Alistair Toovey as SHARIF KHALLIL
Welcome to an eight part interview series featuring the cast members of Crossing Jerusalem. Check back daily for the next installment.
Introduce yourself and tell us about your character in Crossing Jerusalem.
My name is Alistair Toovey and I’m playing Sharif Khallil. He is the younger brother of Yusuf. In the play we see him battling with moral issues, against his brother, and against different generations in the play about what he thinks is right and wrong.
Can you elaborate more about the generation gap between you and your brother in the play and how that affects the events of the story?
I think the generation gap isn’t an issue until the play, so before the play I don’t know whether it was too much of a problem. On this day, when the play takes place over 24 hours, it suddenly is an issue since his brother can’t understand. He’s not one of the guys, one of the kids, not on the streets; you don’t know what it’s like because Yusuf is old. I say to Sammy, the restaurant owner, “You’re old, you’re wrinkled, and my friend that just died will never grow old enough to grow a beard. How can you possibly understand?” It’s his naivetivity and his tragedy.
Can you relate to your character at all?
Yeah. Maybe as a teenager around 16, hearing advice from older people and just not taking it in. With it going way over your head because you just don’t think they understand, but they have been in the same or similar situation.
How are rehearsals going with Julia Pascal so far?
She’s really great. Julia is the writer and director. It’s a great mix. I love digging into the text and finding as much as I can, and even when you get to a point where you’re stuck, it’s a gift to be able to turn to her and ask, “What were you thinking at this point? Am I on the right track of discovering something?” She can point you on the right track. It’s great.
Why should people see Crossing Jerusalem?
People should see Crossing Jerusalem because it’s rare that you find a piece that was written in 2002 that’s even more important and prevalent today than it was then. Maybe not more important but nothing has changed. If not, things have gotten worse. This play doesn’t pick sides. There’s no ‘Pro’ this side or that, or in a religious context, it’s a completely even debate. It’s fascinating and enlightening.
Crossing Jerusalem – Written and Directed by Julia Pascal
Synopsis: Set during the 2002 intifada, and just before the invasion of Iraq, Crossing Jerusalem is a potent and dynamic exploration of the theatre of war. The play describes 24 hours in the life of an Israeli family who cross Jerusalem to eat in an Arab village. In the course of a single day Arab and Jewish histories burst into the present in the most politically tense city in the world.
Venue & Address: Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP
Telephone booking number: 020 7870 6876
Booking website: www.parktheatre.co.uk
Direct link to book tickets online click here
Opening and closing dates: Dates: Tues 4 August – Sat 29 August 2015 (Preview 4th and 5th August)
Times: 7.45pm Tues – Sat / Thu & Sat Matinees 3.15pm
Prices: £12.50 Previews / £18 Full / £15 Concessions /
£12.50 Tuesdays Residents with N.London postcode or Under 25s