12.37 at The Finborough Theatre - 4 stars
12.37 at The Finborough Theatre is a tale of Jerusalem's ‘King David Hotel' that was bombed on the 22nd July, 1946 by right-wing Zionists. The play explores anti-Semitism in Ireland and how Judaism struggled to breathe under British Imperialists.
The play opens with Paul Green, an Irish Jew (Alex Cartuson) and Eileen, an Irish Catholic (Lisa O'Connor), whose electric chemistry displays the trials and tribulations of a forbidden romance fuelled by religious difference.
Throughout the play, we are introduced to Green's younger brother, Cecil Green (Eoin O'Dubhghaill). Green fluidly embodies a caricature of the Irish and of Judaism, which poses an interesting contrast to the heightened sense of religious loyalty. This further contributes to the idea that each character represents the varying approaches that were taken to religion and civil differences at the time. Minnie Green (Ruth Lass) plays the mother of the Green boys who represents the hypocrisy of the time by forbidding her sons to freely marry as she remarries as a widow. A mention must also go out to Danann McAleer who commits fully and seamlessly as the new husband of Minnie, exploring the complexities of his relationship with the Green boys.
Movement and music (sound design by Flick Isaac-Chilton) was beautifully choreographed to align with the story. The use of candles and props aided the play perfectly. Unfortunately, the plot felt confusing at times, making it a difficult play to follow. A lot of information is squeezed into two hours, leaving no time for the audience to absorb one moment as it floods to the next.
12.37 is a beautifully acted play detailing an important and often forgotten story.
12.37 is on until 21st December at The Finborough Theatre.
Review: Bibi Lucille