"We're a rotten, decadent society that has divested itself of
values," he says. We welter "in corruption, cynicism, violence. Without ideals,
with nothing to aspire to, we push the envelope further and further in order to
Salome is set at Herod's court in
Palestine, now a Roman province where the king rules at Caesar's pleasure. He
has had John the Baptist imprisoned for sedition. He lusts after the beautiful
Princess Salome, who herself lusts after John, who rejects her.
When Herod promises her anything if she will but dance for
him she demands the head of John the Baptist on a silver salver. Horrified, he
tries to renege, but Salome is adamant. The head is brought. She croons to it
and finally kisses the dead lips that refused hers. Revolted, terrified, Herod
orders his soldiers to kill Salome.
Zamir, actor, singer and artistic consultant to the Simta
theater, has cut the play extensively, and excised characters in order "to
reduce Salome to its essence," that of a society that
must dissemble, that has delivered its fate into another's hands - and Zamir
sees the US as our Caesar - a society in which "everybody is afraid of everybody
else, where superstition is rife and ideologies flourish."
Salome opens at the Simta in Old Jaffa on