December 6, 2023

A Beautiful Day in the Park

The LBT Play ‘A Beautiful Day in the Park’ came to Girne within the Framework of the Girne Festival 2023…..

By Heidi Trautmann….

Only the other day I said, hopefully, the play will also come to Girne, and here they were, yesterday evening, 04 September 2023, on stage in the old Girne Municipality Square at the entrance to the Old City. I came early to get a seat and so I had the chance to speak to my friends from the Lefkoşa Municipality Theatre. It will be the last performance for this year but it is planned for the 2024 season again.

The play was shown on indoor stages as well as in the open, the last one was at the Büyük Han on the occasion of the World Peace Day. We discussed that performances in open air places have a very special charm, as I also believe that theatre represents the heartbeat and pulse rate of society, and the dog barking during yesterday’s performance and the small children running around and shouting, were all part of the scenery. I enjoyed the setting.

The play is based on the play ‘An Incident at the Border’ by Kieran Lynn. It was translated by Yeşim Gökçe and directed by Kymet Karabiber, with Cem Aykut – dramaturg, and assistant director Umut Ersoy, who also created the poster.

The three actors:

  • Olivia = Melihat Meliş Gunalp;
  • Arthur = İzel Seylanı
  • The Security Guard = Aytunç Şabanlı

We see Olivia and Arthur enjoy their day in the park relaxing on a bench when suddenly a border security guard appears and creates a new border line which is led right through the middle of the bench where the couple is sitting, separating the two into two different now divided countries. This yellow line brings out the worst in all of them, a conflict arises which also uncovers the problems the couple is having, with the guard always in the centre of it.

The guard who gets his orders from his boss George via walkie-talkie slowly gets completely torn between sympathy for the couple who try to negotiate with him and strict obedience to George. A satirical play, absurd to the extreme, reminding us all about the Cyprus Problem but also of the borderlines we draw for ourselves with the heavy consequences that follow.

A beautiful play and a big thank you to the actors who translated the problem to us with their own language – speech, mimicry, and body language – and a thank you to the organisers who have brought the play to Girne. The Mayor of Girne, Murat Şenkul, came on stage to thank the actors in the name of the city and its people.

And here we go and return to our homes….Have we learned anything?

Please go to my Facebook page to see more pictures.

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