OYUNU BOZUYORUM (I’m Breaking the Game) – Premier 2007 / Zürich
2008 The Best Unique Play Award
This theatre play opens discourses, understanding and actions of the male-dominated culture were openly exposed. “This is the game,” said Meltem Arıkan, and with the help of the Avkırans, she raised the flag that women should no longer take part in this game and disrupted the game. Together, they held a mirror up to the audience and made them confront themselves.
As an audience member, at the end of the performance, I agreed with the decision that women should take action for their own existence. Women are inactive… Women are always silent… So what about feminism? Feminism has not been enough! Aren’t feminists marginalised? Haven’t they been marginalised? So what then? Then, I should get hooked on Meltem Arıkan’s thought process.
Tiyatro dergisi 2008 – Üstan Akman
Meltem Arıkan’s text manages to send even the most offensive words directly to the audience’s consciousness and mind without any educational or emotional prejudice.
Milliyet sanat 2007 – Seçkin Selvi
Arıkan’s text is as honest as it is harsh. In fact, its honesty strikes you rather than its harshness. I do not doubt that the text and the staging will be described as a “brave work” after a while, but I prefer genuine, sincere and honest instead of brave; at least, that’s what I got in the audience seat.
Bianet 2007 – Çiğdem Mater
Parallel: Premier 2009 / Linz
When Linz became the European Capital of Culture in 2009, the city’s cultural life, integration and migration were prioritised. Although “Paraler” Linz09 is a play produced within the framework of art events, it was performed not only in Linz but also in Istanbul.
Parallel is centred on seven immigrant women living in Linz, their stories, the reasons that brought them to Linz, and the processes of existence they experience while trying to establish or build a new life in Linz. Meltem Arıkan, who participated in the process as a dramaturg and writer, first witnessed this whole rehearsal process. Then, she produced texts with her own story and what she had accumulated for the new reality stage created by filtering real stories, emotions, questions and problems.
Mi Minor – Premier 2012 / İstanbul
2012 Best Theatre Play of the Year
I watched a play in which unrivalled art, a mischievous intelligence and artists who take their profession very seriously came together. In that almost perfect chaos that was consciously and deliberately brought to the theatre, and in the end, I could not even learn the name of the play correctly. I think it was Mi Minor.
I didn’t want to overshadow the wonderful artistic flavour that gripped me (the audience) throughout the play with questions such as “What is the play’s name, who wrote it, who put it on stage, who were the actors?” Mi Minor is a political satire set in a virtual country called Pinima. Still, it is a satire that breaks the usual theatre patterns with courage and a biting intelligence that is difficult to risk. If you are a veteran theatregoer, you will leave the play muttering, “Have we reached the end of another era in this revolutionary world?”. Trust me. What if you don’t come across this play somewhere? What if you can’t watch Mi Minor? Then Lament your troubles, grieve, lament…
T24 – 20013 Engin Aydın
Mi Minor offers a new understanding of its form and the instruments it uses. It is performed in an open space, in an environment where the audience is intertwined with the actors and social media tools such as Ustream, Facebook, and Twitter. Therefore, the smartphones of the audience also participate in the performance process. Thus, the performance in one place can be watched in various parts of the world through these instruments. The pianist and his team aim to make the world aware of what is happening in this advanced democracy. In other words, it is a different interactive play.
Milliyet Sanat – 2013 Seçkin Selvi
Mi Minor is a challenging play to digest. There are so many things to write about! I can’t bring myself to write any of them. Everyone should go and experience it for themselves, shoulder their pilgrimage and suffer whatever pain they have to suffer. They made a great effort and did a great job as a team. Yes, I loved the whole play, but I also loved the finale!
Yeşil Gazete 2013 – Aslı Günel
Enough is Enough (Yetti Artık) / 2017 Newport
★★★★ The Stage
“Intelligent and subversive”
A piece of gig theatre made up of songs interspersed with testimony, the show is about violence towards females. The cleverest thing is how it subverts expectations.
The show also subverts by not providing the angry punk rock expected as an antidote. Grunge music reminiscent of Hole is contrasted with mournful accordion melodies and commentary on why legislation fails to change behaviour.
The Riot Grrrl movement is obviously referenced, yet the anarchy is controlled. Arikan’s script highlights the ubiquity of violence against women and girls, but also critiques actions like shouting slogans or passing laws.
The Stage / Rosemary Waugh
It’s a play with a strong message and is a massive emotional roller-coaster. We are presenting real issues and stating that everyone contributes to the mess that we’re in: women and men. It’s about people not speaking out about what they’re going through. Lots of this violence is allowed to happen. Everything has cause and effect. Today, more than ever, it’s really important to say these things with Trump in America and the women’s marches taking place.
Inksplott 2017 – Francesca Dimech
Y Brain/ Kargalar/ 2019 Carmarthen
This is an unashamedly lyrical piece, even as it touches on dark themes: bereavement, exile, isolation. The title refers to crows, symbolic both of avian freedom and bleak omens…
The piece is a conversation between the Turkish and Welsh elements of the author’s persona. The Turkish side reflects on the past and her troubles; the Welsh half exults in nature and the opportunities inherent in self-reinvention.
Despite the unhappy events alluded to, one comes away with a sense that the central character has achieved some kind of liberation. Y Brain / Kargalar is an intriguing, poetic, almost balletic experience.
British Theatre Guide 2019 Othnie Smith
Y Brain/Kargalar, the first-ever Welsh-Turkish play, to anyone’s knowledge at least, covers much ground: it addresses everything from nature and womanhood to nationality and politics. The abstract nature of the performances and the dissonance of language within the production make it a highly subjective experience. Like travelling through both countries and hearing and seeing only snippets of someone’s life, the show offers a mish-mash of competing thoughts.
Howlround Theatre Commons 2019 – Emily Garside