"The one and only." Şener Şen is one of the most important figures in Turkish performance arts. And I am not using the term "performance arts" in vain. Neither theatre, nor cinema, nor musicals, nor stand-up or any other sort of performance can draw boundaries to the acting finesse of Şener Şen. Şener does not fit into any mould. He has elevated his acting –trained in the master- andapprentice tradition– to an extraordinary level and has done it without following any doctrines (unlike actors trained in drama school), just utilizing amazing observational skills honed by carefully observing life at all times. Then he put those acting skills at the disposal of performance arts.
In my opinion, even more important is the fact that Şener Şen has always been able to employ heritage of traditional Turkish performance arts such as ortaoyunu (improvisational theatre), Karagöz (shadow play), meddah (storyteller), and to carefully revise Naşit's, Dümbüllü's legacy, refine them, dust them and integrate them into contemporary acting. According to some (and surely to this writer), the westerners and the easterners see different motives in the living, feeling, discerning, perceiving, reacting organism called "character". This is because they are from different geographies and they feed on different sources. Aware of this difference, when in "character", Şener Şen does not choose the tragic effort of "being like them" under the influence of the acting methods of faraway lands, and instead goes straight for his own "sap", distilling what he takes from his roots and giving us those unique protagonists he has brought to life. This, in itself, is enough to make Şener Şen "the one and only". Which he is.
- Yavuz Turgul