Short+Sweet to present controversial play

February 21, 2010 by J-Wire
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7 Jewish Children, the British play produced in Melbourne last year under a cloud of controversy, will be performed at Sydney’s NIDA’s theatre this week.

Geoff Sirmai

The play will run for five nights at the theatre controlled by the National Institiute of Dramatic Art,  one of two venues being used for the Short+Sweet drama festival.

Caryl Churchill’s short play features moments in the history of the development of modern-day Israel seen through the perspective of children. It highlights the timeline from the Holocaust up to the 2008 Gaza incursion with milestones including post-war Europe, Israel’s Independence, the effect it had on the Arab population,  the Six Day War, the Intifada.

Condemned by many but defended in the Jerusalem Post as not being anti-Semitic, the work will be performed publicly in Sydney for the first time.

“7 Jewish Children” was read by an all-Jewish cast at last year’s Limmud Oz in Sydney and featured Joanna Weinberg, Yael Stone and Geoff Sirmai and directed by Tanya Goldberg.

Sirmai told J-Wire: “There is no doubt that the work is intentionally provocative. Following the performance there was a highly animated discussion resulting in most participants agreeing to disagree.”

English author Churchill has made her play  royalty-free but a condition for performing it is the presence of a bucket inviting donations to the Gaza Hospital.

Highly-acclaimed character actress Miriam Margoyles and Max Gillies performed roles in the Melbourne production.

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