Cult play hits high note despite nearing end

Cult play hits high note despite nearing end

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Cult play hits high note despite nearing end

Bartu Küçükçağlayan (L) and Tülin Özen are two of actors in the play, which has collected more than 20 awards and attracted thousands of viewers.

Krek Tiyatro’s hit play “Güzel Şeyler Bizim Tarafta” (Best Bits On Our Side) might be entering its final months, but it is still continuing to draw massive interest.

Written and directed by Berkun Oya, the play continues to be the hottest ticket in town, with places for the 65-seat hall selling out in less than 30 minutes every month they go on sale. Last month, Krek producer Nisan Ceren Göksel told daily Milliyet that they were likely to “bid farewell to the play” at the end of the season after collecting more than 20 awards and attracting thousands of viewers in three years, but the play is still going strong – even as it appears likely to exit stage right.

The play, staged at Krek’s center at Santralistanbul, revolves around two couples meeting in very extraordinary circumstances. The four people with different backgrounds, social statuses and world views, clash, meet, talk and delve deeper into their minds in a single room. The setup of the stage at Krek is remarkable, as viewers engage in the game with headphones and the stage is isolated with glass. Oya says this is solely for sound isolation purposes, but in fact the glass serves to give viewers a peeping-tom feel, and it also breaks the barriers between theater plays and movies or television shows. Make no mistake, this play is nowhere near as sterile as the next TV drama: It is striking, dramatic and appealing.

Famous actors

Why the play has gone on to become a cult is no wonder. Yes, its four actors are already famous: Bartu Küçükçağlayan is the star of popular television show “Yalan Dünya” and acted in the critically acclaimed 2010 Turkish movie “Çoğunluk” (The Majority). Öykü Karayel is known to the masses for playing the object of Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ’s affection in TV series “Kuzey Güney.” Tülin Özen, an actress in the upcoming indie romantic comedy “Karnaval,” is also a popular face. But they are not the reasons why the play turned into a hit. It won numerous awards, including the top prize at the International Heidelberg Theater Festival, while netting other rave reviews as well. But it was most helped by word of mouth from people who saw it and told friends to see it, too.

Two-and-a-half years on, thousands of people have seen “Güzel Şeyler Bizim Tarafta,” and it is still almost impossible to find tickets for it. Tickets for May will sell out next week in minutes. And what’s better is that it is worth the hype.