‘Kayip/The Missing’ at the Sartiriko Theatre in
By Heidi Trautmann
....and they came to grasp the hand... more than three
hundred filled the Sartiriko Theatre.... and it would have been more, had there
been more room, the telephone at the box office ran hot. It was a good
atmosphere in the big house of the Sartiriko in Nicosia-Strovolos. A bus load
full had come from the North, I was among them.
Yaşar Ersoy, Culture and Art Coordinator and former
director of the Lefkoşa Belediye Theatre and Spiros Pandelidis , Director of
the Sartiriko Theatre, are old friends, they speak one language and they came
out on stage together with Aliye Ummanel, playwright and director of ‚ ‘Kayip’. They were welcomed by the audience with thunderous applause. The
message they gave was directed to the wish to end all hate and obstacles that
separate the two communities and Aliye Ummanel said ...as we share the same
pain for persons missing, I as the writer and director of the play, together
with the two theatre houses and their teams sincerely hope that it may be a
contribution to peace....
There was another play ‘Bariş/ Peace’ by Aristophanes performed here on the same
stage in the 1987 and many Greek Cypriots still remember the play. Among the
guests were many white headed Cypriots but also quite a number of young people.
I saw professors from Cyprus University and I encountered Mr. Luley, director
of the Goethe Institute who brought with
him Volker Ludwig from GRIPS Theatre Berlin who is directing a children’s play at the THOX
Theatre in Nicosia South on January 25, an event supported by the Goethe
Institute. See my website under Cultural
Events. They also have cooperated with the Lefkoşa Belediye Theatre for some
Yes, the new play ‘Kayıp/The Missing’ was again an
event to touch the core of the Cyprus pain. Aliye Ummanel had the play
translated into English and Greek and it was fantastic to have the subtitles
simultaneously on screen while the actors spoke in Turkish. I have described the play after I saw it on
the occasion of the theatre festival.
On the evening of 19 January there was instantaneous
applause on individual scenes, strong monologues, the words that hit and for the
outstanding acting, and the audience stood up and would not stop to show their
appreciation. Being an outsider to the
pain I saw them moved, emotions were washing over their faces, and it made my
skin creep. The Missing Persons is
something that is on the surface of the Cypriot minds, their history, and they
cannot find peace until the dead have come home to rest in peace.
There was a reception after the performance for the
audience to be able to meet and talk, to meet the actors and the theatre team. It
was a very positive gesture by a Cypriot for Cypriots.
It is planned to have the performance done with purely
English subtitles, the venue is still in discussion.