The Istanbul City Theaters staged a premiere of William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” on March 8 with an added twist: puppets.
The play will be on stage at the Harbiye Muhsin Ertuğrul Stage on March 11, 15, 16, 17 and 18 before moving to the Ümraniye Stage on March 30 and April 1.
The director of the play, Ulviye Karaca, said they had provided the classical play with a different interpretation. “This is a surrealistic interpretation. It is totally different in terms of its décor, costume, makeup and acting.”
She said they included puppets in the play as well.
“Here I am in favor of using puppets while working on the characters with actors. The reason why I use puppets is that the play is a surrealistic one; Lady Macbeth’s deliriums are shown with flashbacks and puppets impersonate this person’s bad passions. They show how these bad passions seize humans and change their fate in a negative way. There are some moments in which it is as if even these bad passions are ashamed of their own evil.”
The play has eight characters, Karaca said. “I reduced a large group of artists to eight using only Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Duncan, Banquo, three witches and a messenger. We give the core of the play to the audience. There are lots of metamorphoses and symbols. We think that we had made a good work; we saw it during rehearsals that were open to the public. Later on, we will go on tours in Turkey and abroad.”
Karaca also said the original “Macbeth,” which was translated into Turkish by Sabahattin Eyüboğlu, was three hours but that they had reduced their rendition to 75 minutes following two months of preparations.Use of puppets
“The main theme of Macbeth is that if you have too many ambitions, you will drown in your own blood,” said Kubilay Penbeklioğlu, who plays the character of Macbeth in the play. “If you aren’t content with what you have and ask for more, you will always harm others. I relate this theme with a very simple language.”
Speaking of puppets used in the play, Penbeklioğlu said: “When people are enslaved by their ambitions, puppets come into play. Karaca is our guest director from the Ankara
State Theater, and I think she will leave her mark in theater in Istanbul thanks to this play. The play has many important firsts and they are being seen by the Istanbul audience for the first time. For example, turning such a classical work into a puppet show is a first for the City Theaters. Turkish theater has gained an important female director. Shakespeare never loses his lyricism in this play. There are changes in collage and fiction only.”
Along with Penbiklioğlu, Nurdan Kalınağa, Tuğrul Arsever, Gökçer Genç, Damla Cangül, Direnç Dedeoğlu, Mana Alkoy and Şirin Kılavuz Sevinç are the other actors in the play.