A director’s gift to the audience: Five Molière plays in one

A director’s gift to the audience: Five Molière plays in one

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
A director’s gift to the audience: Five Molière plays in one

‘Huysuz’ is a musical comedy directed and written by Engin Alkan based on five famous Molière plays including the ‘Imaginary Invalid,’ ‘The Misery,’ ‘The Forced Marriage,’ ‘George Dandin’ and ‘İşkilli Memo,’ which is a Molière adaptation by Teodor Kasap.

There are plenty of reasons to smile in the new season on the Turkish stage thanks to the passionate people of the theater world. One of the reasons to smile is “Huysuz” (Grumpy), a gift to the audience by Engin Alkan, one of the most prolific figures in contemporary Turkish theater.

“Huysuz” is a musical comedy directed and written by Alkan based on French playwright and actor Molière’s five famous plays, including the “Imaginary Invalid,” “The Misery,” “The Forced Marriage,” “George Dandin” and “İşkilli Memo,” which is a Molière adaptation by Teodor Kasap, who was the editor of the first Turkish humor magazine in the 19th century.

The play takes you to the dream world of an actor who was nicknamed “Molière’in Huysuzu” (Molière’s Grumpy) after successfully playing the French writer’s characters for years before ending up at a nursing house with a heavy heart, missing the old days.

Alkan as Molière’s Grumpy

When the old actor’s dreams pour onto the stage, the sad atmosphere disappears, giving way to a colorful world with joyful characters. In the play, Alkan appears as the old actor (Armağan Özcan) and his grumpy Molière version (Harpagan) who wants her daughter to marry a doctor to get rid of the health costs. Harpagan’s daughter falls in love with another man but misunderstandings come between the lovers. Meanwhile, the wife of Harpagan has her own plan for her future. At the same time, the opened-eye housekeeper sees everything happening around them and tries to help others in her way.

Along with Alkan, the play stars talented actresses and actors such as Büşra Pekin (Melek, Anjelik), Deniz Uğur (Elmas, Madam Biju), Haki Biçici (Memo, Arif Huzurlu), Gülhan Tekin (Amber, Mürşide Huzurlu), Umut Temizaş (Klean) ve Esra Akbaş (Sümbül). All the actors make the best of their roles and their performances, but applause is due not only for their acting, but also their singing. With a live orchestra, they all separately sing solo songs telling the stories of their characters.

During the play, the more you laugh, the more you like the characters; and the more you enjoy the play, the more you thank the theater for existing.

Not surprisingly for a musical work by Alkan, the play lasts close to three hours, but because of the energy and love for their roles exhibited by the thespians, one hardly notices the passage of time. The play is staged by Asya Production Theater while the music is composed by Selim Atakan. The stage lighting and set designer is Cem Yılmazer, the costume designer is Tomris Kuzu, the choreographer is Senem Oluz, while the dramaturgist is Sinem Özlek.

This is the debut season of the play, and its prospective success leads one to wish that it would have been made before, proving the old adage to never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.