A play with two funerals and two weddings
I had no success overseas, Mother. I didn’t make money and I didn’t become happy. I didn’t have fun, I didn’t get ahead, didn’t get married, didn’t get engaged, didn’t meet anyone. I didn’t buy anything, didn’t bring anything. In my suitcase there is dirty underwear and toiletries. That’s all, I’ve told you everything, and I want you to leave me in peace.
Yes. There is still one hope. You must hope for exhaustion. What will ultimately heal you is exhaustion. You will grow old, you will weaken, and with weakness comes rest. And just as you will have no more strength to be happy, so will you also be too weak to shout, to protest, to suffer. Serenity will then come to you, and you will sink into it. You will be very, very peaceful, you will be the peaceful remnant of a low, sunken, orderly life. A thick layer of ash will cover all the loves that have ended, that were cut off, that you dreamed of and never were, and that left you, in the end, alone. And then, very quietly, without defiance or bitterness, you will begin one day to die. You will take no interest in life, in God, in hope, in the meaning of your life. A tiny sliver of strength will remain in you, just enough to face hope with a blank stare, a stare that will also gradually blur. Until you die. So hope for exhaustion.
Translated by: Jessica Cohen and Evan Fallenberg
Directed by: Hanoch Levin
Theatre: Haifa Municipal Theatre
Number of characters: 19
Subjects: Relationships, Friendship, The Human Soul, Repatriation
Costume and stage design: Ruth Dar
Participants: Ilan Toren - Krum / Fanny Liubitz - the Mother / Shmuel Wolf - Silenti / Alex Monte - Gloomer / Mordechai Ben Zeev - Dolce / Ruth Segal - Felicia / Ilan Dar - Takhtikh / Hanna Rot - Trudy / Rachel Dobson - Doopa / Maya Rothchild - Tweety / Shmuel Calderon - Bertoldo / Giora Shamai - Dr. Sheboigan / Shlomo Bar Aba - Barber, Photographer, Undertaker / Makram Khuri - Orderly A, Groom / Dalia Cohen - Bride, Nurse / Yossi Kalman - Orderly B
An old Tel Avivi neighborhood. The balconies, the staircases, the local café, the cinema, the hospital, the cemetery. Krum, the returning citizen and Trudy his girlfriend, who gets married to Takhtikh, who's jealous of Krum, who's a friend of Silenti and Gloomer, who gets married to Doopa, who craves the Italian Bertoldo, who's after Tweety, who's Krum's true desire though he ends up living with his mother, who sits on the balcony and fends-off neighbour Felicia, who's scrambling with husband Dolce from Bar-Mitsvah to Bris, from wedding to funeral.
A very sad, very funny comedy, and one of Hanoch Levin's greatest and most influential plays. It premiered in 1975 under the direction of its author.
The Cameri Theatre (2000) / Directed by Michael Gurevitch
The Cameri Theatre (2017) / Directed by Ilan Ronen
2000 Saint-Etienne, France
2005 Warsaw, Poland
2006 Varna, Bulgaria
2007 Geneva, Switzerland
2008 Villiers-sur-Marne , France ; Brussels, Belgium
2009 Toulouse, France
2010 Targu-Mures, Romania
2013 Barcelona, Spain
This work was translated to: Polish, French
French éditions Théâtrales, France (2005)
Polish ADIT Publishing, Poland (2009)