Yitzhak Rabin: Chronicle of an Assassination at the Coronet Theatre
Yitzhak Rabin: Chronicle of an Assassination is not a conventional play, rather it is an experimental piece fusing different types of art in an attempt to portray the emotions surrounding the assassination of Israeli prime minister Yizhak Rabin in 1995. With a particular focus on music, factual reporting and video clips, it results in a passionate homage to the politician that is often superbly moving.
Amos Gitai’s text is based on his 2015 film Rabin, the Last Day, and mainly consists of a factual narrative with a few artistic interjections, such as a brief rendition of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, obviously drawing a comparison between Caesar and his traitors. It contextualises the day of Rabin’s assassination with statements and portrayals of Rabin’s wife and political allies, which are performed competently by an engaging cast consisting of Natalie Dessay, Irène Jacob, Maya Kadishman and Einat Weizman.
A lot of the performance’s impact stems from the brilliant music. With stellar ability (Bruno Maurice on the accordion, Louis Sclavis on the saxophone and clarinet, and especially Alexey Kochetkov on the violin) the musicians underline the entire show with a stunning atmosphere in which every emotion is taken to the extreme and given full power. Joined by the English Voices Choir, led by conductor Richard Wilberforce, the soundscape in Yitzhak Rabin reaches incredible heights that some larger budget shows can only aspire to.
But the general portrayal of the events and the production, led by Gitai himself, are equally potent and highlight the heavy impact Rabin had on the lives of everyone in the Middle East, and how close they came to achieving peace in 1995. Ample video footage and personal accounts of friends, colleagues and family serve to emphasise the painful loss that his assassination represented.
As such, Yitzhak Rabin is a potent play that foregrounds the tragedy of contemporary Israel. For those with a keen interest in the current Israel-Palestine conflict it is an absolute must-see; its exploration of Rabin during his last days is powerful and certainly demands to be seen.
Yitzhak Rabin: Chronicle of an Assassination is at the Coronet Theatre from 4th November until 6th November 2021. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.