Via Dolorosa (play)

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Via Dolorosa
Written by David Hare
Date premiered1998
Place premieredLondon, England
Original languageEnglish
Subject Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Via Dolorosa is a play by British dramatist David Hare, in the form of a monologue. [1] [2] [3] It deals with the Israeli–Palestinian conflict through Hare's own 1997 journey through Israel and Palestine, and the 33 people whom he met.

Hare travelled to Israel and Palestine at the request of Elyse Dodgson, for the International Department of the Royal Court Theatre, as part of a proposed project for three playwrights, one British, one Israeli and one Palestinian, to write three plays on the British Mandate. [4] [5] However, on his return he proposed to the director Stephen Daldry that he wanted to write a monologue on his experiences.

Hare premiered the work in London in September 1998, in his solo acting debut, in collaboration with Daldry and set designer Ian McNeil. [6] [7] The first US performance was on 18 March 1999, again with Daldry as director. [8] [9] [10] Excerpts of the play were released on CD. [11] The work was later produced for television. [12] Hare performed the work again in July 2002 at the Duchess Theatre, London. [13]

In the context of this play, Daldry has characterized Hare's attitude to the Israel–Palestine conflict as follows:

What David Hare is unneutral about—what he's deeply against—is extremism. Here it's the extremism he found, and brilliantly acts out, between warring political-philosophical-religious diehards within each populace, Israeli and Palestinian alike—'people who seek religious justification for excessive behavior on either side.' [14]

Hare received the 1999 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for his performance of Via Dolorosa. [15]

In May 1999, Steven Greenstein filed a US civil complaint against the Royal Court Theatre that alleged that Via Dolorosa had unlawfully taken ideas for the text and structure from an unproduced play by Greenstein, Voices from the Holy...and Not So Holy Land. The lawsuit did not name Hare specifically. [16] In April 2000, Judge Denny Chin of the Federal District Court in Manhattan dismissed the lawsuit and asserted that the plays by Greenstein and Hare were separate entities. [17]

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  1. Hare, David (28 October 2000). "Via Dolorosa revisited". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  2. Hare, David (28 October 2000). "Via Dolorosa by David Hare (II)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  3. Hare, David (28 October 2000). "Via Dolorosa by David Hare (III)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  4. Little, Ruth; McLaughlin, Emily (2007). The Royal Court Theatre Inside Out. London: Oberon Books. p. 382. ISBN   1840027630.
  5. Hare, David (2014). Acting Up. Faber & Faber. p. 4. ISBN   0571201350.
  6. Wroe, Nicholas (13 November 1999). "Makeover artist". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  7. Callow, Simon (21 November 1999). "Hare's breadth of vision". The Observer. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  8. "David Hare Makes Acting Debut Via Bway's Booth, March 5; Opens March 18". Playbill Arts. 3 February 1999. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  9. Brantley, Ben (19 March 1999). "Outsider in a Passionate Land". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  10. Canby, Vincent (11 April 1999). "A Playwright Reports in Person". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  11. "Via Dolorosa Excerpts to be Released on RCA Victor CD, April 27". Playbill Arts. 14 April 1999. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  12. Hare, David (18 November 2000). "Why reality is the lifeblood of theatre". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  13. Billington, Michael (19 July 2002). " Via Dolorosa (Duchess, London)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  14. "King David Hare's Triple Play". Playbill Arts. 4 May 1999. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  15. "1999 Drama Desk Winner: David Hare, Outstanding Solo Performance, Via Dolorosa". Playbill Arts. 9 May 1999. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  16. McFadden, Robert D. (7 June 1999). "A Playwright Lays Claim To Parts of Hare's 'Via'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  17. Pogrebin, Robin (25 April 2000). "Play by David Hare Is Ruled His Own". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 February 2008.