The Arcola gives Hackney a Turkish lesson

Adini Söyle (Say Your Name) by Arcola Ala-Turka rehearses at the Arcola Theatre 24 Ashwin Street Dalston London E8 3DL Jan 2014 ©

TURKS HAVE been part of the Hackney scene for generations. Some people say that their, and Kurdish, entrepreneurialism is the best thing to happen to Dalston.

Certainly, Turkish creativity has put E8 on the world theatre map by establishing the Arcola.

Yet the Arcola has not presented many show by Turks. That is changing and the next Turkish production will be Adini Söyle (Say Your Name), which tries to make some sense of the dramatic events that have taken place in Istanbul.

A tiny group of citizens protested to save a small park from privatisation. Less than a year on, the protest has swollen to become a huge demonstration that may bring down an increasingly authoritarian government.

Why should a person with no ties to Turkey care about a protest movement there? Isn’t it just another clash linked to Islam’s struggle with modernity, something for those involved to work out?

There are many reasons we should care, but why not let the Arcola Ala-Turka, a Turkish-Kurdish drama group, give you some?

Be warned, however: their 1 hour 15 minute show, pictured above in rehearsal, has no interval – good grief – and is in Turkish – more grief – but has subtitles.

One of the performers, Ece Ozdemiroglu, told Loving Dalston: “The company wants to give people here the chance to understand what’s been happening in Turkey. We felt we had to do something to tell at least part of the story.”

David Altheer 301213

* Adini Söyle (Say Your Name), Arcola Theatre (Studio 2), 24 Ashwin Street E8 3DL, Tues 7 Jan 2014-Sat 11 Jan 2014, 8pm, Sat matinee 3pm, tickets £9 (concessions £7). Disabled access. The latest repeat performance will be on Sun 9 March 2014 at 3pm and 7pm.

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