THE ARAB-ISRAELI COOKBOOK

Two Year Diploma 2006-2008

THE ARAB-ISRAELI COOKBOOK
by Robin Soans
Pavilion Theatre, Brighton
2-3 April 2008

Directed by Aaron Swartz

A controversial subject matter looked at from a refreshing new angle.

Savour the real stories of three generations of people who live in a rich yet divided world. Food offers some constancy - the tastes swallowed and the meals shared. Israelis and Palestinians - Christians, Jews and Muslims - inhabit a society where fear has become a way of life, something to be conquered on a daily basis.

If there is one thing common to all sides, it is their passion for the land and the nourishment it can produce. Eleven actors, play 42 characters, cook authentic recipes live on stage and tell of their love of life and a delight in the world. If you want to know how to make "Fadi's testicles", fattoush, gefilte fish or even Thai stir-fry then join us for a cookbook like no other.

The Argus - Friday 4th April 2008
By Barrie Jerram

Through television, images of the Palestinian war - the shelling and the suicide bombings - are seen by us regularly. Less familiar are the everyday lives of the people wanting to live in peace. This production seeks to redress that imbalance through a series of monologues, based on conversations playwright Robin Soans had with folk he met in the Middle East. His characters - Israelis and Palestinians - talk to the audience about how they cope with the violence, whilst preparing their meals. There is defiance from a wife determined to stay on and not go back to America after the death of her husband; grief from a mother after the loss of a child, and justification of why a girl becomes a suicide bomber. The play was beautifully acted throughout, with Sascha Harman particularly moving as an Arab girl with an arm paralysed by a stray bullet. The Argus

CAST

Rena ... Miranda Morris
Nadia ... Christina De Valle
Nina, Fatthiyah ... Katie-anna Whiting
Mordechai, Mohamad, David ... Aidan Stephenson
Customer, Daniel, Raoul, Yaakov ... Ashley Veit
Hossin, Alon, Tim ... Stephen Logue
Assistant, Ayman, Shoshi, Friend ... Sascha Harman
Elti, Hala, Rivka, Amal ... Sofia Sanchez
Fadi, Dinu, Naji, Giora, Aftab ... Dan Coffey
Old Man, Abdullah, Abdul, Liron, Mounther ... Philip Willett
Levana, Rose, Vitya ... Paula Reid

Directed by Aaron Swartz

Lighting Design ... Alex Tripp
Sound Design ... Ben Kidd
Publicity Design ... Adam Kidd
Stage Management ... Chris Willoughby