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Dilan Yurdakul

Published 5 Nov 2015 at 14:57 by Jan van Tienen

Dilan Yurdakul has degrees in both German and European Studies and works as an actress – both on screen (Goeden Tijden Slechte Tijden) and in theatre. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day for her energy and ambition. That’s why we’re thrilled to have Dilan as our new theatre editor! Read on to discover a few things about Dilan’s taste and personality.

What have you been up to in the past month?

Resting, mostly. I just came out of a period of long days rehearsing for a performance, and having rehearsed and performed Dorian Gray at Fringe Festival. Next to that, I’ve still got my main job – acting in Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden. On top of acting, I also work as a sports instructor, so I’ve been toiling away physically, too.

What will you be focusing on for We Are Public?

I’ll be focusing on theatre. I want to concentrate on smaller performances on offer in Amsterdam, which focus on engagement. I think it’s important to feel the necessity of the maker. Besides that, I think diversity is really important, in both makers and performers.

What do you mean when you say ‘feel the necessity’? When does that feel right, to you?

Haha, well, that’s always subjective, of course, but to me personally it comes down to whether things come together: the personal and the dramatic. I want to see that the makers have dared to take risks. There is an abundance of sound theatre that is good, technically, but not particularly interesting. That kind of theatre often doesn’t strike a chord, emotionally.

Oh, like that. But sorry, I still don’t understand the ‘coming together’ part completely.

Okay, the way I see it is like this: I like it when the personal, stemming from the maker, fits seamlessly with the art. A good example is a performance I saw recently, called Nobody Home by Daria Bukvić. The piece is about three guys who used to be refugees, and was made by people who have the same background as the characters in the story. That way, it can strike that chord in the audience. But really, a piece ‘falling together’ doesn’t depend solely on the identity of the maker. Take Medea by Toneelgroep Amsterdam, for example, who also evoke the feeling that the makers tell the story from a deeply personal place, even though it’s based on a tragedy that is thousands of years old.

I get it! Something else: What should more people be familiar with?

The classics, in literature!


They are the grounding of pretty much everything we know. I’m talking as an actress now, but many of the great novels and stories translate fundamental human emotions. You have to have read them as a person, as a maker, as an actress. Writers like Nietzsche, Balzac, Poesjkin, Proust, Kafka, but also Houellebecq.

Are there enough hours in the day?

There are not enough hours in the day.

What would you like to delve into more?

As a maker, I would like to learn more about how music, language and dance can come together. But I think that’s kind of a stupid answer. I would like to delve into the act of delving into something, maybe that’s a better answer! How do you delve into something? Yeah – that’s what I want to know.

What was the first time you saw something that deeply moved you? Let’s say, your earliest memory of art.

What a challenging question, haha. It was a musical, I think. But no, I want to tell you about a performance I saw in Germany. It was somewhere in Berlin, I was sixteen or seventeen, when I saw a rendition of Schiller’s work. It was an indictment against society. Performed by a youth theatre company, the quality wasn’t that high, but it was so intense, it all came together so flawlessly, that I thought: this is it. They had me trembling in that venue.

Are you happy?

Reasonably, yeah. I guess I am! I don’t let life just pass me by.

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