In Gilgamesh, director Mesut Arslan combines solid drama with the refreshing power of improvisational theatre. The result: a vivid overall experience that leaves behind gripping images. A story about the world, humanity and the 'primal epic' of Gilgamesh that dissolves the boundaries between actors, scenography and audience.
Run time 90 minutes
Dutch opening night Mon May 1
Together with Mesut Alp, archaeologist and Mesopotamia expert, Mesut Arslan rewrote the epic of Gilgamesh and digs up a number of contemporary themes from it. Arslan forges the stories from the Gilgamesh epic into a coherent play while creating an overall experience that dissolves the boundaries between actors, scenography and audience. In the process, two actors perform all the roles, with projections on top. Arslan turns the theme of immortality into the question of 'how to learn to die as a human being'.
Gilgamesh brings together lessons from ancient history, the drama of an epic and the freshness of improvisational theatre to create a stimulating overall experience. With Daphne Agten and Layla Önlen playing all the roles with their charisma and humour between and with the audience.
The primal epic
In the collection of heroic tales, Gilgamesh, the fifth king of Uruk, often accompanied by his friend Enkidu, experiences mythological adventures. For instance, he goes in search of eternal life or fights a duel with supernatural creatures sent to Uruk by the gods. He also confronts himself with existential questions surrounding, among other things, the notion of mortality.
The Gilgamesh epic is among the oldest examples of literature in human history. The stories were handed down orally for centuries and later frequently written down in cuneiform. The final version is thought to date from the 12th century BC, but older fragments date back to the third millennium BC.
"Agten and Önlen play between and with the audience with masterful charisma and humour.
De wereld morgen.be
Lovely how this piece is richly laced with universal themes that flow organically into each other.
De wereld morgen.be
An intense experience that cannot be captured in words
text & concept Mesut Alp & Mesut Arslan
director Mesut Arslan
dramaturgy Ata Ünal
play Daphne Agten, Layla Önlen
scenography Stan Wannet
artistic advice Charlotte Bouckaert, Hüseyin Umaysiz
costumes concept & design Elif Korkmaz, Kultuurfabriek 'Art of Beauty'
translation text Öznur Cesur-|-
text editor Jeff De Maeyer
translation text Arabic Hussein Al Khalidi
outside eye Işil Derya Biçakçi
research Zeynep Avci
production manager Robin Appels, Valerie De Visscher
production KVS, Platform 0090
coproduction c-Takt, Het Laatste Bedrijf
thanks to Dommelhof/Neerpelt
with the support of The Flemish Community, Tax Shelter Measure Of The Belgian Federal Government, & Gallop Tax Shelter