By Shmuel Refael
Adapted by Haim Idissis
Tzavta 2, Tel Aviv.
Golgotha is a harrowing drama depicting the sufferings of a family of Salonika Jews in Auschwitz-Birkenau.
It was written by the son of survivors in order to commemorate the Sepharadi Ladino-speaking Jews who are often overlooked when discussing the Holocaust. Originally performed in Ladino, the show was later performed in Hebrew and is now being presented in an English version in preparation for a gala production in New York.
Geula Jeffet-Attar gives sharp direction to a modest, shoe-string production, alternately evoking the Thessalonika and Auschwitz scenes. The role of Albert Salvado, recalling his devastating experiences as a Zondercommando assigned to the operation of the death ovens, is played with deep empathy by Victor Attar. His depiction of the now aged, infirm, and memory-shattered survivor is poignant and extremely moving.
His performance is a triumph over a weak script. With time, dramatizations of the horrors of the Holocaust have become so numerous and so oppressive that they must be powerful indeed to make strong impact. Shmuel Refael's text, though rich in horrific detail, suffers from a weak, halting development. Having drained the emotions of a sympathetic audience to the maximum, it loses momentum halfway through.
â€¢ Naomi Doudai