 days ago

Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran - Javaad Alipoor and HOME in assoc with Traverse (UK). This is a play which Alipoor co-created with Kirsty Housely and co-performs with Peyvand Sadeghian. Rough around the edges but compelling. Audiences are invited to engage with the production via Instagram as part of the show (hilarious watching people get cranky when the internet drops out). This is a fact-laden, media collage – hashtags, live feeds and rapid scrolling – almost overwhelming in its detail.

“Rich Kids” is about more than the excessive consumption of the rich offspring of Iran’s revolutionary elite, however. In his kaleidoscopic script, Alipoor creates an epoch-spanning vision of human waste.

“Using Instagram as an analogy for archaeology, each picture taking us a step further into the past, he whisks us back to the age of portrait painting, in which the rich made Insta-like memorials to their own wealth, and then further into geological time. The story of two young rich people in a fatal Porsche crash in Tehran is told backwards – like scrolling through an Instagram feed. But the script also looks forwards to the legacy our generation will bequeath to the future. The components of the phones we have in our hands, they point out, will last for an inconceivable amount of time after we are gone…the show makes us complicit in the unrestrained consumerism devastating the planet. It’s dazzling, discombobulating and alarming.” Mark Fisher “Time Out”

This is a high-class cheese platter – 4 Crumb rating.

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

The Times [paywall] (4/5 stars) 120 days ago

This Edinburgh Fringe show by Javaad Alipoor breaks all the rules of theatre behaviour. They want you to use your smartphone for starters. “And turn the sound up!” we are told. The idea is for the audience to follow the show on Instagram as we also watch the Instagram images...

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To Do List (3.5/5 stars) 121 days ago

Javaad Alipoor’s revealing and engaging dissection of the rich kids of Instagram loses its way with unnecessary interactivity.The pre-show instructions aren’t too clear for this new show from the maker of award-winning The Believers Are But Brothers, except that Instagram should be installed and your phone should be kept on....

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The List (4/5 stars) 129 days ago

New tech-heavy show is a potent exploration of capitalism and culture...

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The Guardian (4/5 stars) 130 days ago

The sensation of racing a high-performance car along a swanky boulevard in Tehran is surely akin to watching this high-tech, high-octane production by Javaad Alipoor and Kirsty Housley. With our phones open on Instagram as well as seeing images projected on stage, we’re subjected to a fact-laden, multimedia collage –...

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Fest (3/5 stars) 130 days ago

A tanked yellow Porsche, metal guts exposed. Magnums of Bollinger, sprayed into air. A Rolex, glinting under UV lights, soaked in champagne. These are the pictures of excess—excessive excess—studded through Javaad Alipoor and Peyvan Sadeghian’s deep-dive into Instagram’s super-rich and Iran’s corrupt elite. Diving down a digital rabbit hole—#RichKidsofTehran—the duo...

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British Theatre Guide (3/5 stars) 130 days ago

Look for tickets... The sons of the rich burning money provocatively in front of others, taking alcohol and drugs to excess and getting up to sexual antics that could shock the nation.It sounds like the Bullingdon Club of Boris Johnson and David Cameron, but, in Rich Kids: A History of...

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The Stage [paywall] (3/5 stars) 130 days ago

Javaad Alipoor and Kirsty Housley’s 2017 show The Believers Are But Brothers was an intricate, intelligent exploration of online radicalisation that augmented its storytelling with WhatsApp. They’re attempting something similar with its follow-up, Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran, but this time using Instagram. It’s an ambitious...

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The Wee Review (3/5 stars) 130 days ago

There’s nothing worse than using your phone during a show, right? Well, Javaad Alipoor invites, nay encourages, the audience to allow their neon-emitting devices to penetrate their production of Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran. Nowhere is this #RichKidsofInstagram culture more self-destructive than in sanction-ridden Iran, where...

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Time Out (3/5 stars) 131 days ago

Javaad Alipoor scored a walloping Fringe smash in 2017 with ‘The Believers Are But Brothers’, a swaggering, provocative, teched-up exploration of online radicalization that made thrilling use of the audience’s WhatApp accounts. Follow-up ‘Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran’ has all the ingredients to be just as...

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Whats On Stage (3/5 stars) 131 days ago

Ever heard of a techno fossil? It's what archaeologists are using to describe the things the human race creates which will be discovered by someone or something in the ground millions of years into the future. Our phones, basically, which are likely to last a lot longer than us, will...

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.