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Interview of Dominique Caillat (2004) >>

Genre: play by Dominique Caillat.

Kidnapping views the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the eyes of a German journalist who is burdened by her own past history and is emotionally entangled in the conflict she is trying to report upon.

Jerusalem 2004. Lev, an Israeli, and Sami, a Palestinian, are waiting in a café for Anna, a German journalist who wants to interview them about the Middle East conflict. Before she arrives, the café is blown up by a suicide bomber and both men die in the explosion. Anna feels responsible for their deaths. She locks herself up in her hotel room in order to deal with her feelings of guilt and memories of her lost friends, whom she had briefly known as a child in Europe. To her amazement, Lev and Sami appear in her room: they have unfinished business, which she should help them to settle. They also want her to do her interview, so as not to have died in vain. Unable to leave the room or to make the ghosts disappear, Anna accepts. Together, they undertake a journey through time and space that takes them to various stations of past and current history.

The play is based on interviews made by Dominique Caillat from 2002 to 2004 with Israelis and Palestinians drawn from all sections of the political and social spectrum on both sides of the Green Line.

2 men, 1 woman, all aged about 50.

Music: soundtrack.

Public: youth (16+) and adults.

Length: 1h 25.

Play commissioned by the State Agency for political Education of Rhineland-Palatinate, in cooperation with the Jewish-Arab Peace Centre Givat Haviva Deutschland e.V. Directors: Michael Sturm and Dominique Caillat. Sets and costumes: Katharina Gault and Norbert Bellen. Lights: Harald Gernig. Sound design: Heiko Schnurpel.

Premiere at the State Theatre of Mainz, thereafter 30 performances all around Germany.


“Using short sequences, an increasingly ominous soundtrack and alternately witty and earnest dialogues, the play covers essential stages of the conflict, such as the 6-Day-War and Rabin’s assassination, taking us all the way back to its biblical origin. The chronicle of events is clearly shown as chain of mishaps… Caillat manages to keep the balance between the fear and the plight of her characters, and does not stop short of gallows humour.”
(Theater der Zeit)

“A many-faceted, fair and witty play… In 90 minutes, Caillat and her co-director Michael Sturm analyse the seemingly unbreakable Middle-Eastern vicious circle. Sami and Lev (attractively agile: Achmed Bürger and Jaron Löwenberg) are burdened by their prejudices and deep-seated fear, which can hardly be overcome by reason alone. The kidnapper of the play is the Past, which holds the protagonists tight. This also applies to Anna (Antonia Holfelder), whose problems, interestingly, appear all the more German because she takes herself so seriously.”
(Frankfurter Rundschau)

“The author/director manages thus to draw a picture of the situation which reveals both sides of the historical process, stimulating our feelings of sympathy… With its expressive style and intense acting, this production achieves a lot with only few means.”

Kidnapping is a hard, cruel and brutal play, because it describes hard, cruel and brutal circumstances, the result of a chain of bloody misunderstandings over many centuries… The acting is at times so intense, that one literally shudders… Dominique Caillat and her actors have put up a production that manages to shock as well as give hope.”
(Bremer Nachrichten)

“The play offers a new, successful way of approaching this theme.”
(Speyerer Morgenpost)

“The numerous spectators experienced an impressive, very tight production, both informative and stirring, not the least thanks to the inspired and committed performance of the actors.”
(Main-Rheiner Allgemeine Zeitung)

Kidnapping at the Lübeck City Theatre: an impressive evening. The performance and the ensuing discussion proved worthwhile.”

“An energetic and most intensively performed play… With its Sartre-like “Huis-Clos” constellation, a metaphor for the hopelessness of the situation, the performance has moments of great intensity.”
(Marburger Neue Zeitung)

“Thus, and thanks as well to the exceptional level of acting, the spectators are able to get a clearer view of the facts, watching events alternately through the spectacles of each opponent rather then being showered with the usual sensationalist close-ups.”

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