(photo credit: Courtesy)
Cameri, June 27
Cancer as a subject for laughter, for guffaws even? Most people
can’t even say the word out loud. Its very thought inspires dread.
makes Anat Gov’s transcendent Good Ending a phenomenon. Not only is it very
funny, it is witty, intelligent, irreverent, and hugely compassionate. Gov pulls
no punches: her verbal scalpel lays bare doctors’ insensitivities,
incomprehensible medical jargon, the nurses’ rote explanations, the patients
idiosyncrasies, the moral/ethical questions and (of course) the
Perhaps, had the playwright not announced that she herself has
terminal cancer and that she, like her heroine, has refused chemo and other
invasive treatments, she and the play might be reviled for gross insensitivity.
Now she and the play will be praised deservedly for their courage. And above
all, this play is an anthem to living.
It is also precisely and
brilliantly performed, sung and danced by its accomplished ensemble. Shlomi
Shaban’s songs are unerringly to the point. Yehezkel Lazarov’s opulent
choreography makes its own ironic statement. Edna Mazia’s direction is crisp,
un-mawkish, and allowing of mercy.
Actress Talia Roth, played with
beautiful restraint by Anat Waxman has arrived at the oncology outpatient
department to begin chemotherapy. Initially she wants nothing to do with the
three other veteran patients. They are Hayale, who has declared war on her
cancer, played with a terrorized truculence by the redoubtable Zharira Harifa’i,
determinedly optimistic Miki, who’ll try any therapy, no matter how off the
wall, whom Sarit Vino Elad portrays with desperation-tinged levity, and
observant Emuna, who must contend not only with chemo, but with her numerous
children and impractical husband. Roni Shoval illumines the role with both
fragility and strength.
However, diagnosed with terminal and inoperable
pancreatic cancer, Talia decides to opt out of chemo and other
She will live to the hilt what life she has left for as long
as she can, and then meet Death on her terms and by her own will.
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