Review: The Stage, 23rd February

February 27, 2009

Go to Gaza, Drink the Sea

Published Monday 23 February 2009 at 12:30 by Jonathan Lovett

Exactly a month after Israel announced a ceasefire to its latest bloody incursion into Gaza this passionate response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis opened.

Rupert Mason (Abu Mohammed) and Amir Boutrous (Sharaf) in Go To Gaza, Drink The Sea at the Theatro Technis, London Photo: Tristram Kenton

The rapid reaction of the producers, writers and designers belies the impressive detail and polish of a multi-media production incorporating personal testimonies, film, music and dance to create a harrowing journey into a very modern heart of darkness (here “Drink the Sea” means “Go to hell”) and a moving celebration of the human spirit.

On an extraordinary set of thousands of dust covered shoes – reminiscent of installations in Auschwitz – a lone musician sings of suffering before Sharaf (Amir Boutrous) ironically welcomes us to, “Gaza beach – seaside resort of the promised land”.

In short scenes, performed by the cast of six, we learn of the school decimated by white phosphorous shells which “burn on a victim for days”; a father whose children were shot in front of him; the families too scared to leave their homes, forced to survive on the festering tank water.

Wisely refusing to take an overtly political standpoint we are left with righteous anger at the death of innocents and a gruesome lack of accountability based on the facts.

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