Theatre Review: My Name Is Rachel Corrie and Lines

This double bill of plays inspired by high profile deaths – including Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests – will appeal to seasoned lefties and youngsters alike.

TWO very different political plays based on high profile deaths and authentic sources are staged in this double bill.

LINES looks at the murder of an actor in a play about the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 demo in 2009 and whether the actor’s death could have been avoided: who was to blame and what are the dangers of using characters based on living people?

The five characters in LINES face the audience and involve us in their several dilemmas. The parents of the unfortunate actor, excellently portrayed by David Vale and Jeryl Burgess, want to find the truth while the others try to avoid being guilty. A serious interrogation but with touches of humour, too, gives plenty of room for discussion.

MY NAME IS RACHEL CORRIE focuses on the death of American student Rachel Corrie, who was killed by a bulldozer protesting against the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home, in a personal in a similarly political context.

The script, beautifully adapted from Rachel’s vivid, poetic diaries and letters, show how her life as a peace activist led to her tragic, high-profile death in Israel. Sophie Angelson as Rachel is fully believable from the start and her one-woman performance is striking. This play is a must, both as a historical record and as a moving piece of theatre.

Highly recommended not only for seasoned lefties but also for youngsters looking for inspiration.

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* Showing at the Rosemary Branch Theatre in Shepperton Road, N1, until Saturday, April 30.