In a production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre to celebrate its 40th anniversary with a play written in the year the Finborough Theatre opened, the first new UK production in 40 years of Paul Kember’s award-winning 1980 comedy-drama.
It's 1979, and Mike, Carrie, Pete and Dave have fled grim, divided England for the sunshine, sex, beer and bagels of a Israeli kibbutz. Only to find that what was supposed to be a working holiday is more like hard labour in 100-degree temperatures.
Pete and Dave soon alienate themselves with their foul-mouthed, high-spirited behaviour. Carrie desperately tries to fit in, but cannot relate to either her fellow-countrymen or the Israelis. Only Cambridge drop-out Mike seems able to articulate what it means to be young, conflicted, English, and a very long way from home. Until, that is, he meets no-nonsense kibbutznik Gila…
First presented at the Royal Court Theatre in 1980 where it broke box office records and revived there in 1982 (with casts including David Threlfall, Phil Davis, Kevin McNally, Selina Cadell and Bruce Alexander), Not Quite Jerusalem won first-time playwright Paul Kember the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Award. This production contains strong language.
A great ensemble of young actors is on stage
Theatrical hit from 1980 now feels flat and stale
Slapdash revival of Paul Kember's kibbutz-set play that's imbued with bleak state-of-the-nation commentary
Thought-provoking and timely, with much to say about our past (and present) attitudes to otherness