Commissioned for BUTA Festival London 2015

Venue: TESTBED1, 33 Parkgate Road, London, SW11 4NP

Dates: 25th Feb 2015 – 11th March 2015

Between them, Elchin and the director Matthew Gould have created a funny, memorable and worthwhile farce with depth.
– The Public Reviews

Caught between life and death, relearning everything he thought he knew, the hero of Elchin’s comedy ‘Telescope’ is a classic everyman. But as he sees the human world he has left behind from a new perspective, how will he cope with the surprises in store from the people he thought he knew best of all?

Aloff Theatre brings ‘Telescope’ to the London stage for the first time in an immersive adaptation that gets to the heart of a story that challenges our conceptions of what we believe and what we know about our lives.

A new immersive play set in the evocative spaces of Testbed1’s old Victorian dairy. Aloff Theatre brings the English-language world premiere of Telescope to the London stage, a thought-provoking satire by Azerbaijani playwright Elchin.

In this evocative immersive production, a man hovers halfway to heaven after dying and finds himself at a Way Station to Heaven administered by angel bureaucrats and filled with other souls patiently awaiting their ultimate journey onwards. Guided through the system by the soul of an old flame, the man gets an unusual perspective of the family and friends he left behind on Earth, giving him a bird’s eye view of what they really think of him and in the process he discovers more than a few truths about himself. How then will he cope with the surprises in store from the people he thought he knew best of all?

Telescope is being staged as part of the Buta Arts Festival, a celebration of the arts and culture of Azerbaijan in London. More info at

Wed 25 Feb to Sat 07 Mar 2015
Tues-Sat 7:30pm
(No performances on Mon/Sun)
90 mins, no interval

Tickets: £15 General / £12 Concessions

Box office: / 0800 411 8881

33 Parkgate Road, London SW11 4NP
020 7223 7115

Tube: South Kensington, Victoria
Train: Clapham Junction, Imperial Wharf, Battersea Park
Buses: 345, 19, 170, 319, 49

Note: We advise you to wear relatively warm clothing so you may wish to hang on to your jackets/coats. We also recommend comfortable footwear.

Playwright and novelist Elchin was born into a literary family in Baku in 1943 and is today regarded as one of Azerbaijan’s most eminent contemporary writers. His first novel appeared in 1959, when he was just 16, and he has had almost 100 books translated into more than 20 languages, covering everything from Azerbaijani folklore and eastern classical literature to the classic dramas of Shakespeare and Moliere. As a playwright, his dramatic approach has established the ‘Elchin Theatre’ style, named after him. His plays successfully tackle human dilemmas with a noticeably Azerbaijani accent, making them both highly local and, at the same time, universal.

Matthew Gould has been directing for a number of years having been an actor for 20 years. His directorial work includes plays, musicals, opera and more recently pilots for film and TV. He recently directed a very successful run of Elchin’s play My Favourite Madman in London and Edinburgh and this year will see him direct a new musical about Woody Allen, the premiere of a new play The Glass Protégé at The Park Theatre, London and a new play called The Gambit about Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov will premiere at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival before coming to London for a run.
Chris Simmons

Tanya Franks

Anna Darvas
Archangel Gabriel / Wife

Amanda Reed
Mother-In-Law / Souls / Angels

Elliott Bornemann
Son / Souls / Angels

Felicity Jolly

Paul Brennan
Archangel Israel/Friend

Rachel Esposti
Friends Wife / Souls / Angels

Joe Eyre
Archangel Azrael

Sergio Covino
Archangel Michael / Doctor

Hannah Genesius
Nurse / Souls / Angels


Matthew Gould

Benjamin Newsome
Casting Director

Faye Bradley
Set Designer

Joshua Sung
Lighting Designer

Sanan Aliyev
Creative Producer

Jean Gray
Costume Designer

Mark Modzelewski
Assistant Stage Manager

Will Thompson
Sound Designer

Paul Thomas
Stage Manager

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