Wednesday, May 14

In Spitting Distance Click for more info

To be honest I didn't really know much about this play before going to see it. Other than it being Palestinian I was going in blind. So I was kinda surprised by a) it being wholly in Arabic b) the availability of subtitles via a floating display toward the ceiling of the stage area and c) the fact that it was a completely solo performance.

So it was certainly different to much of what I've seen before; yes, good ol' Drama GCSE did give me the chance to see some pretty peculiar stuff, but nevertheless watching In Spitting Distance was a novel experience for me.

The Barbican's The Pit is a cosy and intimate space, perfect for performances like this one. There were no props or backgrounds, and the most technically advanced feature was the filtered and silhouetted lighting.

All this meant that the main focus was on Khalifa Natour and his ability as an actor. He didn't disappoint at all - he was powerful, expressive and very funny and seemed made for the part. He was assisted by a charming yet equally powerful script by Taher Najib - the whole hour (actually it was slightly less than that) was well rounded and balanced, managing to provide laughs, romance and tragedy in equal and sometimes simultaneous measure.

It was poignant revisiting Ramallah, Rucarb Street, Kalandia and Israeli immigration through the play, but even if you haven't visited the region in the past few months In Spitting Distance is certainly an hour and £12 quid well spent. It's only on till the 17th, so be quick.

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