David Hare Resurrects Wall for Ten PerformancesDate: 24 March 2009
After three sell-out dates last week, playwright David Hare (pictured) will next month reprise his script-in-hand reading of Wall, his meditation the Israel-Palestinian conflict, for ten more performances at the Royal Court.
The 40-minute piece, which reunites Hare with former Royal Court artistic director Stephen Daldry, will run in the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at 9.30pm, after the scheduled performances of the main show, Wallace Shawn’s The Fever, from 14 to 25 April 2009 (except Sunday or Monday), with a press night on Friday 17 April.
Wall reunites Hare and Daldry more than a decade after Hare made his acting debut in Via Dolorosa, which premiered at the Royal Court in 1998 during Daldry’s reign as artistic director. The earlier piece was the result of Hare’s first three-week visit to Israel in 1997, when both he and the state were celebrating 50th birthdays. Deeply touched by the experience, he began the memoir that went on to become the monologue, in which he played 33 people on stage - from a family of Jewish settlers in the West Bank to a Palestinian politician in Gaza – whom he met and interviewed about the region’s age-old divisions.
Since then, Hare has performed Via Dolorosa on Broadway and in the West End, and returned many times to the region. Wall is his response to the Israel/Palestinian separation barrier now being erected which will ultimately stretch 286 miles.
Wall is a companion piece to Berlin, Hare’s 55-minute reading about Germany’s restored capital, which he performed at the National Theatre this month as part of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The wall in the Middle East will be over four times as long as the former one in Germany and, in some places, twice as high. Hare’s pair of readings are published together this month by Faber as Berlin/Wall.
Hare and Daldry’s other collaborations include the films The Reader and The Hours. Hare’s other previous plays at the Royal Court, where he was literary manager and resident dramatist from 1969 to 1971, include Slag, Teeth ‘n’ Smiles, My Zinc Bed and, most recently, The Vertical Hour. His latest play, Gethsemane, premiered at the National last year and is now embarking on a UK tour.
Since stepping down as artistic director of the Royal Court in 1998, Stephen Daldry’s has had widespread success with Billy Elliot: The Musical on stage and on screen with the multi award-winning films of The Reader, The Hours and Billy Elliot.
Hare’s Wall follows last month’s premiere at the Royal Court of Caryl Churchill’s new play written in response to the current Gaza crisis, Seven Jewish Children – A Play for Gaza (See News, 26 Jan 2009).
Commenting on Wall, the Royal Court’s current artistic director Dominic Cooke said: “In 1997 David wrote his acclaimed Via Dolorosa, the result of a journey to Israel, Gaza and the West Bank. Having regularly returned to the region he has responded with this remarkable investigation into the history and philosophy behind the construction of the separation barrier between these territories. It appears as if our major writers are very moved by the current situation in the Middle East, and it's exciting to be able to open up the debate further on the subject with David's powerful and informative piece.”
- by Terri Paddock