Saturday, 1 July at 20.00
Vila Stanković, Čortanovci
  • MACBETH / A nightmare for two
    Saturday, 1 July at 20.00
    Vila Stanković, Čortanovci


MACBETH / A nightmare for two

Tiyatro BeReZe (Turkey)

Directed by Doğu Akal

Performed by Elif Temuçin & Erkan Uyanıksoy

Translated by Sabahattin Eyüboğlu
Adapted by Elif Temuçin & Erkan Uyanıksoy
Scenography and Costumes: Lucile Larour & Patricia Ulbricht
Light Design: Doğu Akal
Technical Staff: Can Çelik, Murat Kural, İbrahim Can Sayan
Assistants of Director: Elif Aydın, Can Güvenç
Poster: Design Aslı Örge
Photographs: Patricia Ulbricht & Yasin Almaz
Duration: 75 minutes
Language: Turkish / with Serbian subtitle
In case of bad weather, the performances will be played in Youth Theatre in Novi Sad

In their common subconscious, Macbeths create and experience a nightmare within their insomnia. Two bodies -which can be transformed into anything- bring us this nightmare through a diversity of different styles oscillating from corporal mime to storytelling, from buffoon to object theater; merging tragedy and comedy, everyday life and grotesque reality.
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

Behind the idea of interpreting Shakespeare's Macbeth, there have been two factors: one is concerning the context and the other one is in relation to the form.
Turkey has been changing dramatically for the last twenty years; there is less and less respect to humanist values and democratic demands. The country has become a tyranny year by year unfortunately. And we, two Turkish performers living in Turkey, are deeply worried and disturbed by this political, social and economic pressure. In order to express ourselves, our worries and thoughts on stage, we have found the straightest, the sharpest and the most noteworthy questions in the Macbeth story.
On the other hand, after performing over thirty plays at BeReZe and other theaters in different styles such as storytelling, object theater, clown, buffoon, dance theater and corporal mime -which we studied academically; we have decided to merge the styles and search for an original theater language. In order to do this research, we needed a dramaturgically strong play.
Accordingly, because of these two factors, we decided to work on Macbeth.
Asking questions to the real life such as: ”How do these tyrants and murderers sleep at night? Or do they sleep? Do they really have a clean conscience which makes a soft pillow?”; in our interpretation, we have focused on Macbeths’ bedroom and sleeplessness. In this bedroom, we see Macbeths’ daily life, but also a nightmare which is experienced within insomnia. A sleepless madness in the limbo where the dream and real merge.
So, here and now we see an everyday life of Macbeths and a grotesque reality of a nightmare interpenetrated. Actors perform Macbeths in this daily reality, but also transform into anything and perform everything within different theatrical styles as the nightmare reality reveals itself here and now.

Tiyatro BeReZe
Tiyatro BeReZe was founded in 2006 by three friends from the Department of Theatre at Ankara University; Firuze Engin, Elif Temuçin and Erkan Uyanıksoy. The theatre launched its first production in 2008, on March 20th, at the International Children and Youth Theatre Day. BeReZe has been actively making theatre since.
Between 2008 and 2023, BeReZe has put 19 plays on stage -which are performed in different countries such as Turkey, Germany, France, Denmark, Brazil, Cuba, Macedonia and in collaboration with other companies, BeReZe crew also toured in China, South Korea, Sweden, Russia, Spain and Poland; in different styles such as storytelling, object theatre, clown, dance theatre and buffoon; in Turkish, English, German and Spanish; for different age groups from 3 years to up.
Tiyatro BeReZe's crew academically trained and practicing in writing, acting, directing, puppetry, physical theatre and storytelling; prefers to research new theatrical opportunities in every rehearsal process and devise original pieces. Based in Istanbul, BeReZe continues to make theatre for adults and young audiences.

