In the play from which this is adapted, the tough desert life of the kibbutzniks lent them an air of curt self-sufficiency, while the working class English volunteers who had come for a working holiday displayed a vicious, heartfeld hatred for England. Here, this strong material (adapted by playwright Paul Kember himself) has been caramelised. Gilbert has created a toffee-apple with the apple removed: bite through the sweet crust of romantic Holy Land locations, handsome Israelis, dashing Arab terrorists and corny jokes, and what remains is sheer emptiness. The characters are caricatures, the situations clichés, and the production leaden. One saving grace: Polish actress Joanna Pacula, who alone manages to invest her role with a patina of plausibility, radiates a heat that marks the ascension of a star.
Not Quite Jerusalem
Cast and crew