Playwrights do not have an easy task writing about the Israeli contemporary realities. How strong and impressive you can be writing a tragedy about the Israel of today when thousands of people in the land called Holy have lost their lives or seen their destinies destroyed by wars and the conflict between Jews and Palestinians that seems to never end. What credible dramas can be written when every newsflash in Israel brings several dramas with social or human background that exceed whatever was ever written for stage or in books? How political satire can work when the daily reality brings under the lights of the political stage characters that seem to exceed in behavior, corruption, absurdity the sharpest imagination a satirical writer can have. Never and nowhere the saying that reality exceeds fiction seems to have applied better than in Israel Today (capitals intentional).




Yet, the Israeli audiences love satire. The satirical shows are on the top of the TV and audio ratings. Last night the audience at Habima in Tel Aviv filled a hall with a capacity of about one thousand people, near me sat a pair of what looked like elder kibutznikim, in the row in front of a bunch of young religious people, the whole hall was a mosaic of people who came to laugh about ourselves in a play that could have been the subject of a tragedy as well as of a wild comedy. Israel is under attack from North, South and West. The war is ravaging the country taken by surprise, and the prime-minister and the members of an inept government seem busier with saving their own skins and personal real estate assets, dealing with political intrigues, and most of all, covering themselves for the inquire commission that follows inevitably all the wars of Israel since the Six Days War.


(video source israelnews)


While the text written by popular entertainer and radio show host Shay Goldstein provides many moments of good comedy, the opportunity of asking any more serious questions – to the politicians, to ourselves – is missed. The performance at Habima is a good comedy show but a very superficial satire, which says nothing new or different of what was said in shows like A Wonderful Country (Eretz Neederet) on TV or Shay and Dror on the radio. Moti Kirshenbaum is an experienced TV producer and host, and does a good job in directing a team of actors which has the popular comedy actor Eli Yatzpan (as the prime-minister) in the center. However, the result is not much different than a ‘Yatzpan show’ and the good feeling results from remembering the laughs and the fact that for an hour and a half the reality on the stage seemed to be more dangerous and absurd than the reality in our lives.