BeReZe's first production While You Were Away, written and directed by Elif Temuçin for the 5-9 age group, premiered on March 20th, 2008, at the International Children and Youth Theatre Day. The 2008-2009 theatre season brought the second production But I Need It, again aimed for children. While You Were Away -an object theatre piece-, and But I Need It -a puppet theatre piece- were both performed in Ankara and Istanbul until June 2010. The third production, a play for adults, Would Should Could -directed by Elif Temuçin- consisted of two short play by David Ives; "Sure Thing" and "English Made Simple" and one short play by Elif Temuçin: "As You Wish". Would Should Could premiered in 2010. In the 2010-2011 theatre season, BeReZe made two plays for children. An object theatre play Lost and Found -adapted from a short story by Sevim Ak; and Too Cold -as a non-verbal performance- was directed by Torkild Lindjeberg (artistic director of Teater TT) and premiered in Copenhagen at Batida Theatre House. BeReZe added an adaptation to the repertoire from N.V.Gogol's "The Nose", "The Overcoat" and "The Government Inspector" in the 2011-2012 theatre season. Gogol Stories -as a physical storytelling performance- was supervised by Ole Brekke -director of The Commedia School. Tiyatro BeReZe won 12th Direklerarası Audience Theatre Awards for "Innovative Theatre of 2012" with Gogol Stories. In 2013, BeReZe has collaborated with Teatergruppen Batida -a Danish theatre company- to perform The Elephant written and directed by Søren Ovesen -artistic director of Batida. The Elephant premiered in Copenhagen in October 2013. For the 2013-2014 theatre season, BeReZe also has brought Women with Red Shoes on stage, which strives to understand 'woman issue in Turkey' through the intersections of everyday life and archaic stories where the performers' own stories and a fairy tale interpenetrates. BeReZe has had two international projects for 2014-2015: Perfect Integration -a buffoon performance- as a grotesque look at the integration problem of Europe, which is co-produced by Dan Size Fits All Productions and premiered at Danmarks Internationale Gadeteaterfestival in August 2014; and Home // Ev as a dance theatre performance in cooperation with French dance theatre company Compagnie Litécox, which is premiered at Bursa International Theatre Festival 2014. In February 2016, Macbeth / a nightmare for two premiered in Istanbul. The play was nominated for Afife Theatre Awards 2016 in two categories: The Best Actor of the Year and The Best Stage Design of the Year. BeReZe celebrated the 10th anniversary of its founding at the 2016-2017 season with Only A Day written by German author Martin Baltscheit for 8 years and up. At the end of the year 2017, BeReZe premiered Tide, a performance bringing a grotesque perspective about the issue of living together in a society, immigration and integration. During our tours and workshops in Germany between 2016 and 2018, BeReZe and Bremer Shakespeare Company (Bremen) developed a mutual artistic interest in each others’ works and Coriolanus - a bilingual (German and Turkish) co-production premiered in Bremen in October 2019 as the result of this interest. Coriolanus performed at Globe Neuss Shakespeare Festival which is one of the most prestigious Shakespeare festivals, in July 2021. In the 2019-2020 theatre season, also, All of a Sudden which won Istanbul Art and Culture Foundation’s Gülriz Sururi & Engin Cezzar Theatre Award, started performing in Istanbul in January 2020. After the necessary Covid break, in March 2022, BeReZe put All Happened Before Our Very Eyes on stage which is an adaptation from the myth “King Midas and The Donkey Ears” - a story going after the themes such as illusion, misgiving, gossip and secretion. All Happened Before Our Very Eyes won "Original New Play Award" from XXIII. Direklerarası Audience Awards. For 2022-23 theatre season; BeReZe has brought three classics on stage: Molière’s The Miser, Ionesco’s Exit The King and Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors in collaboration with Bremer Shakespeare Company. The Miser won "The Best Comedy Play Award”, “The Best Supporting Actor Award’’ from XXIII. Direklerarası Audience Awards and “The Best Ensemble Play Award’’ from Üstün Akmen Theatre Awards. Also BeReZe got “Contribution to Turkish Theatre Award’’ from Üstün Akmen Theatre Awards in 2023.

