Monday, 8 February 2010


25/1/10, Young Vic

A Palestinian production in English and Arabic (surtitles projected onto a bath hanging above the stage!) which rather confirms one's suspicion that, for the Palestinians, there is only one subject and therefore there can only be one Palestinian play.

I made notes shortly after seeing it, but I can't find them.

Yusuf is a simpleton. His brother looks after him. It is 1949. The British leave, the Jews come, there is fighting, they flee. The brother returns to the village in search of his girlfriend, and is shot. Yusuf and the girlfriend survive to live the rest of their lives in a refugee camp (we see them at the beginning, old and cranky, and the aged Yusuf acts as a kind of chorus, commenting on the action).

There was some good stuff with water. At one point towards the end the stage filled with water, so that the actors had to splash about in it. There was some satire at the expense of the Brits. But the accents were too strong, and quite a lot of the dialogue got lost in the unforgiving spaces of the Young Vic configured with the stage at one end.

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