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 Adi Lerer and I play Yael Kaufmann in Crossing Jerusalem. She is turning 30 and it’s a big day for her. She’s going to have a birthday meal together with her family. Yael is the wife of Gideon and she wants to have another baby. They already have a 4 year old girl and now her real wish is to have a son. Gideon doesn’t want to have another baby, this rejection and him avoiding confronting this issue aggravates their relationship. She can feel that there is something is going on in Gideon’s life that he’s not telling her. The only way to save their marriage is for him and for her to open up-to grow up.
Besides the cultural significance of having a son, are there other external forces that make Yael’s desire to have another child so strong?
Yael is someone who is very intelligent and passionate. She wants to expand her family. Especially during this moment in life, during the 2002 intifada, when you experience conflict, a situation of war, you feel that time is very precious. This idea can go both ways. Why should we have children during this conflict? Or you feel the opposite. You want to breed and have more of a lineage. Make life because there’s so much death. She wants to create a beautiful thing to bring into the world instead of destroy. Her voice is changing. Her whole being is rediscovering her strength, her autonomy in the world. She can voice what she wants. It’s up to her. She has the strength to do that.
How does being an Israeli make this role different from other productions you’ve worked on?
Being Israeli helps me because I can connect to it all very easily. On the other hand, it can hinder you as well because it can be a bit adrenalizing. I can feel it a bit too much. It’s really fascinating working with people that aren’t Israeli on a play that talks about your home country. It puts everything in a different perspective; it gives the whole situation a fresh look so it’s a really interesting journey for me.
You’ve worked with Julia Pascal before?
This is my 4th production with Julia. My first one was in 2001 with Woman in the Moon at the Arcola. We’ve done a few others like The Dybbuk performed in New York. It’s a pleasure to work with Julia, we understand how the other works. I work quite physically, devising theatre, and incorporating text. That’s how Julia works as well and I connect with that. It’s exciting to work on a linear text based production with her. It really feels like home working with Julia.
Why should people see Crossing Jerusalem at Park Theatre?
It’s a very honest story. You can look at it on many levels. It’s a story about a family and their cracks, their longings, wishes and fears, all being heightened in a situation of conflict. It makes you behave very different and to tackle the Israeli conflict will always be difficult and challenging. What’s really refreshing about this production is that it’s very honest about what people do to each other and how they feel. It’s very visceral and true to the core of how we treat each other.
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
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