TODAY.AZ / Voice of Diaspora

Azerbaijani play “The Botanist Monsieur Jordan and the Sorcerer-Dervish Mastali Shah” on British stage - PHOTOS

17 April 2010 [12:44] - TODAY.AZ
Thursday, 15th of April was an important date for the British stage, since it saw the inaugural English-language performance of the famous 19th century Azerbaijani comedy “The Botanist Monsieur Jordan and the Sorcerer-Dervish Mastali Shah”. This performance began with an informal reception, MC-ed by Sanan Aliyev, co-founder of Gruntlers’ Arts Group, who translated the play into English. Starting with traditional Azerbaijani dance, there was an introductory lecture by the British poet David Parry, who said “it was an honour to present this Bard, M.F. Akhundov to British audiences”. All four dramatized acts followed. Azerbaijani music concluded this event and support was given for this cultural exchange by the European Azerbaijan Society, the Caspian-Khazri Society, as well as the Azerbaijan Embassy in London. The evening finished with a book signing of the translation in the ground-floor bar, which was accompanied by scenes from the film version of the play.

Critics agreed that this historic occasion was a great success. Dr. Ali Atalar, chairman of Azerbaijani House in London said he was “impressed” by every component of this event, which was “well above his expectations”. Certainly, “Gruntlers” arts group intends to explore other Azerbaijani writers in an attempt to bridge the cultural divide between Europe and Azerbaijan. A numbered copy signed by the translator and adaptor of the first English language edition of this comedy will be lodged with the British Library, the five national copyright libraries of the United Kingdom, the Bodleian Library in Oxford and the Poetry Library of the South Bank, not to mention the Azerbaijan National Library. Copies can be purchased from “Gruntlers” arts group.


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