Review: My Jerusalem (Applecart Arts, online)

“The oppressor is oppressed. The abuser is abused.”

A solo show presented by Avital Raz, My Jerusalem is a fiercely personal and deeply political show ‘developed from a song’.

Brought up in Israel, Raz takes the stories of her childhood to consider the issues of division on all levels. Gender, race, culture, religion. The fear of displacement, the fear of mistrust.

The politics of language, the power of sex (who knew the words for “load your weapon” and “have sex” were the same in Hebrew?).

Raz speaks with such devisiveness, whether speaking of Holocaust, her erotic feelings as a child, the military, family, or in singing her superb songs about her situation and experiences.

This is a show which revels in its power to challenge perceptions and prejudice. It nags at how the wider world may view Jewish women, and pulls back this woman’s reality.

Listen with headphones and you will hear the hum of traffic, the songs of prayer. We return again and again to Raz’s drunken night with a Palestinian. The touch of hands and bodies transcending the idea of freedom.

There are two geographical Jerusalems, and what they mean to Raz is explained and explored. Her Jerusalem is private, something deep in her psyche.

Raz does not shy away from difficult topics or polarising opinions in her show. She creates a deeply moving and reflective experience which can speak to those of all faiths and creeds.

My Jerusalem is one woman on a stage, with a guitar, with projections, with something to say. In a current climate where hurt and mistrust are at their highest, this message of love for self, country, culture, and resilience is most welcome.

You can stream My Jerusalem at Applecart Arts until 7 August – book your tickets here.

Image credit: Tamsin Drury

LouReviews received complimentary access to review My Jerusalem.