New and Joyful Encounters with Macbeth in the Turkish Theatre
Macbeth / A Nightmare for Two

Founded in 2006, Theatre BeReZe makes theatre for adults and young audiences. BeReZe is known for works combining object theatre, physical storytelling performances, and buffoon performances. Macbeth / A Nightmare for Two is a product of such an approach. At the center of the stage is a bed surrounded with many night lamps, hanging objects, and to the left is a bobbling coffee machine. A clownish couple, Macbeth (Erkan Uyanıksoy) and Lady Macbeth (Elif Temuçin), lying on the bed, cannot fall asleep. Their bedroom is occupied with a sense of uneasiness and sleeplessness since “Macbeth has murdered sleep.” From the first moment to the end, everything happening on stage intertwines with an idea that might be called an “insomniac aesthetic.” Adapted by Erkan Uyanıksoy and Elif Temuçin, directed by Doğu Akal, Macbeth: A Nightmare for Two premiered on 12 February 2016 in Istanbul, was staged in many theatre festivals in Europe, and is still being staged during this theatre season. Performance brings Macbeth’s story on stage through the eyes of a clownish Macbeth-based couple who seem to belong to every age, not only that of Shakespeare. This couple seems in-between things like the hanging objects above them, as well as being in-between dream and nightmare, telling and performing, role and self, life and death, sleeping and waking. Throughout the performance, they are repeatedly turning on and off the lamps and drinking cups of coffee. At every turn they are using new and different ways to tell Macbeth’s story. Uyanıksoy, for example, may present Macbeth’s encounter with witches as though he is something in-between a traditional storyteller (called “meddah” in Turkish theatre) and a clown storyteller, or he may tell a scene as if he is on the toilet. Elif Temuçin as Lady Macbeth is preparing a tomato sauce for the scene where they will kill the king. They describe yet another scene where they are giving a free party to the people. They present these in different ways, sometimes suggesting cartoons or manga movies, popular TV series and musicals, sometimes making fun of today’s political leaders and so on. Uyanıksoy and Temuçin are really the masters of their domain in using the different objects –lamps, flowers, slippers, coffee, toilet rolls, cosmetics, in a highly creative way to suggest the theatrical universe of Macbeth to the audience. In doing so, they manage to seem like an ordinary couple rather than an elevated, noble man and wife. Many things on stage, and the way they are utilizing them, seem very simple. Although the performers present themselves as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, in many scenes it is possible to regard them as “Erkan” and “Elif,”who present the story of Macbeth as it touches their own daily lives. A Nightmare for Two becomes a shared experience for several sets of two: Macbeth and performer Uyanıksoy, Lady Macbeth and performer Temuçin, the actors and the audience. The performance ends in a vicious circle between sleep and sleeplessness where the performers return to the beginning of the play. This makes us feel as if this happens every night, as the couple vainly seek to find peace both in their minds and in the world. Considering the clown-like smiles on their faces at the beginning and end of the performance, when they meet each other like life and death, sleeping and awaking, there remains one question: Is life a short smile which twinkles on our faces during a nightmare?
Eylem Ejder (a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Theatre at Ankara University, Turkey.) Fall 2018 Online Link

