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Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
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Susanne is not the most obvious Mossad agent. She's not Jewish for a start, and before leaving her family in Stockholm to fly to Tel Aviv to put herself forward as a 'honeypot' (a secret agent who uses sex to lull her target into a false sense of security), she had never set foot on Israeli soil. But something is fuelling her determination, and it's up to Koby (the adaptable Paul Herzberg), the agent whose recruiting office she ends up in, to find out what that is so he can discern whether this beautiful blonde shiksa can be useful to the Motherland.

Julia Pascal's play is based on the true story of a Swedish woman who took part in Israel's operation to hunt down members of the Palestinian Black September group responsible for the murders of 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Unfortunately, however, Pascal fails to bring the drama and intrigue of that time to the stage, instead presenting us with a series of scenes whose repetitive format makes what should be a thrilling plot drag. Director Orly Rabinyan's uninspired staging does nothing to alleviate the wearyingly slow pace of proceedings.

Honeypot's central problem is that the character of Susanne is entirely unsympathetic and played by Jessica Claire with an almost unwatchable awkwardness and self-awareness. Susanne's motivation for wishing to help Israel – which Koby only gets out of her late in day – may be based on the real-life motivation of Pascal's Swedish source, but it comes across in the play as fanciful and irrational to the extent that it is hard to believe that the agency would take such a woman on.

With the public's appetite for espionage stories keener than ever and the London 2012 Games, and all their accompanying security issues, fast approaching, the timing of this production is perfect. Sadly, the same cannot be said for anything else about Honeypot.


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