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'Mare Rider': A Feminist Figure
Elka is the sinister Mare Rider, in myth she haunts new mothers and rides bareback through mountains and across the plains of Anatolia. Selma is about to give birth at Homerton Hospital in Hackney, Elka takes her on a fantastical journey, probing the spaces between Selma's nightmarish visions and the reality of those around her. Arcola’s co-founder and playwright Leyla Nazli was one of the 'Royal Court Fifty' writers chosen to celebrate the theatre's 50th anniversary year and where her first play Silver Birch House had its debut reading before premiering at Arcola in 2007. In this new work, writer Leyla Nazli combines ancient myth, fears of childbirth and issues of identity. Nazli also offers a social commentary on the twenty-first century by combining ancient myth and modern society. Nazli said that “Elka is a representation of early feminism because she represents freedom as riding horses, hunting and getting drunk and doing all those things which thousands of years ago women were probably forbidden to do.” 

Mare Rider is being performed as part of the theatrical collaboration ‘Europe Now’ which brings together four theatres in Sweden, Holland, Germany and Turkey – the homeland of both Nazli and director Mehmet Ergen. Mare Rider will be on at the Arcola Theatre till February 16th and will be touring as part of the Europe Now project, a theatrical collaboration between Sweden, Turkey, Holland and Germany. 

 

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