I don’t make a point of seeing much theatre in LA… past experiences have shown me that in this town many of the actors, writers, directors – you name it – are involved in theatre merely as a means of finding an agent or showcasing their work, as opposed to being involved solely out of love for this particular storytelling medium. That mentality permeates a show and cheapens it.
Revolutionary Love does not have this problem. At the start, writer/director Fulya Diner introduced the show as a passion project, a dream come true for her. The house lights went down and the stage lights came up, and I was introduced to Turkish poet and peaceful revolutionary Nazim Hikmet and his lover, Piraye Hanim, via a series of letters and poems penned by Nazim during his 12 year imprisonment. Bryson Jones Allman’s portrayal of Nazim is lively and honest; there is a blend of humor, pain, confusion, and love as he perseveres through the persecution and animosity directed at him by his own country. Elif Savas is wonderful as Piraye. A rock for Nazim, she covers her pain over his imprisonment with encouragement and steadfast love for her poet, communicating her emotions through a combination of beautiful movement, singing, and violin playing.
I do not know what the creative or rehearsal process was for this project, but I have a feeling this was an extremely collaborative effort between Ms. Diner and her cast, and I know without a doubt it was a labor of love to the fullest degree. I am happy to have met the Nazim and Piraye these three people fell in love with, and very much enjoyed seeing them through their eyes. I only hope to see a further developed version of this production, as it’s fairly short and seems to just scratch the surface of these characters and their story. I want more… I have so many questions! The good kind.