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Zurich theatre festival packed with Turkish delights

Swiss choreographer Gilles Jobin will be staging his latest work at the festival

(Keystone Archive)

Independent theatre companies from around the world are in Zurich for the city's 22nd annual theatre festival. The event brings together more than 40 companies and artists, encompassing everything from innovative theatre through to puppetry, music and dance.

The line-up features a strong Mediterranean presence, with a rich sprinkling of Turkish talent, including the director, Kutlug Ataman; the choreographer, Aydin Teker; and the dancers, Mustapha Kaplan and Filiz Sizanli.

The producer, Mustafa Avkiran, is staging a performance of "L'Ange de la Mort", written by his compatriot, Murathan Mungan. Avkiran is one of Turkey's best-known theatre personalities and founder of Istanbul's 5th Street company.

Both he and his compatriot, Mungan, are followers of the ancient and respected tradition of oriental storytelling.

Maintaining the Mediterranean theme, the Tunisian producer, Taoufik Jebali, and his El teatro troupe will be looking to stretch the imagination with an avant-garde performance of "cybertheatre" called "Le Fou", based on a text by the Lebanese writer, Gibran Khalil Gibran.

Jebali will be remembered by festival regulars for his 1998 production of "Femtella", a radical protest against the political situation in his home country, which caused controversy when it was performed.

Swiss acts

Also attending the festival, which runs until September 2, are more than 20 Swiss acts, including several making the short trek from French- to German-speaking Switzerland.

Internationally acclaimed choreographer Gilles Jobin will be showing his latest work, "The Moebius Strip", at the Theaterhaus Gessnerallee from August 30 to September 2.

Amid all the highbrow acts there will also be plenty of performances for younger theatre-goers whose tastes are more "Punch and Judy" than "Waiting for Godot". Margrit Gysin, the grande dame of Swiss puppeteers, is performing daily at the Schaubünchen, on Mythenquai, from August 22-29.

And for those who feel they have been stuck in a seat too long, Switzerland's aptly named Hillbilly Moon Explosion will be on hand to blow away the cobwebs with a foot-stomping package of rhythm and blues to close out the festival at the Club, on Mythenquai.

swissinfo with agencies


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