Seven Jewish Children, a play for Gaza
Seven Jewish Children, a play for Gaza

Yesterday morning, I listened to a ten-minute radio play that reminded me why I admire theatre. It shocked me. It made me think. It made me remember. It left me emotionally tingling.

 

Written by Caryl Churchill, a Brit who went to school in Montreal, it is an outpouring of feelings as thoughts from children to each other, from parents to children, and so on. The BBC won’t run the 10-minute work called “Seven Jewish Children: a play for Gaza” because it said the play wasn’t impartial. Of course, good art – good theatre – isn’t supposed to partial.

“Seven Jewish Children” played in Montreal the other day. CBC Radio ran the play after interviews with people pro and con.

Jewish groups condemn it as anti-semitic, although they don’t call Caryl Churchill an anti-semite. They call the play a blood libel, a piece of anti-semitic propaganda, and not a play or theatrical art.

Defenders of the play call Churchill’s play an indictment against the invasion of Gaza by the State of Israel late last year, and “typifies what the stage does best: address the world as it is right now.”

Here’s a page with plenty of debate and comment for and against.

Make up your own mind. The play is available here to be read (PDF); or viewed online.

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