In conversation: Alejandro Postigo and Naz Yeni

Postigo, Alejandro ORCID: and Yeni, Naz (2018) In conversation: Alejandro Postigo and Naz Yeni. Book 2.0, 8 (1-2). pp. 85-100. ISSN 2042-8022

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In April 2018, 7 Husbands for Hurmuz (7 Kocalı Hürmüz), a popular musical comedy farce from Turkey, was staged by Arcola Alaturka, a Turkish-speaking theatre group based in East London. This production was performed by migrant actors and musicians with a predominantly migrant audience in mind. A production of 7 Kocalı Hürmüz was included in the Ankara State Theatre’s 2017–18 season, and another large scale production directed and produced by established comedian Müjdat Gezen has, at the time of writing, been selling out in Istanbul.

Set in a time when a man was permitted more than one wife, the plot of 7 Husbands for Hurmuz is a reversal of this situation: the central character is a woman (Hurmuz) who has married six husbands – none of whom knows about the others – as a way of solving her money problems. She sees each husband on a different day of the week, but mayhem ensues when Hurmuz falls in love with a seventh man, and then all seven turn up to see her on the same day. Farce, slapstick and absurdity combine in a satire, which is also an extension of folk theatre forms relating to specific Asian performance styles – drawing on both ortaoyunu and meddah traditions in Turkey. It can be argued that 7 Husbands for Hurmuz has caused controversy because although the play features an array of strong female characters, it has been perceived as both feminist and anti-feminist.

The following piece is a conversation between Naz Yeni, the director of the Arcola production, and Alejandro Postigo, author and performer of The Copla Musical, a tribute to the anti-Franco Spanish drag artist La Gitana. The Copla Musical explores an intercultural adaptation of the early twentieth-century Spanish folkloric song-form of copla, merged with elements found in Anglo-American musical theatre structures such as book musicals, revues and jukebox shows. Copla ceased to develop during Franco’s regime (1939–1975). Forty years later, The Copla Musical aims to rejuvenate copla interculturally. The show is supported by academic research that questions how to share the Spanish experience of copla with an international audience of diverse cultural backgrounds, and how to introduce copla’s background as a storytelling form, a folkloric genre and a subversive tool beyond the Spanish twentieth-century zeitgeist. The conversation explores the many challenges of translating songs and theatre works from one language to another for a multicultural and multilingual audience.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1386/btwo.8.1-2.85_1
Additional Information: © Intellect Ltd
Keywords: 7 Husbands for Hurmuz, 7 Kocalı Hürmüz, The Copla Musical, theatre, musical, Turkey, Spain, translation, song
Subjects: Performing arts
Performing arts > Theatrical events
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Alejandro Postigo
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2021 11:31
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 16:04


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