By Heidi Trautmann
Once in a while it is very important to go back to your childhood, to memories of your childhood, to the feelings and dreams you had then in order to find some courage to go on living by forgetting things you have learnt on the way, by putting aside the rucksack full of experiences, sadness, hardships and disappointments, to let fantasy reign and to believe again in paradoxes. You come out refreshed with a smile on your face.
This is what I did the other day when I went to see Alice in Wonderland as a matinee show at the Nicosia Municipality Theatre. I was surrounded by children of all ages who excitedly took part in the mysterious events during the performance, telling Alice where to look, shrieking and laughing, and the very small ones moved forward in their chairs with big eyes and open mouth.
I nearly did so myself, but relaxed in my chair and enjoyed the play. I am sure that the story of Alice is known to everybody, the story of the girl who fell asleep and encountered in her dream - with the help of a fairy and the white rabbit - the most incredible things living in a most mysterious world where the flowers and plants appeared like a forest and the people around the queen of hearts were most peculiar. The story by Lewis Caroll was first published in 1865 and was often used for the stage and cinema films. Famous actress Meryl Streep played the role of Alice in the eighties I remember and the last film which came out was in 2010 with Jonny Depp as the hat maker.
Hatice Tezcan, a beautiful woman with a special radiance in her face, member of the Nicosia Municipality Theatre company, whom I have first seen as actress in Harold Pinter’s Birthday Party, has directed the play and also designed the costumes. She was present during the performance so I could talk to her. It took them three months to have the play ready for stage and as I could see there was a lot of work involved with all the fantastic costumes and the stage scenery. The music was arranged by Mehmet Atun and the five musicians underlined the choreography in a perfect way to keep the audience in suspense.
I was thrilled to find the crème de la crème of the Nicosia Theatre Company involved in the play, the best actors and actresses to play for us, like Özgür Oktay as Alice, Osman Ateş as the Hat Maker who also did the choreography, Osman Alkaş as the Turtle, Deniz Çakir as Duchess, Baris Refikoğlu as the Grinning Cat, Erol Refikoğlu as the Five of Heart, for me these are the ones I know best but also the others were just great. They screamed and laughed madly, they cried and moaned, they rolled on the floor, ran up the steps right up to the audience and I saw in the faces of the spectators the tension and the wish to take part in it all.
By far too soon the wonderland closed its gates and while very reluctantly the audience got up from their chairs, there was a young girl who went straight to the curtain, opened it and was about to go inside when she was called back by her mother. Who knows, perhaps the whole story would have repeated itself.
The play will be on the theatre programme during the entire year as the demand is high, twice a week, sometimes on Saturdays; Please contact the Theatre to find out the exact dates. Tel: 227 8782
Author: Lewis Caroll; Adaption: Tomris Uyar; Director: Hatice Tezcan; Dramaturg: Aliye Ummanel; Music Arrangement: Mehmet Atun; Stage Set: Özlem Yetkili; Costume Design: Hatice Tezcan; Choreography: Osman Ateş;
Cast: Alice: Özgür Oktay; Alice’s sister: Asu Demircioğlu; White Rabbit: Adem Mülazim; Caterpillar:Döndül Özata; Duchess: Deniz Çakir; Grinning Cat: Baris Refikoğlu; Hat Maker: Osman Ateş; March Rabbit: Asu Demiricioğlu; Hazelnut Mouse: Melek Gözükeles; Queen of Heart: Kiymet Karabiber; Two of Heart: Riza Sen, Five of Heart: Erol Refikoğlu; Seven of Heart: Cem Aykut; Turtle: Osman Alkaş.
Music: Piano: Mehmet Atun; Viola: Hüseyin Altan; Violoncello; Nalan Iğdir, Flute: Fatih Girgin; Violin: Nurten Ensever;