An unpaid gas bill dating from 1944 dropping onto the door mat of the canal-side apartment of a pregnant Jewish violinist residing in Amsterdam is the starting point for this play by the Israeli playwright Maya Arad Yusur. Amsterdam, first seen at the Orange Tree last year, has the urgency of a thriller, the tantalising appeal of a complex jigsaw, and unfolds like a piece of music. It takes us inside the head of the violinist, and back and forth in time to occupied Amsterdam and the encounters she has in the present. This is a play that gets to the heart of that feeling of being an outsider which quizzes national identities and the limits of tolerance with lyricism and poetry as well as wit.
Maya Arad Yasur’s prize-winning play Amsterdam directed by Matthew Xia will be available for free from tonight (27 March) at 7.30pm for a limited time through OT on Screen. This co-production with Actors Touring Company and Theatre Royal Plymouth was filmed live at the OT last autumn and had just commenced a national tour, which has had to be cancelled. The capture was commissioned by The Space, supported by Arts Council England and produced by the Roundhouse. By relaunching the screening, the producers aim to reach the thousands of audiences across the country who have missed out on the live experience due to Covid-19.