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SADDAM HUSSEIN - A MYSTERY PLAY (Yonatan Levy)

Yonatan Levy

Written and directed by:Yonatan Levy
Performed and co-created by:Amir Farjoun, Nir Shauloff, Saar Székely, Yonatan Levy
Live music: Yiftah Kadan, Harel Gal
Costume design: Ruth Gwily 
Light design: Shahar Marom
Sacred dances instruction: Nataly Turjeman

Opened 14th October 2011 at the Acco Festival of Alternative Theatre.
Running time 50 minutes

Oil is the key to power, the US is planning an atack on Iraq and in an underground bunker Saddam Hussein is meetng his doubles. Theycogitate on war and loyalty sing and dance ritual dances. Metaphysical poetry mixes with pure nonsense, while the acrid scent of orientalcigaretes flls the air. On the other side of the world, George W. Bush is assuring himself that he is about to wage war not out of a desire foroil, but out of mercy. One of Israel's most successful productons of recent years, the winner of the Acco festval, it shows war as a clash ofvarious ways of thinking, as a thing full of impenetrable mystery and as a source of very peculiar humour.
 

A dark ceremonial performance which holds oil, the modern god, as its core. It is hard to determine whether Levy wishes us to take this drama seriously and recognize Saddam as a postmodern tragic archetype, or see him as an empty reproduced figure, and the whole show as humoristic anti-theatre. This is undoubtedly one of the most original and funny shows I saw, also thanks to the anarchistic energies rising from the superb performance of Levy and his collaborators.
Shai Bar-Yaakov, Yedioth Ahronoth

Yonatan Levy (1974) – He was born in Montreal, Canada. In 2005, he graduated at the Department of Theatre Arts, Faculty of the Arts, Tel-Aviv University. Levy‘s artistic work unfolds over several practices: he is a playwright, a director, an actor, a poet and a publicist. Apart from that, he is also an educator inspired by anthroposophist philosophy. Levy‘s poetic and dramatic texts are characterized by a unique style of language and syntax inspired by mythic and ritual elements. His stage work includes experimental productions and co-creating performance and stage pieces with his adolescent pupils. Along that, Yonatan is a co-artist of the interdisciplinary art group Cordoba (installation, video, painting, poetry and more). Among his works premiered at the Acco fringe festival are Saddam Hussein (2011 – awarded Best Play, Best Music and second Best Performance), solo spoken-word performance The Israeli Phoenix: Messianic Poetry Epic (2009), Mr. Universe (2007), Manu, king of Atlantis (2004 – awarded Promising Artist and later on awarded Best Play and Best Interdisciplinary Work by Israeli Fringe Association the so-called Golden Porcupine competition). Among other Levy’s works are Good Energies, a verbatim staging of Israeli parliament economics committee protocol (2011).



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