Saturday, September 29, 2012

Peter Brook's Letter to the Cameri: "It is our free choice"

Matilda with the suit.
Earlier this month, we thanked the renowned Peter Brook and the Bouffes du Nord theatre troop of France for taking an anti-apartheid stand and honoring the call to boycott Israel and cancelling their planned performances for December of this year at the Cameri Theater, Tel Aviv, Israel.

We now applaud Mr. Brook's courageous decision to also write a compelling letter to the Cameri, voicing his support for the Palestinian people.

New information has emerged, and according to Sandy Rashty of the Jewish Chronicle, a letter in strong support of the boycott was sent by Peter Brook to the Cameri theater in Tel Aviv. Rashti writes that Mr. Brook was due to perform The Suit, a play set in apartheid South Africa.

According to Rashty:
Mr Brook has declared that his company will not take part because he is “against the act of colonisation”. 
Mr Brook signed a letter to the Cameri which said: “The fact that the Cameri Theatre has accepted to support the brutal action of colonisation by playing in Ariel [in the West Bank] has made us aware that in coming to your theatre we would appear as a support for that brutal action. 
 “This forces us to decline your invitation to perform in your theatre. The decision is entirely ours, and not to come to you, it is our free choice.  We know that there are many amongst you and in your country who share our attitude and it is them we wish to support as well as the people of Palestine. [1]"

Peter Brook discusses his version of Can Themba's play The Suit, set in a 1950s township - an apartheid slum, Sophiatown.  The play is a metaphor of the mortal relentlessness of apartheid.

[1] 28 Sept, 2012 Israeli theatre plans...

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