Dunedin Arts Festival : A Traveller’s Guide to Turkish Dogs

It’s often the case that the real gems of the festival are right at the end, as is the case with the fantastic tale of international true love.

A Traveller’s Guide to Turkish Dogs is a true story about the meeting of a kiwi working in Turkey and the little dog who befriends him. It’s a very simple set, with a narrator, and three actors who use various tricks and props to enact all the characters.

Barnaby Olson tells his story about his great OE, working on boats and superyachts. Finding himself in between jobs, a friend of his mother sets him up with an opportunity in Turkey. Barnaby is dubious, but with no other real alternatives, he agrees to travel to a small village to work for a NZer building a boat. And this is where Helena the dog appears.

While living in the village, Barnaby learns about Turkish history from an academic eccentric, picks up some of the language, and mixes with colourful characters of various nationalities. On stage, the play interweaves Barnaby’s story with aspects of Turkish mythology, drawing comparisons between the modern day and the myths and legends of those who came before us.

Of course, living in Turkey and nursing a local stray dog back to health is one thing. It’s not until Barnaby decides to travel home, that things get complicated. By now, the man and dog have an unbreakable bond and must fight the perils of immigration red tape to find a place they can live together.

At its heart, this is a feelgood story of love knowing no boundaries, as well as having perhaps the best surprise ending you’ll see on stage. Don’t miss.

Dunedin Arts Festival, King’s and Queen’s Performing Arts Centre, April 23 & 24 April