Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” made its Turkish premiere in the Kurdish language Nov. 26 in a performance by the Diyarbakır City Theater, drawing rave reviews from the culture and tourism minister.
“The cultural and traditional motives were well-staged in the play,” said Minister Ertuğrul Günay. “It was like we were watching a play about Cizre’s Botan society.”
The play, staged as part of the 400th year of diplomatic relations between Turkey and the Netherlands, was produced by the Rast Theater in cooperation with the Cultural Department of Diyarbakır in the hopes that the adaption of “Hamlet” would bring Kurdish culture to the attention of a wider international audience.
Director Rüknettin Gün said the play made its world premiere in Amsterdam on Oct. 17. In addition to Kurdish people living in the Netherlands, the Dutch showed great interest in the play as well. Directed by Rast Theater General Art Director Celil Toksöz, the play cast Yavuz Akkuzu as Hamlet and also features Özcan Ateş, Elvan Koçer, Mesut Erenol, Mehmet Emin Yalçınkaya, Serdar Geren, İsmail Oyur, Rojda, Gülseven Medar and Ali Tekbaş.
‘Hebun an Nebun’
“Hamlet” was translated into Kurdish by Kawa Nemir with the title “Hamlet – Hebun an Nebun.” Noting that the play had been previously staged 10 times in Europe, Gün said: “Hamlet is a very controversial text among theater actors and actresses. Interpreting the text in Kurdish has raised much attention among the theater community.”
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Reported by Hürriyet Daily News