Thursday, October 09, 2008

Spitting Distance

There are some shows that are a privilege to work on - this is one of them.
Minimalist set, simple but precise lighting and an engaging and moving solo performance by Khalifa Natour.

The tiny stage of the Playhouse is the perfect venue for this short (60 min) performance. The actor speaks in Arabic throughout, with the odd line in French and Hebrew, while condensed English subtitles are projected behind him. The words are soon overshadowed by the intensity and passion of his performance and even though the subject matter - the Israli/Palistinian troubles and the after effects of 9/11 - is not funny, there is a wry humour and irony that manages to creep through.

I finally managed to watch the whole show tonight without being distracted by technical issues and I found it engrossing. Khalifa's rich dialogue and expressive body language make up for the lack of staging and props and the few sound cues present only supplement his words with atmosphere and music. The lighting rig of 30 channels and 26 cues
is tiny but so skillfully applied it is a joy to work.


Lara said...

Wow. Looks very powerful. I spent last Saturday night with my Lebanese neighbours, it really reminded me that though these things are happening on the other side of the world, they are also happening right next door.

M-H said...

I read in the paper that the lighting failed in one of the theatres the other day - I hope that wasn't one you were working on!