Shampoo Queen

Hanoch Levin (1943 – 1999)

Jaffa Theatre

Musical satireGerman premiere

Acting & Singing Bassam Biromi, Rabie Khoury, Rami Saliba, Wattan El-Ghany, Adi Somech
Director/Design Rabie Khoury
Music Zohar Levy
Arrangements and musical direction Elias Garzuzi
Costume designer Yuval Levy
Choreography consultant Denis Blotzerkowski
Assistant director & Stage manager Suhad Khwaiss

“Shampoo Queen at Jaffa Theatre is more painful than the original”
(Nadav Menuhin, Walla Culture:  30.5.2023)

“‘It speaks to life today’: controversial play revived in Israel after 50 years […] showing that the issues at hand did not start with Benjamin Netanyahu.”
(Ben Lynfield, The Guardian: 11.7.2023 )

German premiere of Israel’s most controversial play in a new rendition by Jaffa Theatre! This biting satire, a perennial commentary on Israel, now undergoes a transformative shift with a crucial distinction—the voices of Arab actors.

In 1970, Hanoch Levin premiered ‘Shampoo Queen: A Satirical Review in Two Parts – A Brotherhood Shadowed by Military Threat’ at Tel-Aviv’s Cameri Theatre, amid the aftermath of the six-day war. As euphoria swirled over Israel’s swift victory, the play, devoid of subtlety, provocatively depicted the Jewish population as zealous and callous, critiquing a nation seemingly bound for cyclic violence. Despite swift cancellation due to unprecedented criticism, the play achieved mythological status, its relevance persisting shockingly after half a century.

Fast forward to 2023, ‘`Shampoo Queen’ continues its mission. The rendition preserves original songs and sketches in a minimalistic stage design but diverges from the original by emphasizing Palestinian identity. This inner Jewish critique, unraveling Zionist narratives and exposing Israel’s aggression, racism, and disregard for its Arab population, finds new resonance through an all-Arab cast. The performance reanimates silenced perspectives, offering a fresh lens on a narrative as relevant today as it was 50 years ago.

Fri 12.4 | 8 PM

Radialsystem Saal
Hebrew with English & German subtitles

Duration: 90 min.

Tickets: 20€ / 16€

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© Jaffa Theatre

biographies

The Jaffa Theatre was founded in 1998 in the historic port city of Jaffa. Since then, it has dedicated itself primarily to promoting intercultural understanding and artistic exchange between Arab and Jewish communities. It achieves this with productions of bilingual plays, various cultural projects, workshops, educational programs and festivals. Every year it organizes three major festivals: The Jaffa Children’s Festival, Theatroneto and the Festival of Contemporary Arab Culture. The Jaffa Theatre has received several awards for its work.

© Pesi Girsch

Hanoch Levin (1943-1999) was the most important Israeli playwright of the 20th century, whose work gave Israeli theatre decisive artistic and socio-political impulses. Today, his plays are part of the canon in Israel and are also frequently shown internationally, whereas many of them have yet to be discovered in Germany.

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Venue: Radialsystem, Holzmarktstraße 33, 10243 Berlin

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