16th Theatre Festival in Cyprus September 2018


By Heidi Trautmann …

The month of September is the month for our theatre festival, now for the 16th year.

People are back from holidays; schools and universities have reopened their doors for students thirsty for knowledge, the weather should be back to comfortable temperatures and society is eager and ready for cultural entertainment.  An event many of us are waiting for, theatre lovers, young and old.

Lefkoşa Municipality and its theatre company have been working for months to offer us an exciting programme again which was presented to us at a very nice party at the new Bandabuliya Stage Downtown Nicosia. This new stage has now been included into the Festival Programme with two plays, while the other plays of the festival were as usual at the Atatürk Culture and Congress Hall at the Near East University in Nicosia.

This year we were given nine performances by five theatre companies.  The festival started with our own theatre, the LBT – Lefkoşa Belediye Tiyatrosu – at the Bandabuliya Stage in Downtown Nicosia with a play by Anton Chekhov, directed by Aliye Ummanel, on two days.

The festival continued with two plays by the Bakirköy Belediye Tiyatrolari from Turkey, one by the playwright Ahmet Sami Özbudak, and the other by Ceren Erkan; plays of two different eras and each with different actors.

The next play was with Altidan Sonra Tiyatro from Turkey with ‘HE-GO’ by Halil Babür, a three person piece performed again at the Bandabuliya Stage.

Back again at AKM at the NEU we saw ‘The Dinner’ by Herman Koch, a weird story, with the Semaver Kumpanya from Turkey and finally on the last day, on September 27 the Dostlar Tiyatrosu with ‘Göcmenleeeer’ by the playwright Matei Visniec, with famous Genco Erkal – I have seen him play on other occasions.

All performances were fully booked; it was again a big success. The themes of the plays very interesting, with questions that arise for us every day, especially the last play about refugees, migration and immigration.  I found the stage setting, the décor, quite intriguing in all plays. No sofas, no living rooms, no utensils of social surroundings, but symbols …. Light was a big factor and new ways of décor to support the acting; minimalism; body language and mimicry were the tools of acting, although the plays were very text intensive.

Altogether a great pleasure in the month of September. After a performance I enjoyed driving back home in my car over the mountain pass to Girne, leaning back in my seat and thinking about the play I saw, feeling good, feeling fulfilled, smiling.

I have taken many photos but will publish only three of each play on my website.  Thank you to all involved.