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You're Always With MeFiliz Ozcan directs the European Premiere of Azerbaijani and Soviet writer Ilyas Afandiyev’s play You’re Always With Me – translated by Sanan Ailev at The Lost Theatre. This is the first English language production of the play.

The cast includes: Zara Plessard (Nezaket); Doug Devaney (Hesenzade); Stephanie Harte (Nargile), Karl Niklas (Badal Farajov and Faraj) and Helen Coles (Kurshid and Surik)

Creative team includes: Sanan Aliyev (Producer/Translator) Filiz Ozcan (Director) Mark Modzelewski (Assistant Director) Tom Boucher (Lighting Designer) Paulina Rzeszowska (Set & Costume Designer) Oliver Weeks (Sound Designer)

A bittersweet romance, a pair, both lonely in their own ways, find themselves drawn to each other. As they form a bond that defies conventions, their relationship makes us ask whether love holds the answer to loneliness…

Afandiyev’s You’re Always With Me caused a stir with its thinly disguised observations on class in Soviet society when first staged in Soviet-era Azerbaijan in 1964. Its resonances are still as powerful and relevant today, in its gentle examination of how love naturally takes different forms in the different stages of our lives, and the ways in which the world seeks to impose and mould those loves. Afandiyev leaves us with the confidence that the individual will always prevail in the face of society’s hypocrisy and control.

Aloff Theatre is a London based theatre company dedicated to identifying, translating and organising the production of Eastern European and Central Asian texts for the benefit of the UK and International audiences. The company’s aim is to create diverse, innovative and vibrant productions that have rarely been presented to English audiences, and act as a focus for intercultural exchange.

Ilyas Afandiyev was an Azerbaijani and Soviet writer, member of Azerbaijan Union of Writers, Honored Art Worker of Azerbaijan, laureate of the State Prize of Azerbaijan and People’s Writer of Azerbaijan.2014 is the centenary year of the birth of celebrated writer Illyas Afandiyev. Born May 26, 1914 in the Fuzili town of the Azerbaijan SSR, he is revered as a source of inspiration for society and has left an indelible mark on generations of writers nationally and internationally. His fruitful career bore more than 80 works, including plays, novels, short stories and essays. He is seen as a master of psychological dramas, leading a call for human rights, freedom and independence. On the occasion of the celebration of his 100th birthday, he was described by Irina Bokova, director general of UNESCO as “An outstanding playwright and writer-most of all, he was a great intellectual and humanist.”

Founder, Creative Producer of Aloff Theatre, Sanan Aliyev was born in Azerbaijan. Following his graduation in Oriental Studies from Baku State University, he moved to London in 2009 to further his researches. Soon taking up the position as a manager at Azerbaijan House, culture centre London, he also completed his MA in International Liaison and Communication with the Diplomatic Academy of London. As a founding director of the Azerbaijan London Film Festival (ALOFF), Sanan continues to pro-actively represent Azerbaijani Culture in the UK. As the translator and producer of Mirza Fatali Akhundov’s masterpiece, The Botanist Monsieur Jordan and the Sorcerer-Dervish Mastali Shah, as well as Elchin’s radical farce My Favourite Madman into English, he has become recognized as a significant contributor to Anglo-Azerbaijani theatre.

Director Filiz Ozcan is a member of the World Arts Platform Artist Advisory Group. She is currently working for Pegasus Theatre and is is also one of the founding members of Komola Collective. Her recent productions include: Birangona: Women of War which toured UK, Bonbibi at Rich Mix London (as part of A Season of Bangla Drama), The Legends of King Arthur (for the Without Frontiers Festival) in Poland, Rusalka at BAC London, and The Cost of Living, which toured secondary schools in Stoke-on-Trent. Besides directing, she has also assisted Jatinder Verma (Tara Arts), Sue Moffat (New Vic Borderlines), Philip Parr (Parrabbola) and Oliver Jones (Trestle Theatre). Currently she is working on Salty Water and Us (as part of A Season of Bangla Drama) and Birangona: Women of War which will be touring five cities in Bangladesh.

Evenings: Tuesday to Saturday: 19.30
Sundays: 15.00
Tickets: £10 (£8) Preview tickets £8 (£5)
Press Night: 12th September 19.30
Bookings: 0207 720 6897
Press Contact: nouska@nouskahanlypr.com
The Lost Theatre 208 Wandsworth Rd, London SW8 2JU
Running Time: 100 mins with interval
Twitter: @alofftheatre
Website: www.alofftheatre.org

Tuesday 2nd September 2014


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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