Balikcioğlu Cabaret Theatre
Performance at Near East University
By Margaret Sheard…..
I really wish I had been successful in learning to speak and understand Turkish, unfortunately I have not, although not for the want of trying but that did not deter Chris and myself from attending one of the performances in North Cyprus of the Balikcioğlu Cabaret Theatre from London.
This performance was at the Near East University theatre on Tuesday 27th October and there was a very large audience which included President Mustafa Akıncı and his wife Meral. This must have been such an honour for Osman Balikcioğlu and his Turkish Cypriot cast who had travelled from their home base in London to perform some of their traditional Cypriot sketches in North Cyprus in four different areas across the north of the island.
It is strange how things evolve and this was as a result of Chris finding a commemorative statue in Bűyűkkonuk which led to a story about Alikko and Caher, a pair of radio characters from the 60’s era who delighted their listeners with their traditional Cypriot humour. As a result of articles written about these characters, contact was made with us via Facebook by Osman Balikcioğlu, who played the part of Caher, and we arranged to meet him when he visited North Cyprus earlier in the year as a result of a winning raffle ticket prize in London.
The theatre group perform in the UK and their shows are in aid of the North Cyprus charity, Help Those with Cancer Association (Tulips). The North Cyprus performances are also to support Tulips and when we arrived Tulips’ Founder – Raziye Kocaismail was just about to give a speech to the audience and she then introduced President Akıncı who also gave a speech.
The show was a series of 4 sketches, the first half with Şeşbeş FM and Yalançı Dolmalar.
From the laughter from the audience, he must have had some very amusing dialogue.
There was one amusing incident, which I think many people did not notice, when a small cat took a few leaps at the stage and then succeeded and promptly ran across the stage and off into the wings. The performers did not bat an eyelid they continued in true thespian style.
There were a further 2 sketches in the second half – Lurucinalılar and Hatmalı ile Caher. Although we didn’t understand the language it was clearly a very polished performance and very enjoyable judging from the reaction and laughter of the audience.
There was a standing ovation at the end of the show and President Akıncı went on stage to individually acknowledge each the performers which I am sure they really appreciated. Tűregűn Tunç, the daughter of one of the original characters of Alikko and Caher – Kemal Tunç, had attended the performance and she was presented with a picture of her father which had been part of the props in the last sketch.
At the end of the performance I managed to say hello to Tűregűn. I had made contact with her when I first wrote about Alikko and Caher and she kindly sent me information and photos of her father, who sadly passed away some years ago. Osman had told me that the sketch Hatmalı ile Caher was a tribute to his old friend Kemal so Tűregűn must have had some very emotional feelings as she watched the sketch.
Before leaving, we said a quick hello to Raziye Kocaismail and also Osman Balikcioğlu and the members of the cast and we wished them well with the 2 further performances in North Cyprus.
To see more photographs taken at the show, please see the slideshow below.
To see the original tribute to Kemal Tunç, and Alikko and Caher click here