Lale Mansur: The actress who chooses to believe in miracles

Link to one of a number of articles I’ve written for The Independent as a sometime reporter at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

She’s a committed political activist in Turkey, but Lale Mansur’s current passion is for magical theatre

Lale Mansur is anxious. The Turkish film star is experiencing morning-after-first-night nerves. “We didn’t even have time for a dress rehearsal. Last nightwas the dress rehearsal,” she says, rolling her eyes theatrically. “And our show is so technical: lighting cues, special effects.” She shifts from foot to foot. “Um, shall we go and sit down?”

Formerly Istanbul State Opera and Ballet’s longest-serving prima ballerina and an award-winning actress, Lale Mansur is a Big Star. Not that you’d guess it. Her face is devoid of make-up, her slight frame is clad in leather jacket and jeans, and she’s wearing trainers that are as huge on her slender ankles as they would be on a child’s. She may be an A-list Turkish celebrity, but she’s serious, softly spoken and even a little shy. Such a low-key appearance and quiet countenance are all the more surprising when you consider that Mansur is a woman who may face 15 years in prison for civil disobedience.

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