The Tired Hero
is billed as a requiem for an unborn child. We conceive, bear and
bring up our sons to become cannon fodder, says this angry, anguished polemic.
On a stage by Pancho Edelberg that resembles a desert after a battle with photos
of loved ones ground into its sands, four mothers, two of whom are played by
men, strain to give birth. The hero emerges clad in khaki and with a caul around
The tradition has it that a child born with a caul is destined
for greatness. The savage irony of this caul is that the hero is destined for an
early grave, where annual commemorations to his memory will elevate him to the
greatness he might have achieved.
As he grows, each of the four mothers
exhorts the boy through the several myths each holds as a truth. One mother is a
Holocaust survivor, disciple of the “never again” ethos. Another has already
lost two sons and is resigned to the loss of this third.
The third is a
patriotic kibbutznik wedded to the collective, and the fourth, already clad in
black, prepares the hero to give his all for the Homeland.
But the IDF
itself has changed, says the play. It has lost its ideals, has become the
oppressor, has internalized the trappings of might.
“Values change,” says
the woman in black.
“Nobody prepared us for this kind of war,” cries the
Soldier, “we’re no longer the good guys. ...Mother, tell me I’m a
The actors are not listed by character but all are effective,
especially the one playing the mother with two sons already dead.
players are Dor Aloni, Ido Yona Yimin, Adva Levi-Goshen, Tehiya Suliman and
This is not an easy play to watch, mainly because it makes
its point too shrilly. Sometimes speaking quietly shouts loudest.
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