Saturday, 17 January 2015

UK premiere of powerful new musical Taksim Meydanı / Taksim Square


"Taksim Square cannot be an area where extremists are running wild." — Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey (2003-2014).

In his ten year reign as prime minister, never had Recep Tayyip Erdoğan experienced such a massive and direct challenge to his authority as the Taksim Square protests. On 28th May 2013, Turkish police destroyed a small campsite in a park off Taksim Square that 50 environmentalists had set up to protest the development of one of Istanbul's few remaining green spaces. What started as a peaceful sit- in quickly spiralled out of control. Over 3.5 million people took to the streets to protest, coming face-to-face with police firing water cannon, tear gas, and rubber bullets.

Taksim Meydanı is a new Turkish musical about the small patch of land which sparked a national crisis. Written and directed by the Arcola’s co-founder and artistic director Mehmet Ergen, and featuring music from the demonstrations themselves, this play is a savage, hilarious and timely attack on censorship, corruption and the brutality of the powerful. So powerful in fact that the Talimhane Theatre Group, which first staged the play, has lost its government funding as a result.

“It’s a piece about people’s anger at the government,” says Ergen, “but also about their hope and determination. It’s a celebration, really, of what people refused to tolerate.”
Mehmet Ergen outside the Talimhane Theatre in Istanbul, which lost all government funding after staging his play Taksim Meydanı
Following its explosive run in Istanbul, Taksim Meydanı transfers to the Arcola as part of the 2015 Orient Express season. It’s only on in London for two nights – buy tickets fast as this is sure to sell out!

Directed by Mehmet Ergen
Music by Can Erdoğan Sus, Çiğdem Erken, Nazan Oncel and Yiğit Özatalay
Production Manager: Elif Bağcı
Technician: Mustafa Dinç
Assistant Director: Lerzan Pamir
Cast: Baran Güler, Nebi Birgi, Ahmet Bahadır Özkoca, Begüm Günceler, Mert Aydın, Mert Süleyman Şişmanlar, Ezgi Erol, Defne Koldaş, Kubilay Çamlıdağ, Bekir Çiçekdemir

Dates: 18-19 January 2015
Address: Studio 1, Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London E8 3DL
Start time: 7.30pm
Entry: £15 (£12 conc)

Info and bookings: or call Box Office on 020 7503 1646 

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