Where: West End
31 March 2006 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews Itís not a good time for individuals to try to challenge US government policy: if youíre not for us, youíre against us, is Bushís openly stated belief. In the same way, those who challenge Israeli policy on events in Palestine are accused of being anti-Semitic. But some brave people set out to make a difference, regardless. The real-life Rachel Corrie was one such, who didnít just speak out but actually stood up, literally, to an Israeli, American-made bulldozer about to flatten a Palestinian home. It cost her her life, aged just 23.
But in the multi Whatsonstage.com Theatregoersí Choice award-winning play
that Guardian journalist Katherine Viner and director My Name Is Rachel Corrie Alan Rickman have co-edited from Corrieís own journals and emails, she is, all too briefly, brought back to life in a haunting, evocative memorial to the journey that took her from a safe, comfortable life in a Washington state suburb to die defending a home that wasnít her own in Gaza.
Of course, the story is told entirely from her point of view, so itís not exactly a balanced portrait of the political ramifications of her actions, but then it doesnít pretend to be. Itís simply the story of one woman doing what she thinks is right. And it's hard not be persuaded of the nobility of her cause in the unforced directness with which
Megan Dodds hauntingly presents it.
The play has, however, lately become a cause of its own - New York Theatre Workshop (where it was due to be running now) suddenly announced an indefinite postponement since they needed more time, they said, to put its content in context. But the whole point of the play is to let Corrie speak for herself. Even if the brouhaha that has followed the New York debacle has distracted from this key fact as countless others have stepped out to speak up for her instead, it has meant a welcome return season for the play in London.
Rickmanís production - played out on
Hildegard Bechtlerís evocative design that takes us from Rachelís suburban bedroom to a bombed-out Gaza building - is an uncluttered, emotionally resonant event that comes straight from the heart and goes straight to it as well.
- Mark Shenton
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