My Father Held a Gun

(16+ yrs) all year

A performance about fathers
in the eyes of their sons

(16+ yrs) 

Winner of the Amsterdam Fringe Gold Award (2017)

Storytellers Raphael Rodan and Sahand Sahebdivani are close friends who come from enemy countries, Iran and Israel. In My Father Held a Gun they decide to confront their past, being the sons of men who lived through wars and revolutions. Do they measure up to the examples that were set by their ancestors?
They realise that if life had taken a slightly different direction, their fathers would have been aiming their guns at each other. How will this realisation effect their friendship?

Raphael and Sahand they are joined on stage by musical wizards Iman Spaargaren and Guillermo Celano.


COST €1350 / performance + 9% VAT + local travel costs from Amsterdam
(Negotiable, discounts for more than one performance a day or in combination with a workshop.)
DATE school years 2022-2023 and 2023-2024
RUNNING TIME 75 minutes (no interval) + Q&A session
VENUE your school or a location you provide
AGE RANGE audiences 16+
WORKSHOP Pre- or post-performance upon request. Tailor-made to age groups. Costs to be discussed.

* Sahand was raised in the Netherlands and he speaks native Dutch. This may make you
more relaxed concerning the language issues your students may face. He can give a short
introduction in Dutch, if you prefer.

Meet your workshop leaders

Raphael Rodan – performer/storyteller

Raphael was born in the North of Israel, graduated in 2008 from the School of Speech and Drama in Harduf, Isreal. He continued his studies in the UK at the School of Storytelling in Sussex, and the Actors Temple in London. He worked in Israel as a theatre director for Arab and Jewish young actors, using theatre as a bridge for communication. Since his move to Europe he runs storytelling workshops and performs all over the continent. Together with Sahand he established the Mezrab Storytelling School. (

Sahand Sahebdivani  – performer/storyteller

was born in Tehran, Iran in 1980.
He escaped the Ayatollahs at the age of three when his family fled to Amsterdam. Now he is one of the main storytellers of the country and he The Dutch storytelling society nominated him National Storyteller of the Year in 2012 and 2013. He received this title for his
continuing promotion of Storytelling in The Netherlands and the high quality of his performances. Sahand is the founder of one of the most active storytelling stages of Europe: Café Mezrab. (

Iman Spaargaren – musician

is a multireed player, arranger and composer. He has a distinctive way of playing and a very personal tone on his horn. Over the past years Iman has been busy with a wide variety of music groups such as Iman Spaargaren Undercurrent, StarkLinnemann Quartet, Voice of Monk and Iman Spaargaren Quartet & Septet.

Guillermo Celano – musician

was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
After finishing his musical education at the E.M.P.A. (in Bs.As.) he traveled to Amsterdam where he got his Master degree in music at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. After finishing his master he followed composition lesson in Amsterdam with master composer Pablo Escande.



“…this show was marvellous – and it spurred an incredibly (and unusually!) insightful and deep conversation with my 10th grade global studies class. So much to talk about in terms of art, society, conflict, and humanity. Thank you.” (Teacher at American School of The Hague, 06-03-2018)

”A great show, a hopeful plea for peace” (Het Parool)

“A current and important story about war and the effects it has on man” (From the jury of the Amsterdam Fringe Award)

“There seems to be no ground on which Sahebdivani and Rodan fear to tread, no one with rigid views will leave the show unchallenged” (Online magazine The Hague)


Amsterdam Fringe Gold Award (Best show at the Amsterdam fringe festival) – Article (click here)

Booking and information

T: +31 6 20431919