44J Review

August 30th, 2011

Theatre review: Four For Jericho


By David Pollock
Published: 24/8/2011


You wouldn’t expect the words “comedy romp” and “West Bank” to sit well together, but playwright Richard Fredman and director Patrick Morris have produced a piece that’s thoughtful and amusing.

Paul Brendan is Michael, a wide-eyed and utterly naive Sunday school teacher who’s journeyed to the Holy Land – a “Christian who dresses like a Jew” – to shoot a film for his class and impress his estranged wife with his adventuring ways. Yet Michael isn’t that convincing, says Josh Becker’s Fouad, the poor Palestinian farmer who drives him to Jericho; “a proper settler Jew would have a machine gun”.

This is a strong play filled with compelling performances, including Chandrika Chevli as Michael’s principled love interest Izzy, and Emma Beattie with a star turn as the brash, pregnant, anti-Palestinian Jewish-American migrant Rachel, whose baby-booming mission is “repopulating the Holy Land”.

Perhaps it’s long on jovial daytime radio-play humour, but Fredman’s experience of living in the region adds richness and depth, while balanced political points are slipped in rather than hammered home.

• Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)

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