Theatronetto is going international this year, in a big way – hosting six plays from: Australia, Poland, Romania, Ireland and England. Very good news for theatre-loving English speakers as all but one of these plays will be performed in English! It’s a theatre feast!

What’s on the menu?

Monday, April 6th

DivaDiva

18:00 Diva (Poland) Performed in English at Warehouse 2, Jaffa Port
Performed by Wioleta Komar; Directed by Stanisław Miedziewski; Costume design by Magdalena Franczak; English translation by Caryl Swift.

Description: The protagonist is an opera singer of ‘a certain age’, Nora Sedler, deported, in the autumn of 1941, to the Litzmannstadt Ghetto, now Lodz, in Poland. She arrives on a transportation together with a large group of Jewish artists from Western Europe. She escapes the Holocaust but at what price?

We find the answer to that question in her reply… “I sing for the Gestapo. It was I, I whom they chose. Time and again, they chose me, again, again and again… And I, Toscanini’s darling, I sing the most exquisite of arias… naked on a chair… I was lucky in the ghetto!”

Many years on and she is now a mature woman and one of the world’s outstanding singers. In her dressing room at The Met, after a performance, Nora receives a note announcing the presence of a young composer and a devotee of her talent. He has signed the note with the same surname as that borne by the Polish family who saved Nora’s baby, born in the ghetto. Nora has never seen her son.

We become witnesses to the experiences that fate held in store for her…

Arafat in TherapyArafat in Therapy

20:00 Arafat in Therapy (Australia) Performed in English at NaLagaat, Jaffa Port
Performer/Creator: Jeremie Bracka

Description: Using comedy and mockumentary, ‘Arafat in Therapy’ is an autobiographical piece, threaded together by the absurdist narrative of Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat in American couple’s therapy.  Through a multitude of theatrical portraits, it uniquely showcases different Arab, Jewish, Palestinian and Israeli voices. The show counter-points a range of monologues between Palestinians and Israelis, peacekeepers, diplomats and authors.  From U.N resolutions to CNN, it satirizes political and media commentary on the conflict. The show has developed out of Jeremie’s own professional experiences working with Ambassador Uri Savir (Israel’s Chef Negotiator at Oslo), at the United Nations, and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a human rights lawyer.

Tuesday, April 7th

18:00 Churchill (England) Performed in English at Warehouse 2, Jaffa Port
Written and performed by Pip Utton

Description: Big Ben chimes and strikes.  In Parliament Square, London, Winston Churchill’s statue wakes up  for one hour. Descending from his pedestal,  the  great man looks back, looks forward and entertains. His famous lines and speeches come to life. He indulges himself with a glass of scotch, and a cigar and talks of his childhood, his parents, his education, his marriage, his painting and writing, his appetites, and of course he talks of his many years at the centre of the world’s political stage, especially during two world wars. This is a magical hour in which laughter and tears go hand in hand.  Utton takes us to a history that we will never forget.

The Human VoiceThe Human Voice

20:00 The Human Voice (Romania) Performed in Romanian, with English and Hebrew subtitles, at NaLagaat, Jaffa Port
By Jean Cocteau; Directed by Sanda Manu; Performed by Oana Pellea; Set design by Iuliana Vâlsan

Description: A lonely woman onstage and a phone that rings. On the other end of the line is her former lover, who is about to marry someone else. All hopes rest on the chance of a final conversation. The simple gesture of picking up opens the gateway to all the hopes and shared memories, all the regrets and fears encompassed in this acutely accurate exploration of heartbreak.

Wednesday, April 8th

18:00 Bacon (England) Performed in English at Warehouse 2, Jaffa Port
Performed by Pip Utton; Written by Jeremy Towler and Pip Utton; Directed by Geoff Bullen

Description: Francis Bacon is described by critics as the greatest British painter since Turner and by Margaret Thatcher as ‘that dreadful man who paints those horrible pictures’. He remains one of the most challenging and controversial artists of all time. Bacon’s paintings have the power to horrify, excite, disgust, revolt and haunt. It is impossible not to react to his work.

Bacon could spend his mornings painting, his afternoons and evenings drinking champagne and eating, and his nights roaming around Soho dressed in fishnet stockings and a long leather coat looking for ‘rough trade’. His lifestyle full of alcohol, gambling and homosexual promiscuity has created an iconic enigma.

Looking uncannily like Bacon, Pip Utton looks back on his extraordinary life as he rants at, charms, entertains and enlightens his audience swigging champagne.

Morning, Afternoon, and EveningMorning, Afternoon, and Evening

20:00 Morning, Afternoon, and Evening (Ireland) Performed in English at NaLagaat, Jaffa Port
Written and performed by Andy Hinds

Description: The plays present a trio of stories, uniquely Irish, but which have powerful resonance in any culture.  The tales look at two dark aspects of Irish history, and how as a nation we are now managing to overcome and move on from them.

Set in Derry, North Ireland, and amongst the Irish diaspora in Europe, the lives of three very different characters unexpectedly, and fatefully, reconnect. The problematic birth of a child may create new possibilities for love, yet this fragile opportunity may just as easily slip through their hands.

These three ingeniously interlocking plays explore the enduring bonds of childhood, and are charged with moments of visceral emotion and of poignant tenderness.

It’s an excellent opportunity to see international shows, right here in Tel Aviv – and in English! Tickets may be ordered online, via this link.

All information on the plays is from the individual productions, as they are coming from abroad – I can’t see them until they perform here…

Festival promo