Premiere of ‘Kunanbai’ play

Kuanyshbayev State Academic Kazakh Music and Drama Theatre presented a new play. The theatre has previously represented on stage such historical figures as Abylai Khan, Zere, Abai, and now Kunanbai. The script of the play is based on the movie “Kunanbai”. A stage director Bolat Uzakov said that the theatre actors reveal on stage what Kunanbai, the father of the great philosopher Abai, was like.

“Compared to the novel by Talasbek Assemkulov and the movie by Doskhan Zholzhaksynov, which was released not that long ago, the image of Kunanbai is different in our play. He spends a year in prison under arrest and despite the fact that he was a very healthy man and the power was in his hands, he decides to become a pilgrim. I myself wonder why he had made certain decisions. This is reflected in our play,” said Bolat Uzakov, a stage director.

 Two casts perform the role of Kunanbai. On the premiere day, the character of Kunanbai was played by an honored figure of Kazakhstan Yerlan Malayev, and the second actor who revealed the image of Kunanbai is Nartai Saudanbekuly, who suggested his candidature for this role.

“I played the character of Baluan Sholak and Batyr Bayan - mostly I was given the parts of glorious fighters and batyrs who stood on the defense of the borders and protected their people from enemies. But, I’m honest with myself, and I realize that if I’m asked to play Abai, I probably won’t be able to do it. The audience won’t simply believe me. But I think that the character of Kunanbai suits me well. I consider myself lucky to be given a chance to play this character,” said Nartai Saudanbekuly, an actor.

The play was dedicated to two significant dates – to the 30th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s Independence and the anniversary of the theatre.