Theater Review: 'The Banality of Love'

While the play is essentially a docudrama, the production is in every way theatrically compelling.

February 25, 2009 10:11
1 minute read.
Theater Review: 'The Banality of Love'

Theater Review 88. (photo credit: )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The Banality of Love By Savyon Liebrecht Directed by Avishai Milstein Beit Lessin February 15 The banality of evil, explains Hannah Arendt (Liora Rivlin) to a belligerent Michael Ben-Shaked (Kobi Livne), lies in ordinary people perpetrating extraordinary evil as bland routine. The Banality of Love, then, must lie in extraordinary people during extraordinary times so ordinarily falling in love. Savyon Liebrecht's drama relates the 50-year connection between political theorist Arendt and influential 20th century philosopher Martin Heidegger (Oded Kotler) first as lovers, with Michal Shtamler as young Hannah, then as friends until her death in 1975. Arendt was Jewish, fled Hitler's Germany in 1933, settling eventually in New York. Heidegger joined the Nazi party, a move he never repudiated and for which he never apologized. Liebrecht seems to be asking how Arendt could continue to champion him after that, in part via her only fictional character, that of Ben-Shaked, who is played by the same person as young Hannah's best friend, Raphael Mendelsohn (Livne). While the play is essentially a docudrama, the production is in every way theatrically compelling, moving seamlessly between Hannah's sensible apartment in 1975 and her 1920-'30s German past set in a forest-scape on Eran Atzmon's efficiently lyrical set. Rivlin's understated, unostentatious Hannah shows more by revealing less, riveting viewers' attention. As young Hannah, Shtamler projects a lovely naiveté, steely courage and the seeds of who she will become. Kotler's Heidegger, while always honest, is sometimes a little flat, and the decision to make him a Hitler look-alike is a disaster. Livne does better as Mendelsohn than as Ben-Shaked; neither are quite believable, but then neither is the text.

Related Content

Sarah Silverman
August 26, 2014
Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys