Arcola to stage world premiere of Zülfü Livaneli’s hard-hitting musical ‘Mutluluk’ / ‘Bliss’


In Lake Van, Eastern Turkey, fifteen-year-old Meryem is accused of shaming her family after being raped by her uncle. Cemal, her cousin, is tasked with Meryem’s “honour” killing. But their journey takes an unexpected turn when they encounter Irfan, a troubled professor in search of a new life…

Arcola artistic director Mehmet Ergen directs the world premiere of Mutluluk / Bliss, playing in London for three nights only prior to a European tour. The cast includes rock singer Sibel Tüzün (pictured above), unrecognisable in her role as a rural village mother.

This brand new musical adaptation is a co-production between Talimhane Theatre in Istanbul and Dalston’s Arcola Theatre, blending traditional forms with authentic Anatolian instruments to recreate the essence of Eastern Anatolia as this tragic story unfolds.

Novelist and music composer Zülfü Livaneli penned Mutluluk to great acclaim in 2002. A modern classic, the book has been translated into multiple languages including English (‘Bliss’) and won many awards, such as the Barnes & Noble Discovery Author Prize for Fiction.

In 2007, under the capable direction of Abdullah Oğuz, Livaneli’s hard-hitting tale appeared on the silver screen. Livaneli wrote the music and with Sırrı Süreyya Önder co-wrote the film’s screenplay.

Pitting tradition against modernity, East against West, Mutluluk/Bliss weaves an extraordinary story along the fault lines of modern-day Turkey. Containing references to sexual violence, the play is suitable for adult audiences only.

Play details

Title: Mutluluk / Bliss

Cast: Tuncay Çağıl, Zeynep Er, Ezgi Erol, Hakan Güner, Serhat Tutumluer, and Sibel Tüzün

Writer: Zülfü Livaneli

Director: Mehmet Ergen

Music: Bora Ebeoğlu & Cengiz Onural

Language: Turkish with English surtitles

Dates: Thursday 30, Friday 31 March, and 1st April 2017

Event times: Thursday – Saturday 7.30pm; Saturday matinee 3pm

Running time: approximately 120 minutes, including interval.

Venue address:  24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London E8 3DL

Admission: £10 to £19 (concessions available and discounts for those with an Arcola Passport)

More info & tickets: