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Theatre Review A no-holds-barred look at Palestinian life

MAYER WAKEFIELD recommends a captivating 45 minutes which deliver some hammer blows when much of mainstream theatre continues to turn the other cheek

How To Make A Revolution
Finborough Theatre (Online Production)

 

IT IS difficult not to be reminded of Nicholas Kent and Richard Norton-Taylor’s verbatim plays at the now-rechristened Tricycle Theatre when watching the online premiere of How To Make A Revolution.

Kent and Co’s reconstructions used theatre to uncover the truth behind high-profile crimes of the British state such as Bloody Sunday and the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
 
The opening instalment of the Finborough Theatre’s new digital initiative, #FinboroughFrontier, is a forthright look at Israeli apartheid which as its real-life protagonist, Issa Amro, reminds us is also a skeleton in the closet of the British government.

Blurring the lines between theatre and documentary we’re invited to step inside the world of Amro and experience the life of a human rights defender in Occupied Palestine.

The journey begins in Ofer Military Court where “much of what happens stays in the dark – unless someone takes the official testimonies and makes them into a play...” Amro and Tel Aviv-based playwright Einat Weizman have done exactly that.  

Since his youth Amro has chosen the path of maximum resistance and has become one the most prominent Palestinian activists on the planet, leading the Youth Against Settlements movement since 2007.
 
It all began when his engineering degree at the Palestine Polytechnic University was curtailed by the Israeli military declaring it a closed military zone. Amro returned home where he searched the internet with the words “how to make a revolution.” His life is an ongoing answer to that question.
 
Serving as narrator, Amro smashes the third wall but is also played by Ramzi DeHani, leading to some oddly intriguing exchanges with himself. He rightly remains the focus throughout leaving the rest of the cast to fill archetypal roles to service the narrative.

Director Tommo Fowler creates a captivating 45 minutes which shifts slickly between different mediums and delivers some hammer blows.  

Taking verbatim theatre to a new level of authenticity, the Finborough Theatre and all involved deserve huge credit for a creating a no-holds-barred look at Palestinian life while much of mainstream theatre continues to turn the other cheek.
 
Watch free online until Monday February 28 2022 at 11.00pm: www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk/

 

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