Step into the seedy underworld of Istanbul with Arcola Ala-Turka’s new play ‘Ağır Roman’

Cholera Street is set among the wild and lawless slums of old Istanbul. One of its residents Salih, a happy-go-lucky mechanic and the youngest son of a well-loved barber, is about to land himself in lots of trouble when he steps into the shoes of a recently deceased local gangster-cum-community protector.

Adapted from Metin Kaçan‘s bestselling novel and subsequent cult film, Ağır Roman is a thrilling drama and a heart-stopping tragedy set in the underworld of Istanbul.

Following her acclaimed productions of Mahmud İle Yezida, Pelléas et Mélisande and Werther, award-winning writer and director Aylin Bozok returns to Dalston with her adaptation of this modern classic for Arcola Ala-Turka. The collective is one of the UK’s leading Turkish-language theatre groups, annually staging classic and contemporary Turkish plays.

Award-winning writer and director Aylin Bozok
Award-winning writer and director Aylin Bozok

Commenting on Ala-Turka’s new production, Bozuk said: “Ağır Roman holds a mirror up to one of our most hidden truths. We come across parts of our former life as we travel down this street, full of smells and colours from our recent past. And as we wipe away the steam to look more closely at the lives of those on Cholera Street, it’s us we see in the mirror. It’s like what one of the characters in the play says: ‘There was never a story about me…Apart from marginal fantasies.’”

Ağır Roman runs for three days at the Arcola Theatre next week, including a matinee performance on Saturday, and is suitable for those aged over 18.

Play details

Title: Ağır Roman

Language: Turkish with English surtitles

Dates: Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 January 2017

Starts: 8pm, Saturday matinee 3.30pm

Duration: 120 minutes with interval

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

Admission: £10 / £8 concessions

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