9th Besparmak (and 1st International) Theatre Festival in Çatalköy

By Heidi Trautmann …. ….

The Prisoner of 2nd Avenue by Neil Simon.  As long as there is theatre, music and the arts, there is still hope, I have said so many times.

The organisers of the local theatre festivals know that and keep pushing towards communication with the outer world. This year we had theatre groups from Turkey, Serbia, France and Italy and the local ones were the established companies from various city communities.

Unfortunately, I was only able to see a single one for health reasons. I had heard good critics about the plays.  At least I would not miss the GIBETSU, the Girne Belediye Theatre with their play – two performances – The Prisoner of 2nd Avenue by Neil Simon, a play with all the modern problems of communication, environment, jobs and loneliness.

The play was directed by Nermin Uğur and the actors were Cenk Gürçağ, İlkşen Varoğlu Atik, Mehmet Soyluoğlu, Ayleta Futsi, Şerife Eminağa, Ayşen Rahvancıoğlu, Sevil Birben Sargın, İlde Atik, Perihan Hulusioğlu, Dilek Seçkin and Fethi Ercan

Assistant director:  Fatma Tüney and Perihan Hulusioğlu. Stage works: Mehmet Saygıer. Stage design: Derman Atik. Stage design realization: Levent Korol, Celal Onat. Music and effects: Evren Mercimekçi.

The lead characters of Mel and Edna were very well played by Cenk Gürçağ and İlkşen Varoğlu Atik. The play is very text intensive and although I did not understand all of the dialogues I got the meaning by the acting and body language. Congratulations, well done. I especially liked the last scene when Edna and Mel reach out their hands to each other and face the world together: a strong scene.

The plot, as I took it from the internet:

Edna and Mel are a struggling, middle-aged couple living in New York City. Mel has just lost his job, the walls of their apartment are much too thin, and the city is in the middle of a heat wave. Their troubles escalate when Mel suffers a nervous breakdown. Mel becomes slightly paranoid, the apartment is robbed, and their neighbours, well, they don’t help matters much. Throughout it all, Edna does her best to support her husband, even getting a job of her own after Mel is fired. Her efforts aren’t enough, however, and Mel’s siblings are called in as backup. Quickly, in a crowded apartment in the most crowded city in the world, all hell breaks loose, and it becomes apparent that the only thing Mel and Edna can rely on are the people closest to them.

There was one last play on March 27: ‘Yildiz Olmak Kolay Mi’ by Nahid Sirri Örik with the Catalköy Tiyatro Su, which had already been performed some days ago with very good critics.