Gala organized for Chekhov’s ‘The Seagull’ in Istanbul
ISTANBULA gala night was organized on Nov. 21 for one of the masterpieces of the great Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov, “The Seagull,” staged by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Theaters at the Harbiye Muhsin Ertuğrul Theater.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, director Yıldırım Urağ said Chekhov was very important to him and he was delighted to stage him in Istanbul.
“My first ever experience in directorship was with Chekhov. He is one of my reference dramatists. There is a kind of love relationship between Chekhov and me,” Urağ said.
He noted that “The Seagull” was one of the most difficult Chekhov plays to perform.
“When it was first staged, the play was not read and staged properly so it did not gain much success. But this is special for the City Theaters, as it is staging a world classic that it has never staged before. This is why we are more excited,” Urağ added.
“Chekhov had a revolutionary style that broke the rules and all usual forms of drama. Almost nothing happens in his works. That is why if the plays are not performed properly, and if the actors do not put their heart into it then it is hard to follow for viewers. We consider all these things,” he said.
“Working on the roles, we tried to make a true analysis of all details in the relationship between the roles. The story is very fragile in ‘The Seagull’ so we tried to explain it with sincerity in the reality of life,” Urağ added.
Actress Jülide Kural, who plays the role of Irina Nikolayevna Arkadina in the City Theaters production, said the play was set in the transition period between Tsarist Russia and the modern age.
Chekhov made clear references to universal human feelings in the play, Kural said.
“There is love in this play as well as many humane values, artistic views and passions,” she added.
“I play an actress who was very famous once upon a time but began to fall from favor. But she does not want to accept it. She is at the same time a mother. There are times when she has to make a choice between her job and her child. She is actually both a strong woman and at the same time emotional and weak, just like all people,” Kural said.
“The Seagull” was translated into Turkish by late Turkish poet Behçet Necatigil. The new Istanbul production includes the actors Mert Tanık, Pelin Abay, Nazif Uğur Tan, Yeşim Koçak, Mert Asutay, Rozet Hubeş, Ersin Sanver, Hakan Arlı and Mert Aykul.
The play will be on stage at the Harbiye Muhsin Ertuğrul Theater between Nov. 24 and 26.