13 days have passed since I saw the art having a heart attack for almost three hours on the great stage of National Theatre, Olivier,but couldn’t resuscitate. I have remembered it at least once or twice a day and wanted to raise my voice to get rid of the guilty feeling of not being able to rescue the art for 13 days, however my mother’s words got louder in my mind. “If you don’t have anything nice to say just keep quiet!”

When I visited National Theatre once again,today, I have decided to ignore my mother’s words and shout back at Mike Bartlett’s play “13”as loud as it shouted at me for two and a half hour. Disturb it as much as it disturbed me with its lack of creativity and artistic sensitivity, cause its makers to lose their sleeps just like they did to me and in the end asked me sarcastically how I am  sleeping these days.

“13” is at National Theatre,Olivier.

None of us have been sleeping well since we entered the”Awakening Era” .Since we were woken up by WikiLeaks from a long term confusion that had been injected us in the name of Modernism. Since almost every government declared “Information War”against their own people, since uprisings and protests spread the world faster than light speed and bled billions, left millions of dead behind,since we had no voice to stop any of those wars, since we witnessed that laws were there to protect the rich and silence the poor, we lost our sleep. We are all aware that the global turmoil will continue and we will remain insomniac until the world changes in a way we want.

However none of us are ready to look into mirror neither to see our loss or our insomniac face nor the damage of the change which we have been trying to bring to the world , yet.

Have you ever looked into the mirror straight after you had a car crash while you were still bleeding or straight after your surgery while your wound was still recovering? What would be  your reaction if you had to?The expected reaction is that any human being would get scared,panic and naturally scream in that situation.That is what exactly happens when artists mirror the social or political chaos on the stage while it is still ongoing and while people are still trying to recover from it. There is no way of stopping us from screaming unless (s)he suggests  some real solution to the situation in an artistically sensitive way.

Bartlett doesn’t only hold us a mirror to show how terribly we have bled and are still bleeding; he doesn’t only show us how horrible our wound looks after the surgery, but he also excitedly acknowledges us that we have to go through another big surgery, which is Iran War, like an insensitive surgeon, in his new play “13”.At this point he scares the audiences, makes them feel guilty of the situation and distances them from art. Bartlett also undermines the intelligence of his audiences when the play starts to sound preachy rather than witty, maybe without realising.

These are not the only reasons that bring failure to Bartlett’s “13”, the weak connections between too many characters, shaky ground of the plot that lacks a deeper-broader research about Middle East and its connections with the World, judging possible Iran War from only West’s point of view,not inadequate but artificial empathy for the Middle Eastern people whose countries were attacked and who were victimised by the West,whose victimisation stories cashed in by opportunistic Western artists, are the other elements that make audiences even more insomniac when they leave the theatre.

Audiences don’t go to theatre and spend almost three hours to get irritated and preached at too loud on the false basis. Any artist who respects her/his audiences should and would know that. Otherwise they will be attacking even abusing  art as well as art lovers.


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