Review: Eating Ice-Cream On Gaza Beach

By John Nathan, August 28, 2008

Soho Theatre, London W1


With a new play by Shelley Silas, the National Youth Theatre is broadening its horizons, taking in views and points of view from Gaza Beach and Israel. Silas gives voice to those trapped in the conflict, focusing on daily life, rather than daily death. On one side is Danny (David Mumeni), an Israeli soldier who wants to take no part in an oppressive occupation. On the other is Rami (Oliver Hawes), a Palestinian ice-cream seller who wants to take no part in anti-Israel protests that result in futile deaths. In between is Adrian (Christopher Sheridan), the play's least convincing character, a British-Jewish gap-year student whose grandfather fought for Israel in 1948 and who wants to understand both sides of the conflict.

Adrian is too much an innocent abroad. And director Anna Niland's decision to have Muz (CiarĂ¡n Owens), the play's angriest Palestinian, speak with an Ulster accent results in confusion rather than illumination. But with an eye on introducing the world's most difficult problem to a young audience, Silas does justice to moderates on both sides of the argument. (Tel: 020 7478 0100)

    Last updated: 10:08am, August 29 2008