Hare Reprises Middle East Monologue DolorosaDate: 21 June 2002
Dames Maggie Smith and Judi Dench (premiering The Breath of Life at the Haymarket in October) won't be the only ones performing the work of David Hare in the West End this season. The playwright himself will take to the stage next month in a highly topical revival of his acclaimed monologue on the Middle East, Via Dolorosa.
As the death toll in Israel and Palestine mounts daily and peace negotiations continue to falter, Via Dolorosa, directed once again by former Royal Court artistic director Stephen Daldry, will receive a limited six-week season at the West End's Duchess Theatre from 18 July 2002 (previews from 16 July).
Hare made his acting debut four years ago in the one-man play in a production for the Royal Court, then resident at the Duke of York's Theatre in the West End. After its London season, Via Dolorosa transferred for a short run on Broadway in 1999.
The piece had its origins two years earlier, in 1997, when the then 50-year-old Hare paid a three-week visit to the state of Israel, celebrating its own 50th birthday at the time. Deeply touched by the experience, he began the memoir that became Via Dolorosa. In the course of playing some 33 people on stage - from a family of Jewish settlers in the West Bank to a Palestinian politician in Gaza - Hare meditates on the region's age-old conflicts and questions his own values as searchingly as the powerful beliefs, passions, prejudices and suspicions of those he met.
In addition to Via Dolorosa and The Breath of Life, his latest play, Hare's many stage works include Amy's View, The Judas Kiss, Plenty and The Absence of War.
In the autumn, director Daldry, who accompanied Hare on his 1997 trip to Israel, will return to the Royal Court to direct the world premiere of Caryl Churchill's A Number. Daldry's other stage credits include his 1991 multi award-winning expressionist revival of JB Priestley's An Inspector Calls (which has only just finished in the West End) and Far Away, while he has become internationally famous for his film directorial debut, Billy Elliot.
- by Terri Paddock