09 August 2007

1858) New British Comedy Play: Turkey’s EU Aspiration

This content mirrored from TurkishArmenians  Site EU Comedy

Turkey’s EU aspiration became the subject of a theater play in Britain. In the political sex comedy titled “In the Club,” a British parliamentarian, who lobbies for Turkey, stays between his darling and Ankara’s EU efforts. In the play’s premier, attended by only Hürriyet from Turkey, the writer said, “I have chosen Turkey because it is a permanent subject” . .

The theater play “In the Club,” written and produced by British writer Richard Bean and makes fun of Turkey's bid for European Union (EU) membership, played to a full house in its premier. The play, defined as a “political sex comedy,” features the relation between Turkey and the EU. The EU is often referred to as “the club” in political circles. The play also makes reference to Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code using seven imaginary characters.

The play focuses on the political career and sex life of Philip Wardrobe, who is a member of parliament and lobbies for Turkey's EU membership. The 46-year-old Wardrobe is living in a luxury hotel in Strasbourg, paid for by Turks. Wardrobe is stuck in between his dreams of starting a family with his darling Nicola and becoming the chairman of the European Parliament (EP) one day.

Being a paid-off lobbyist for Turkish membership to the EU, Wardrobe has close relationship with Mehmet Aziz, the so-called Turkish representative of the EP. But when he mistakenly makes an offensive comment to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan regarding Article 301 while drunk, Mehmet Aziz seeks an urgent meeting with him.

Wardrobe, who asserts that he is always devoted to his darling, the secretary general for the Human Rights Council, finally decides to have a child from her. But when many uninvited guests see each other in his hotel room, the situation gets out of control. Amidst the mayhem, Aziz comes to the room to discuss Wardrobe's lobbying activities, and Wardrobe decides to marry his darling.

Dialogues between Wardrobe's darling and Aziz made the audiences laugh the most. In reference to Article 301, the play makes mention of Nobel prize winner writer Orhan Pamuk and Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was assassinated a few months ago. The play also points out that, if Turkey becomes a member of the EU, every one in four people will be Muslim in Europe.

Turkey's EU membership is a long-term issue

Play writer and stage director Richard Bean is a psychologist and comedian. Speaking to daily Hürriyet before the performance, Bean refused to have his photo taken and said “First of all, this is a political comedy. I do not want to be misunderstood. I am living in a place where many Turkish people live in London. It is not my aim to hurt anyone. While writing a theater play, it is more logical to choose a permanent topic. If you look at politics today, everything lasts for 24 hours. But Turkey's EU membership is an issue that might be discussed for 10 years or more.”

Bean said he admired Atatürk and even Britain has many things to learn from Turkey about laicism. “Before the July 22 elections, there were many discussions like square meetings, army, presidential elections and etc. Perhaps, Turkey is the only country that frees itself from this confusion without being damaged. I want to go to Turkey at the first opportunity possible.”

Hürriyet /TDN
August 9, 2007


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