The Breath of Life

David Hare Season - programme, flyers and tickets Things I am not good at: reviewing plays. I offer as evidence the fact that this is my fourth (or is it fifth?) attempt to write a simple post. Could. Do. Better.

Cancel the review then, I’ll simply tell you that Sheffield Theatre’s David Hare season is highly recommended. Having managed to miss previous opportunities to see David Hare’s work (what was I thinking?) I announced that I was booking tickets for all three plays in the current season. Good decision.

So far we’ve seen Plenty and The Breath of Life. Both have been everything I want from a night at the theatre: highly entertaining, brilliantly performed and providing me with plenty (no pun intended) to think about afterwards. Needless to say, we’re looking forward to Racing Demon. 

An unexpected bonus too, in the form of David Hare himself, reading Via Dolorosa. Despite his opening lines, in which he told us that the last time he acted was in a school play – and that these days he prefers to get Judi Dench to do this type of thing – he is a talented storyteller.

Via Dolorosa is a monologue, in which David describes a trip he made to Israel and Gaza. He paints vivid pictures of the people he met and the experiences he shared with them. David himself is very much a central character in this tale; so he did not simply describe what happened, he also offered us an insight into the thoughts and feelings he experienced on his journey through this divided land. The result was a mixture of play and journalism that took us from laughter to sombre reflection and back to laughter again. Most importantly, he made us think.

He left us with a question: stones or ideas?

Stones or ideas? Is that the right question? I don’t know the answer. But who does?


Photo: Tickets, by Three-Legged Cat/Lois Lindemann, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

1 comment to The Breath of Life