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HomeU.S.ATikkun Olam assessment – gripping dissection of id politics and the tradition...

Tikkun Olam assessment – gripping dissection of id politics and the tradition wars

This play’s title comes from the non secular idea of repairing or rebuilding the world in Judaism, although you’re by no means positive whether or not it’s meant paradoxically. What is obvious is the desperately topical nature of playwright Teunkie Van Der Sluijs’ debut with its tradition wars, id politics and, on the centre, a dialogue about whom we select to memorialise and why.

An aspiring MP, Steve Alexander (Jake Fairbrother), is working his election marketing campaign on a proposed Holocaust memorial close to Parliament Sq. within the hope to win constituency votes and rehabilitate his get together in opposition to costs of antisemitism (the Labour get together is rarely talked about by title).

His researcher Dan (Luke Thompson) – a fancy boy with an annoying behavior of claiming “touché” lots – is assembly influential Jewish blogger Leah (Debbie Korley) to win her help for the marketing campaign, however virtually botches the job when he errors her for somebody who has turned up for the “knife crime assembly” as a result of she occurs to be Black in addition to Jewish. A neighborhood girl (Diana Fast) intermittently pops as much as protest concerning the deliberate memorial, insisting that she is “not bigoted” however questioning why a memorial for Jewish victims ought to sit in her native park. The Holocaust, she says, represents Europe’s warfare – and guilt – not Britain’s.

The play – one in all three winners of Unique Theatre Firm’s Originals Playwriting award – seems on the intersections of Black and Jewish id, in addition to the interface between real remembrance and co-opting causes as “status initiatives”. Van Der Sluijs has an actual need to probe concepts beneath the floor and reveals promise as a punchy political playwright with an eloquent aptitude.

Staged as a web-based studying beneath the path of Michael Boyd, the performing is constrained by the shape and by the static nature of the play: the drama doesn’t lie in character or plot however the dialogue of concepts. So it’s an achievement that it so gripping and by no means feels inert. There’s a good, sparky repartee between Leah and Dan and you would like for extra of this, alongside the mental tennis. Dan reveals himself to be a totally objectionable character whose “proudly owning up” to his white, male privilege is glib, expedient, maybe even cynical. Leah appears to see by it so it’s unconvincing when the pair start a romance – and one which has little bearing on the drama or its final result.

The performances are sturdy, even with some barely halting moments, and Leah makes a robust speech on the finish which pulls the rug from beneath the toes of the characters and leaves us weighing up her phrases too.

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