455 - KATIL –Noir et Rouge – Despair and Passion
A modern drama by the Cyprus Turkish State Theatre
By Heidi Trautmann
The sparks flew and half the scenery was dismantled on Friday January 18, the première of KATIL, a play written by Elcin Efendiyev and directed by Mehriban Elekberzade, both from Azerbeijan and according to the information I had, it was on the basis of a cultural agreement between the two countries.
When I entered the theatre house of the Atatürk Cultural Centre in Nicosia I stopped short and said WOW what a beautiful stage design: noir et rouge - all in black the carpet, the furniture, huge black and white photos of a mega city, but three bright red apples on the black table.
When the light dimmed a figure all in black came from the back of the house followed by a spot light, the Woman, the 41 years old teacher, living all by herself, alone, lonely and she enters the black atmosphere of her private world and only her white face is seen, a mask first, but continuously showing more of her loneliness. The great adventure Love is missing in her life. The lonely woman, restless but romantic, the yearning for fulfillment, well played by Oya Akın, very sensitive and natural.
A thunderstorm announcing a change, the doorbell rings, one of her students enters, soaked by the rain, The Boy, timid and insecure. The Woman mothers him; finally he talks of his love for her and after some struggle she succumbs to his sexual request. The Boy is played by Tuygun Töre, a young actor (I saw him in the film A code named Venus currently shown in Cyprus) who plays the role of the oversensitive, overacting young man convincingly.
Love enters the scene, passion and with it the colour red, hot red; The Woman has finally entered the playground of love. In a red satin night gown. A sensual body language, we believe her.
The Boy changes from the timid youngster to the dominating male, the master. The Woman’s life is in a turmoil, so is the stage. Brutality and passion, hunger and hate. I wonder if Oya Akın carries home some blue sore marks after each performance, the way she is beaten around.
Finally the situation becomes unbearable and ends in disaster.. ……
In my personal opinion, the characters are finely played with great passion, the conflicts of the story well told. A rather unusual play for Cyprus and as I looked around I saw many people laughing and giggling at the most dramatic situations, especially when love scenes were acted quite realistically. A woman next to me was asking: why do people laugh, there is nothing to laugh about, and I answered: perhaps they are embarrassed? The scenes of despair until the fatal end I found too long, too repetitive, it was not easy for the actress playing The Woman to find new ways of expressing how lost she was in her despair, but… perhaps it was meant that way. The glass of the windows should be removed, or half removed, because you could hardly understand what was said, and I was sitting in the second row. I wonder if people sitting further back understood anything at all.
There is the modern way of stage choreography realized to include the theatre house into the stage activities; for example the neighbour woman walking by outside the stage and watching the disaster take its course, or film scenes that were cast on the side walls of the house to show the dreams of the sleeping Woman. A new dimension.
Certainly a most unusual play for Cyprus, its approach and realization on stage.
Cast: The Woman: Oya Akın; The Boy: Tuygun Töre; Neighbour woman: Bilen Kiliç; Neighbour man/policeman: Yilsay Özbudak
Dekor: Hüseyin Özinal
There are performances every Friday until the end of March.