Directed by Caitlin McLeod
Pros: A strong and well written script with some great acting.
Cons: The beginning of the play throws you in the deep end where you might not understand the history and background of the situation.
Our Verdict: A solid script which portrays a complex geopolitical issue with simplicity, strongly supported by a great cast and effective directing.
|Courtesy of The Finborough Theatre|
An Israeli interrogation room served as the base for this play, written by Arthur Milner. It was a fitting set, beautifully designed in it’s simplicity teamed with effectively moody yet subtle music.
Facts brings together two detectives, Khalid and Yossi, from either side of the checkpoint as they try to solve the murder of an American archaeologist in the West Bank. Khalid (Philip Arditti) is a well-educated Palestinian Muslim, an intellectual, and Yossi (Michael Feast) is a light-hearted Jewish man, dedicated to his people but an atheist all the same. During the course of their investigation they deal with Danny, their main suspect, a serious Zionist with a confrontational character. Both have a sensible grip on the geopolitical situation surrounding their lives, both have respect and sympathy for the other but both have been influenced by their own cultural upbringing. What made their relationship very interesting to me was that while they both had opinions which were different, they weren’t at either end of the spectrum and they were very willing to listen to one another. This made for a very interesting dynamic and I felt a huge amount of empathy for both characters. Arditti presents Khalid as a stimulating character with great depth and Feast manages to combine Yossi’s humour with a deep regret and understanding.
By bundling this huge political confrontation up with the story of finding a murderer, Arthur Milner allows us to witness two individuals doing their job but also allows the main story to be a simple crime solving mystery which, even on its own, is a fun and enjoyable thing to see at the theatre.
My only concern with this show would be that sometimes it felt like too much was being thrown at me at once. The author clearly has a fantastic understanding of the situation and it was very educational but I found it difficult to keep up with the historical/religious political talk. Saying that, I wouldn’t let this put you off at all as this happened only at the beginning and once I understood the story, it was a fantastic piece of theatre, very educational and brilliantly performed.
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Facts runs at the Finborough Theatre until 23rd March 2013.
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