Go to Gaza, Drink the Sea ****

Go to Gaza, Drink the Sea is an unashamedly political play that isn’t interested in dramatic debate but is instead intent on provoking a response.  As this is a frank discussion about life in Gaza, that is probably the correct dramatic choice.

I’m not sure if I could say what this play is about, plot wise.  If it is about anything, it is about how life is so harsh in the Gaza Strip that no one lives for tomorrow; you can never tell who the Israeli tanks, bombs and bullets are going to get next.  We see many things: war profiteering, feeble attempts by diplomats, news reports and family’s huddling together for safety–only to be blown up.  We also see a family who are just trying to live their lives.

As with most political drama, it is the audience’s response that is key.  We may not get to know any of the characters well, but we see enough to know that we want them to live, even though they probably won’t.  And the ending takes such a stanch stance that it is more than likely to divide the audience.  Some may find it a bit forced, but I myself thought that the production played fair and that the end was inevitable.

The ensemble is also very strong, with each person playing multiple characters of differing types.  It is all punctuated live music, which sounds both beautiful and haunting, and horrifying film and video footage.

Go to Gaza, Drink the Sea is an excellent production, even if the audience’s reaction will probably be based more on their political views of the Israeli/Palestinian situation than the merits of the drama itself.  It’s obvious where the production’s views lie, but that’s okay.  Still, with something like this, the best response would be if the audience entered into a political debate or not.  But those wanting to see an excellently executed political drama that is thought-provoking and moving need look no further than this potent production.

Playing at the Assembly Hall from 14.30-15.50 until August 30.

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