NOT BY BREAD ALONE
conceived by Adina Tal.
artsdepot 5 Nether Street Tally Ho Corner N12 0GA To 15 July 2010.
8pm (not Sats); mats various times, see website www.artsdepot.co.uk
Runs 1hr No interval.
TICKETS: 0208 369 5454.
Review: 5 July.
Life enhancement in the darkness.
LIFT, The London International Festival of Theatre, are once again living up to their reputation for ground-breaking. Not By Bread Alone is presented by the Tel Aviv Nalaga’at deafblind theatre ensemble – a company in which all the performers are deaf and blind.
Imagine living in a world of darkness and silence. Not By Bread Alone cannot help but dwell on the isolation such a condition produces. All the same it conveys something at once beautiful and life-enhancing. And that takes some skill.
The eleven actors whom we see at first masked (anonymous) kneading dough behind a long table, gradually become individuals as they tell their personal stories.
Sometimes they have to be nudged or helped into position but joy, animation and musicianship comes over with extraordinary spontaneity and liveliness. A small Russian woman plays an acoustic piano and sings a song she remembers from home. Another plays the accordion; others dance.
Trust and Touch is the key. Hands do the talking, flying between each person, conveying messages, instructions, conversation.
Not By Bread Alone may be an account of the performers’ dreams and aspirations – some as simple as to hear or see a bird, or to walk unaided in the open air – but it also gently but graphically shows the irrepressible creative will to express, no matter what the obstacle.
It couldn’t be done without the remarkable support artists and interpreters and the vision of its founder and artistic director, Adina Tal, which perhaps sets Nalaga’at apart from its UK equivalent, Graeae. Set up 30 years ago, Graeae’s abiding principle was and is to be disability led. Disability still engenders fear. But Graeae have done more than anyone to bring disabled and non-disabled performers and audiences together.
Nalaga’at’s visit is nonetheless inspirational. From their inter-denominational Tel Aviv Centre, they have also brought other journeys into the forgotten world of the senses with their Blackout Bar, where you are served drinks in the dark. artsdepot have also generously turned its restaurant over to Nalaga’at’s Cafe Kapish where
food is served by Nalaga’at’s deaf waiters. All in all, an education you’re never likely to forget
Cast: Nurani Levy, Yuriy Tverdovsky, Yuri Osherov, Igor Osherov, Mark Yaroski, Rafael Akoa, Itshak Hagay Hanina, Shoshana Rozalia Segal, Evegenia Shtesky, Bat-Sheva Rabansari, Zipora Malca.
Nadejda Vaseva, Feiga Miriam Swirsky, Mordechai Eliyahu Messeca, Li Gilon, Talal Alziadna, Shani Livschitz, Shira Nissim, Yoav Chorev, Neomi Avigail Elkayam, Tomilio Munz Tom, Tamar Halutzi, Shiran Havatzelet Tweeto
Shift Manager: Oshrat Sabag.
Waiters: Galina Bakshiev, Shelly Nahari, Hadar (Adar) Nahari.
Shift Manager: Elvira Okhotin.
Waiters:Illya Markov, Elad Cohen, Tal almkiass, Alai Sarsur, Wisam Sayay Mohammad, Sheil Mencel Hava, Alon Zenou, Barak Levkovits.
UK based Kapish Team:
Waiters: Laura Goldberg, Sebastian Cunliffe, Aliya Gulamani, Kate Eccleston.
Director: Adna Tal.
Designer: Eithan Ronel.
Lighting: Ori Robinstien.
Music: Amnon Baaham `Dancing Closely’ Lyrics.
Music/Singer: Zvi Tal.
Costume: Dafna Grossman.