My name is Rachel Corrie

Tue 27th – Thu 29th October 2015

reviews

Carlo Lori

at 00:07 on 28th Oct 2015

3agrees

0disagrees

The show was fantastic. The acting was spot on, the music appropriate – if at time poorly faded – and the set facilitated a focus on the actress.

The play centres on the reading of Rachel Corrie’s diary - a real person. We follow her life as she finds her calling and moves to Palestine to help people. She struggles to comprehend the contrast between her privileged upbringing and lifestyle in the US and how people live in Palestine. The real life Rachel died when she was hit by a bulldozer whilst standing between it and a house it was aiming to destroy. The play terminates with a recording of her ten year old self.

Ella Duffy delivers an incredibly powerful performance throughout. She can swiftly and smoothly transition between aggressive passages and the more intimate reflections on a sensitive subject which is dealt in a very raw (and perhaps one-sided) fashion. She succeeded in keeping the audience attentive and engaged for the entire hour and a half long monologue.

A mirror, which had been placed in the corner, was very aptly and skilfully used as a prop. The voice-overs left me ambivalent. On one hand, the half second delay between the recording and the speech was, at times, slightly jarring. On the other, choosing to speak along with a recording was daring and, all considered, very well executed; the delay was minimal.

A couple of criticism:

I was not wholly persuaded by the function of the opening scene where Rachel appears to be having an episode. This was very well acted by Duffy, but the viewer is left confused by what this scene represents (I asked others who all had different opinions). Moreover, it felt rather disconnected from the rest of the play.

I also found the hanging items of clothing, which were proxies for conversation partners, a bit distracting. They were a good idea, but I felt they detracted from the main focus of the show: Duffy’s performance. It is also, in my opinion, unclear whether those were memories Rachel was having whilst filling in her diary, or whether these were `live’ conversations.

To conclude, this was a very powerful play. It was well organised, well delivered and very moving. It is an incredibly emotional performance: the subject matter is very real, the material very raw and the performance spot on.

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