A new look at Elchin’s Telescope for Buta Festival

Aloff Theatre

A production of Elchin’s Telescope is set to receive its world premiere in English when it is staged as part of the Buta Festival 2015 later this month.

The Azeri-writer’s immersive work will be produced by the London-based Aloff Theatre at Testbed1’s evocative former Victorian dairy performance space in Battersea for a strictly limited run.

It is part of Buta’s programme celebrating Azerbaijani arts and culture.

Opening on February 25, Telescope will be directed by Matthew Gould,.

Matthew GouldChris SimmonsTanya Franks

Gould recently directed a successful run of Elchin’s My Favourite Madman in London and Edinburgh.

Chris Simmons, who played DC Mickey Webb in The Bill, has been cast in the role of Man. Chris, who is known for his lead roles in Casualty and Doctors, also played Mark Garland in EastEnders.

Tanya Franks plays Woman. She has held lead roles in Broadchurch, Pulling, The Bill and is known for her character, Rainie Cross, in EastEnders.

The full cast is Chris Simmons, Tanya Franks, Joe Eyre, Sergio Covino, Anna Darvas, Paul Brennan, Rachel Esposti, Amanda Reed, Elliott Bornemann, Felicity Jolly and Hannah Genesius.

Elchin’s bittersweet satire introduces us to a man hovering halfway to heaven after dying.

He finds himself at a Way Station to Heaven, administered by angel bureaucrats and filled with other souls patiently awaiting their ultimate journey onwards.

Guided through the system by the soul of an old flame, the man gets an unusual perspective of the family and friends he left behind on Earth, giving him a bird’s eye view of what they really think of him – and in the process he discovers more than a few truths about himself.

The play is being staged as part of Buta’s varied schedule that is celebrating Azerbaijani arts and culture. The 2015 Buta Festival provides a window to the Azeri Arts in London.

Telescope runs from February 25 – March 7.

Other events running as part of Buta 2015 are Farkhad Khalilov’s Exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery from March 11–23 and Farooq Chaudry’s production of the 1001 Nights Ballet, at Sadler’s Wells on March 17.

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