Reviewed by: Fringefeed
Review by Giorgia Beasley | 20 February 2023

Get ready travel the world… while staying in Maylands.

I know it can feel like a risk to see a show outside one of the major Fringe hubs in Northbridge. It’s not as easy to commence a Fringe Binge if the feeling strikes and seeing multiple shows in quick succession can be trickier to line up, but I assure you, Always Wine in Shiraz is worth it.

The Esfandiar Shahmir Quartet are WA locals who are putting on a seriously impressive show, using music and narrative to transport us to the streets of Iran.

The audience were immediately wowed as we were introduced to the soothing sounds of the ney, daf (think flute and drum), double bass and harp. And as an extra special treat, courtesy of a broken arm on our leading man, for this year’s Fringe show the quartet has become a quintet with the addition of an understudy clarinet player.


The quartet-cum-quintet immediately took us on a musical journey to showcase Persian music, all starting from the city of Shiraz.

If you’re thinking that sounds like a musical niche that you’re not in, think again! Their music is beautiful and the story behind every song and poem makes it accessible for even the music novices among us (me).

As well as an amazing show, you’ll be getting an education on this ancient art and hearing how the poetry we know today came upon some of its earliest influences.

Only more impressive than their instrumental skills were the original compositions.

Esfandiar, the namesake and leader of the quartet, was so confident and joyous in every song, it truly would have been a pleasure to watch him all day. His storytelling skills were also second to none, elevating it from another (outstanding) Fringe performance, to a journey through time and space.

If you’re not sure what to see this weekend, give Always Wine in Shiraz a go. It’s truly unlike any other show, and it’s a real crowd pleaser for all ages and interests.