An Israeli Love Story

This event has now finished. Until Jun 6 2010

Time Out says  

Posted: Mon May 24 2010

Pnina Gary's play is definitely a love story but not technically Israeli, except for the dénouement: it takes place between 1942, when 15-year-old Margalit spots handsome Ami on the bus to Jerusalem, and the 1948 civil war between Palestinian Arabs and the new-minted Israelis. Calm discussions of that particular ongoing conflict are hard to come by and you won't find one here: like Margalit, the play sees Ami as the quintessential kibbutz hero, secular but idealistic, giving away the clothes on his back according to the principle of share and share alike. The ideological problems of being a socialist on disputed land aren't dealt with at all, which is a pity but probably true to the characters: after all, this is Margalit's story, and her political involvement is limited to falling for a guy in the Palmach (Israel's unofficial pre-independence army).

Adi Bielski, in a demanding role including various emigrant accents, is gorgeous but hesitant, comfortable on the middle ground but faltering when emotional extremes are required, which isn't ideal for a lovesick teenager anywhere. And while the play gives a good sense of life in pre-state Israel, if you needed the brackets above and aren't sure what a moshav or aliyah are, then either avoid this play or check Wikipedia first. Gray, writing from her own experience, is preaching to the converted - which actually tells you everything about the fate of the secular Israeli state you need to know.

New End Theatre details

New End Theatre, 27 New End, NW3 1JD

New End Theatre

Very likely riddled with ghosts, New End Theatre was once the mortuary adjoining New End Hospital. It opened as a theatre in 1971 and has since...

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