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STAGE > Theater play ‘Last Harem’ tells stories from Istanbul

FLORENCE - Doğan News Agency

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In the theater play, Turkish actress Serra Yılmaz plays a female household worker who begins to read tales from a classic Arabic folk story collection.

In the theater play, Turkish actress Serra Yılmaz plays a female household worker who begins to read tales from a classic Arabic folk story collection.

“The Last Harem,” a theater play featuring Turkish stage actress Serra Yılmaz, will celebrate its ninth year in Florence, reaching a total of 20,000 people this year. 

Staged at the Rifredi Theater and directed by Angelo Savelli, Yılmaz, who plays a female household worker who begins to read tales from the classic Arabic folk story collection “One Thousand and One Nights,” is accompanied on stage by Italian actors and actresses such as Valentina Chico and Riccardo Naldini.

Inspired by the stories of Turkish author Nazlı Eray, “The Last Harem” focuses on the pressures women face in daily life through the lens of a magical world.

The play features authentic Ottoman and Ottoman harem decorative touches and is accented by Turkish music such as “Burçak Tarlası” (Rye Fields), Sezen Aksu’s “Farkındayım” and Ajda Pekkan’s “Palavra.”

“It is really nice that people love the work you do and say nice words and appreciate it,” Yılmaz told Doğan news agency.

The play had also been previously staged in Istanbul, Ankara and Adana, which was a unique experience for the theater company, according to Yılmaz. 

“It is very different to stage the play [in Turkey] and in Italy because here in Italy people do not know Ottoman culture and Turkish culture,” Yılmaz said, adding that the perception of the play is different in the two countries. Yet she noted that the communication between the actors and the audience is always incredible.

Yılmaz’s Italian co-star Chico said it is not very often that a play will run for nine consecutive years.

January/26/2013

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