Lick But Don’t Swallow! (Little Fantasy)

Lick But Don’t Swallow! (Little Fantasy) is a play written by Özen Yula that is one of the texts of his Objection Plays series. It is a story about a dream of an angel/porn star who tries to save humanity. By divine rule, angels are sent to the Earth once in every hundred years in a human body and they must convince at least one person to follow the moral goodness in their 24 hours. This is the only condition to stay as an angel for one more hundred years; and if she/he fails she/he will get stuck in the world as a mortal human being.

The play takes place on the set of a porn movie in Turkey where an angel finds herself in the body of a porn star named Leyla. She tries to raise awareness of set workers for the world matters while the filming of the porn movie scenes continues. According to the biriken, the duo staging the play, Lick But Don’t Swallow! (Little Fantasy) is on one side brings out present-day harsh realities through the porn star Leyla, “on the other hand, it chooses a platform where it cancels out everything it tells about, denies the reality surrounding us, and where the only reality is hedonism.”

Barefoot, Naked, Heart in His Hand

‘Barefoot, Naked, Heart in His Hand’ is based on a tragic incident that happened in Germany in 1993. A group of young neo-Nazi men set the apartment of a Turkish immigrant family on fire. In the fire, five members of the family perish, and the father and a little son survive. The play is narrated from the point of view of Ali, the father of the family, who survived the fire but stays in a mental hospital. To turn this catastrophe into a play, instead of writing a drama full of pity and tears, Jalali chooses the framework of tragicomedy which grants a dynamic rhythm to the monologue, that, alongside the alienation effect produced, makes the audience experience the bitterness and ugliness of the misfortune with an alert mind. Compactness is another characteristic of Jalali’s style which affects all parts of the play including the narrative, acting, stage design, and music. Choosing the form of monologue performed only by a single actor is evidence of this, which results in the play’s richness and complexity. ‘Barefoot, Naked, Heart in His Hand’ is compact but rich, simple but complicated, and comic but tragic.

Launcher 5

Launcher 5 is a hard-hitting report of the aftermath of three mysterious murders that have taken place at a military garrison’s launcher number 5. The play takes place in the inspection office of a garrison, where the inspector performs a long and complicated process of interrogation to discover the culprit. Launcher 5 pioneers the use of foregrounding a sexual crime committed in garrisons, which nobody dares refer to publicly. Military service is generally celebrated as a holy symbol that manifests young men’s duty to their country, but Launcher 5 desacralizes it and implies an urgent need for reevaluation and reform. Launcher 5 presents military service as imprisonment that can cause severe psychological issues in young men. However, the small world of the garrison can be seen as a metaphor for a social system in which too much repression is destructive rather than constructive. It can kill people’s spirits, resulting in outbursts of crime and violence. Launcher 5 gives a straightforward picture of reality and does not have any reservations against speaking the truth. This genuine honesty, along with brilliant acting, an outstanding script containing an intelligent mixture of tears, laughs, mystery, and violence, causes the spectators to trust the play and enjoy it.


Handala is a play that I wrote based on the cartoons of Naji Al-Ali. I am inspired by his work throughout the years before his assassination in London in 1987, and the life that his cartoons still have after his death. As
a writer, I also identify with the symbol of Handala, as it represents the continuation of struggle and resistance against the illegal Occupation. I call active, unarmed resistance “beautiful resistance,” and that is what Naji Al-Ali engaged in: beautiful resistance. I felt it was important to adapt his cartoons for the stage because they are still very relevant. There is so much false history that works to wash the truth of our memories away. Naji Al-Ali, the artist, is an important role model for the continuing commitment to human rights and values. Al-Ali’s creation, Handala, which is often humorous, represents the guardian of these same rights and values. I think that the cartoons of Handala are an intelligent and anguished cry against all the compromises and degradation of our values and rights. Handala’s spirit creates space for crushed people to speak, and to challenge the politicians and merchants of rights and values. Handala is also a vehicle through which we can reclaim our true histories.