Friday, December 02, 2005

Everything Is Truly Illuminated

Once, I met this South American woman (who used to go out with an acquaintance of mine), by running into her with a mutual friend at the London Open House weekend.

She invited me to a dinner party, and it was very "international" (I was the local yokel). Everyone was over-educated and spoke at least three languages, and English with an exotic accent. Let it not be forgotten that, in the right light, I have a slight northern lilt.

One of the guys there was quite intellectually arrogant, and anytime someone mentioned a book or a writer, he demanded to know what you'd read. It was most uncomfortable.

All a long preamble to saying that I never finished Jonathan Safran Foer's much-lauded Everything Is Illuminated, even though it's both Jewish and about the holocaust, so should really float my boat, but the magical realism got to me.

I have just this minute got home from what I think might be the most incredible piece of theatre I've ever seen: the book has been adapted into a 100(ish) minute play at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden, and it's clever and smart and funny and moving. Although the seats were quite uncomfortable.

I was itching to go back and finish the book, but R reliably informs me that they've taken the true spirit of the book and turned it into a (my words) truly spiritual piece of work. It's better than the book.

The audience was raving, they were back on stage three times. Names to watch - Mark Fleischmann (Alex), Joseph Wicks (Jonathan) and Dulcie Lewis (Brod/Lista).

They've put it together really quickly, and it finishes on Saturday, and it's only a small theatre. Cancel whatever you're doing before then to get a ticket. You won't regret it.

Etcetera Theatre (above the Oxford Arms in Camden).

No comments: