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Seven Jewish Children: a play for Gaza

Seven Jewish Children: a play for Gaza

Caryl Churchill’s controversial 10 minute play is about to premiere in Wellington. It is Churchill’s response to the paradoxes of the situation in Gaza in 2009, which has met with vehement reactions on both sides of the political and cultural divide.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews criticised it for being “anti Israel.” Christopher Hart of The Sunday Times, claimed it was typical of the “enclosed, fetid, smug, self-congratulating and entirely irrelevant little world of contemporary political theatre.” Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic Monthly calls the play a (modern) blood libel.

On the other hand, playwright Tony Kushner and academic Alisa Solomon, both Jewish-American critics of Israel policy, argued that the play is dense, beautiful and elusive and that “any play about the crisis in the Middle East that doesn’t arouse anger and distress has missed the point.”

The play is being presented by the NZ Actors Without Borders Collective, led by Jane Waddell. It features K.C. Kelly, Dee O’Connor, Chantelle Brader and Ricky Dey.

It will play at St Andrews on the Terrace over four days: Monday 21st February at 12.30, 1.15 and 5.30 Tuesday 22nd February at 12.30, 1.15 and 5.30 Thursday 24th February at 12.30, 1.15 and 5.30 Friday 25th February at 12.30, 1.15 and 5.30

Admission is free, but a collection will be taken at the end each performance, with all proceeds going to the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), as stipulated by the playwright, who sees the play as a political event. MAP is an organisation that works for the health and dignity of Palestinians under occupation and as refugees.


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