Will All Great Neptune’s Ocean Wash This Tomato Paste?:
Tiyatro BeReZe’s Macbeth-İki Kişilik Kabus
An adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth-İki Kişilik Kabus by Tiyatro BeReZe is a one-act play that hinges on playfulness and theatricality. The play premiered in İstanbul in 2016 and it has been performed in various theatres in Turkey and abroad as part of international theatre festivals. In this highly acclaimed production, there are resonances of object theatre, clown theatre, buffoonery, and postdramatic theatre. The founders of Tiyatro BeReZe, Erkan Uyanıksoy and Elif Temuçin, perform in Macbeth-İki Kişilik Kabus as the Macbeth couple, or rather “Macbethgiller”, the Macbeths, as they use the term in their overview of the play. As could be seen from the title of the play, this adaptation reduces the number of actors to two, yet it does not leave any character in the source text out of the storyline. Directed by Doğu Akal, Erkan Uyanıksoy performs the role of Macbeth (MB henceforth based on the badge on his costume) and Elif Temuçin performs Lady Macbeth (LMB henceforth for the same reason). Even though the title implies that the play only concerns these two characters, all other characters are impersonated somehow with the actors’ change of voice or costume, use of sound recording and props such as pillows and even floor lamps instead of actors. As could be seen from the title of the play, this adaptation reduces the number of actors to two, yet it does not leave any character in the source text out of the storyline. Directed by Doğu Akal, Erkan Uyanıksoy performs the role of Macbeth (MB henceforth based on the badge on his costume) and Elif Temuçin performs Lady Macbeth (LMB henceforth for the same reason). Even though the title implies that the play only concerns these two characters, all other characters are impersonated somehow with the actors’ change of voice or costume, use of sound recording and props such as pillows and even floor lamps instead of actors. The playfulness of the production underlines the comic aspect of the Macbeth couple’s gruesome journey. While the story is still tragic, the way in which it is presented to the audience is no longer so. A tragic incident might suddenly turn into a playful scene as in the case of Macbeth taking out Banquo’s bowels and using them as a rope for jumping. Some popular lines from Shakespeare’s Macbeth are also used playfully an example of which is seen as MB utters the following words in the toilet: “If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well / It were done quickly” (Macbeth 1.7.36). While Macbeth in the source text uses these words to describe the adversity of killing the king, MB uses this for the same purpose but doing so when he is in the toilet marks the emphasis placed on the comic effect in this production. Possibly the most interesting aspect of this reinterpretation of Macbeth is the use of unexpected and seemingly dissonant props and minimal scenery. There are a few props such as a bucket, toilet paper, flowers, and a tarlatan all of which are hanging from the top. All these props are used very creatively by the actors as they use the bucket for washing their hands and MB waters the flower with a water gun in a manner as if he was using a real gun. There is a bed in the centre of the stage and two lamplights on each side, which are used as soldiers in the murder scene. Even coffee grounds are used very creatively by MB as war paint. The pillows on the bed are once used as murderers in the killing scene, and later on, MB uses them as his subjects when he becomes the king. Possibly the most creative part concerning this issue is the use of tomato paste instead of blood. As LMB is the one who plots the bloody murder in the playtext, the performance illustrates her preparing tomato paste to be later used in the bloody scene of King Duncan’s murder. Similarly, to highlight the playfulness of the performance, instead of using a realistic prop for a phone, they choose to use a meat pounder and a flower for that purpose. Another very interesting use of prop is the neck brace which replaces a real crown. When MB becomes the king, LMB puts a neck brace on MB. What is more interesting is that the neck brace is also used as a toilet bowl in a previous scene. The couple’s lust for power is demonstrated by the couple’s sleeplessness without this brace. In a scene, LMB even sings a lullaby to the neck brace, and they keep it right in their middle as they go to sleep. Some of these props show that the team emphasise the suggestiveness of the performance rather than obtaining a realistic approach. The scenery and costumes are designed by Lucile Larour and Patricia Ulbricht. Throughout the play, both characters wear daily clothes such as tights and a sweatshirt. However, to illustrate the passing of time in a relatively short production, they change costumes when a new scene is about to start. For instance, after they kill Duncan, LMB puts on the tarlatan suggesting her rise to a higher social position. When they are about to go to a party, which they arrange to celebrate their reign, they put on rather grotesque costumes such as a pink wig for LMB and a yellow one for MB who uses a whistle and a loudspeaker to address his guests. This choice of costume is also quite suggestive in that as they rise to power, they become clownish figures. The production carries traces of postdramatic theatre specifically with the use of storytelling technique. In the scene that marks the changing of Elif Temuçin into the role of LMB, MB tells the story of how he raced his horse to the audience by enacting the story. We also do not get to see any witches in this production, but MB tells the story of his meeting with the witches in a highly impressive theatrical manner. Another moment that shows the use of postdramatic theatre technique is when MB uses a sound recording while telling the story of how he killed Macduff’s wife and children instead of enacting the scene realistically. Macbeth-İki Kişilik Kabus stands out with its use of various theatrical techniques ranging from postdramatic theatre to object theatre. The tragic atmosphere of the source text is retained but it is given in such a playful manner that it gets hard to discuss it as a tragedy. The effort put by the team in the transformations of the number of actors, scenery, costume, and performance is worthwhile, and the play deserves the international acclaim it has received.

Özmen Akdoğan, Özlem. “Will All Great Neptune’s Ocean Wash This Tomato Paste?: Tiyatro BeReZe’s Macbeth-İki Kişilik Kabus.” Turkish Shakespeares. July 3, 2022.