This video is called An Evening with Orhan Pamuk.
It was translated into many languages, including languages with relatively few speakers like Catalan. It was never translated into English for some reason.
Now, the novel has been turned into a play in the Dutch language, for Onafhankelijk Toneel Rotterdam. A play lasting for almost three hours, longer than most other plays.
Before the play started on Friday 16 April, there was a lecture by Ms Eve Hopkins, dramaturgist of the theatre company, about Orhan Pamuk in the perspective of Turkish history and society, and about the characters in the novel and in the play.
The central character is grandmother Fatma. Born in 1890, so, 90 years old in 1980, the time at which the novel is set. Just before a military coup d’état in Turkey. A big picture of a 1980 Anadol Turkish car is on stage for the 1980s atmosphere.
The setting of the play is Cennethisar, a seaside town not far from Turkey’s biggest city Istanbul.
Fatma’s (arranged) marriage had not been happy. She herself is a pious Muslim, her late husband Selahattin was an atheist doctor who died from alcohol. Fatma’s terrible secret is that she had violently attacked her husband’s mistress and her husband’s two small children by that mistress, almost, not quite, killing them.
During the novel (and the play), Fatma’s three grandchildren come to visit her. The two grandsons have alcohol problems like their grandfather and father. Their sister Nilgun, a communist sociology student, in vain tries to stop them drinking.
Another grandson of Selahattin (and his mistress) is Hasan. He gets involved in the Grey Wolves (MHP), a fascist terrorist party. During one scene in the play, Hasan has a wolf mask as a symbol of his politics. He is in love with his cousin Nilgun; who does not love him. Finally, Hasan murders Nilgun.
Famous Dutch actress Marlies Heuer played the central character Fatma. She is 58 years old, and played the role convincingly. Not in the sense that she really looked 90 years old. Or that her voice sounded like a 90 year-old; that would have made it difficult for the audience to hear her.
Bert Luppes played two roles: both Fatma’s late husband in retrospective scenes; and Recep, illegitimate son of her husband and servant.
This is a video about the play.
The play deals well with the important issues of relationships between personal lives, society, and politics. And how violence may beget more violence.