Professor Gunduz Jem Kalic is a theatre director, acting coach and former actor long fascinated with the place of the fool within theatre and society , actively working on some exciting projects. Watch the showreel.

Early Life


As a child growing up on the Black Sea, at a place serving as a crossroads of many cultures, nations and traditions, Kalic was audience to itinerant performers of all kinds. Especially fascinating to him were troupes performing abridged versions of Shakespeare in tents. When a teenager, he found himself a protege of university theatre clubs dedicated to producing the plays of Sartre, Beckett and other mid-century European moderns.


Subsequently, as a young man, he worked extensively with ‘living treasures’ of theatre such as Ulvi Uraz and Haldun Taner, was founder-member of several theatre companies, took roles in films – and ended up in exile after a play directed by him offended the ruling authorities.

After serving internships with and observing many greats of European theatre including Strehler and Planchon, Professor Kalic settled in the UK. He worked at the Joan Littlewood sponsored East 15 Acting School – eventually becoming co-director – and soaked up the Theatre Workshop milieu.

Turkish playwright and author Haldun Taner (1915 - 1986) and Kalic on July 5th 1968.

As he became more acclimatised to the West, Kalic became increasingly preoccupied with the quest ‘how and why to make theatre in an already theatricalised society?’ He was to undertake this journey while working at drama schools, universities and while leading small theatre companies in various locations in Canada, Australia, Europe and Asia. Simply, his approach has been to take the rhetoric of play which permeates theatre seriously, to decommodify theatre, to make the theatre gathering tangibly, atmospherically joyful. At the centre of his work is the twinkling, knowing eye and dancing consciousness of the player-fool.