I <3 Hamas and Other Things I'm Afraid to Tell You @ The Point Hotel
Despite a provocative title, I Heart Hamas... is not a particularly extreme offering as a perspective on Palestinian bequest and culture. Above all the story is a profoundly personal one, an insight into the life experience of one American-Palestinian Christian in her quest to find a self-identity that means something to her.
Jennifer is living in The States. While battling with agents over acting jobs, previous owners of Jewish cats, obnoxious Palestinian shop-owners ("Not married yet?"), and laymen critics of her show, she barely has the time to consider what being Palestinian really means to her, although everyone else seems fairly intent to tell her what it means to them, whether she wants to hear it or not. An unexpected visit to the region over summer makes surprising sense of her life: feeling strangely at home, she understands her parents better, gets herself a nice boyfriend and, aside from occasionally being mistaken for a Spaniard, finally seems to fit in.
This often funny show peaks in dramatic interest when she later returns to Ramallah only to see how much worse things have got since the second Intifada began: a road that used to take twenty minutes to walk now takes two hours to traverse in the name of increased security. High rise buildings have been shot up, there are no more parties, and hopes are bleak.
Hamas… does not offer an academic education to those who come to familiarise themselves with the ins and outs of the Israel-Palestine conflict at large. That is not its purpose. Instead it offers a supremely individualistic insight into what life looks like through one passionate, eager, humorous, big-hearted, curious, loving and loveable set of eyes. Pick of the fringe. [Antony Sammeroff]