Art and Culture

Turkish Cypriot Shadow Theatre, Karagöz and Hacivat go to Berlin

By Heidi Trautmann …. ….

This month of February 2019 the Bandabulya Sahnesi/Stage was celebrating its first anniversary and it was with great emotions that all persons involved in the creation of this new theatre stage thought back to the events of last year. Read my review and the background story by clicking here.

The reason was not only the inauguration of the building in an area of the Old City of Nicosia but also the revival of the Turkish Cypriot traditional Shadow Theatre and its famous figures of Karagöz and Hacivat. These two, together with their new father Izel Seylani, actor and theatre director, have been travelling across the island to pay a courtesy visit in schools and on other stages, but the highlight altogether was a visit to Berlin following an invitation by the Turkish-German ‘Theatre 28’.

‘Theatre 28’ is pursuing a project to make accessible to Turkish speaking children living in Berlin traditional culture with Turkish background. The actor and drama teacher Ufuk Güldü had founded the theatre in 2010 with the aim to offer courses and projects in the fields of theatre, film and media for children and young adults. It serves to further education to help young people with social and employment integration.

Izel Seylani and his companions Karagöz & Hacivat were well received during the four performances with the play ‘Hidden Treasure’ which were given during his 12 days stay in Berlin. More than 500 visitors came to greet the guests from North Cyprus. The performances were shown in the Berlin media.

Izel Seylani who is an appreciated friend to the Theatre 28 team, also did workshops with the acting crew and explained the background history of the Cypriot Turkish shadow theatre. He plans to return to Berlin for further performances in Theatre 28 in Berlin.

From here I wish Izel Seylani and the Bandabulya team Happy Birthday and for the future many exciting encounters across the theatre loving world.