Opening of the 13th Cyprus Theatre Festival at the Near East University
By Heidi Trautmann
Within no time all eight
performances announced two weeks ago were already heavily booked. I am always
looking forward to this special event in September: It really is a wonderful
occasion for us in Cyprus to get to see such a variety of theatre. Cyprus
people love the theatre, that is quite obvious.
So, the very first
performance was a play performed by the Ankara Sanat Tiyatrosu /Ankara Art
Theatre: Selamün Kavlen Karakolu written by Aziz Nesin and adapted and directed
by Yücel Erten, a well-known actor – also in the film business – director,
writer and also teacher of theatre at the conservatoire. It is a political,
socio critical satire Yücel Erten had adapted the play to the situations in
Turkey and Cyprus, as my friend and companion Ismet explained to me.
However, before we can sit
back and see the play, the opening ceremony always is an important part of the
festival. The festival director Kiymet Karabiber welcomed the full house and
the special guests that had come, HE Mustafa Akıncı, our 4th
President and his wife Meral, the Mayor of Nicosia, Mehmet Harmancı, who holds
the umbrella over the festival activities, Yaşar Ersoy, the local grey eminence
of theatre and culture, and all the sponsors who at the beginning of the
festival are given an award issued by the Lefkoşa Belediye Theatre- short LBT.
The entire theatre equip had lined up on stage, all those who have helped to
bring the event to the success we are used to from the last twelve years.
I not only admire good
acting but also the technical side of it, the stage design. In my young years I
was accustomed to painted sets which were moved around and exchanged behind
closed curtains, not so today in modern theatre. It happens all on the open
stage and the actors bring their own props with them, change costumes during
scenes thus slipping into the new role. I was fascinated to see how with the
moving of some pieces of the metal structure the scenes were changed while the
actors went on speaking.
The actors entered the house
from the back, singing, coming down the steps and entering the stage thus
including us the spectators into the play. It had the character of a cabaret
with the scenes explained by the chorus. Eight actors of the well-known theatre
gave us a firework of satirical scenes interrupted by spontaneous applause and
laughter from the house. Human weakness and corruption demonstrated; the
political pressure and the truth behind society’s scenery.
Playwright: Aziz Nesin
Director: Yücel Erten
Music: Ali Seçkiner Alıcı
Light and Sound: Mehmet
Cast: Mehmet Ulusoy, Mahir
İpek, Hakan Güven, Yıldırım Şimşek,
Alİ Seçkiner Alıcı, Erdem Ulusal, Nalan Güreş Demirel, Gizem
Özgürcan Çevik, Mustafa Bilgin, Özgün Aydın
The Ankara Sanat Theatre is known to many Cypriots
who had studied in Ankara and had spent all their pocket money on theatre; it
was bringing back memories of those years.