Barefoot, Naked, Heart in His Hand

Barefoot, Naked, Heart in His Hand is based on a tragic incident that happened in Germany in 1993. A group of young neo-Nazi men set the apartment of a Turkish immigrant family on fire. In the fire, five members of the family perish, and the father and a little son survive. The play is narrated from the point of view of Ali, the father of the family, who survived the fire but stays in a mental hospital. To turn this catastrophe into a play, instead of writing a drama full of pity and tears, Jalali chooses the framework of tragicomedy which grants a dynamic rhythm to the monologue, that, alongside the alienation effect produced, makes the audience experience the bitterness and ugliness of the misfortune with an alert mind. Compactness is another characteristic of Jalali’s style which affects all parts of the play including the narrative, acting, stage design, and music. Choosing the form of monologue performed only by a single actor is evidence of this, which results in the play’s richness and complexity. Barefoot, Naked, Heart in His Hand is compact but rich, simple but complicated, and comic but tragic.


Alireza Kooshk Jalali

Name of the Playwrights in English


Year of Writing


Year of the First Staging