Friday, 18 April 2014

Review - Oh My Sweet Land at the Young Vic


WE are all used to seeing horrific images on our TV screens and in our newspapers of the horrible situation in war torn Syria.
But a new play now on at the Young Vic aims to delve more deeply into the human tragedy of the situation while weaving in a love story.
Oh My Sweet Land was conceived by actress Corinne Jaber and written by Amir Nizar Zuabi after the pair travelled to Syria to meet those trapped in the country and hear their stories.
It is beautifully written and is performed by Corinne on the Waterloo-based theatre's small Maria stage.
The audience is taken on a journey from Corinne's Parisan kitchen across the seas and continents to Syria as she tries to find her lost love.
Half Syrian herself, we hear about her childhood growing up in Europe and her adult life in Paris which seems a world away from her Syrian heritage.
She meets a revolutionary in Paris with whom she falls in love. But when he leaves her to go back home she decides to go to Syria to find him.
It is a heartbreaking, emotional and emotive story interspersed with real life accounts of what is happening to ordinary people in refugee camps and in towns and cities across this war-torn land.
All the while Corinne is cooking kubah, a spicy traditional Syrian meat roll.
The fantastic smells that come from the pan of spices, onions, meat and pine nuts brings the Syria very much to the Maria stage.
The piece does not aim to be sensationalist, nor does it offer any answers to the situation. What it does do is remind us of man's inhumanity to man, the resilience of human beings and the power of hope and love as human emotions.

Oh My Sweet Land is on at the Young Vic until May 3. Tickets from £10. Call the box office on 020 7922 2922.

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