My Name Is Rachel Corrie at Young VicCultureTheatre
Bright, sardonic brilliance. My Name Is Rachel Corrie is a gripping show that’s made up of the most intelligent, idealistic and smirk-inducing prose. It is the story of the peace activist and writer told through her own words. Corrie’s writings were first edited to create this one-woman play by the Guardian’s Katharine Viner and the late great Alan Rickman in 2005. The work, now revived for the Young Vic, is marvellous.
We follow Rachel, who grew up in Washington, USA, on the trip she took to Russia that opened her eyes and the time she spent in the Gaza Strip, standing in front of bulldozers and protecting the homes of Palestinians. This is all told through the activist’s own words, pieced together from her journals, notebooks and emails.
The first striking thing about the show is the writing. Though edited by two legends, one of journalism and one of stage and screen, the diaries were written by a very young woman (the latest entries are from when she was just 23). The remarkable mind of Rachel Corrie is mesmerising to see and hear. How can such a young woman be this talented? Of course, Viner and Rickman have played a huge part in creating a story from Corrie’s words and the result is at once powerfully gripping and ultimately moving.
Erin Doherty plays the young activist. She gives so much life and feeling to the words that one forgets there is even an actor on stage and not just Corrie standing there. Doherty is perfect.
This show is an intelligent, idealistic discussion. It’s a hard-hitting, reach-in-and-violently-yank-your-heart-out piece, and at the same time, it’s a giggle fest. The piece is well worth seeing and just as important as ever because, nearly 15 years after these events, what’s changed?
Photo: Ellie Kurttz
My Name is Rachel Corrie is at the Young Vic from 29th September to 26th October 2017. For further information or to book visit the Young Vic website here.