Theater Review: Private Investigator

The play is a dense, impassioned, sometimes close to bleak piece. Despair lurks, until slashes of humor and hope send it back to its shadowland.

February 15, 2012 21:52
1 minute read.
Private Invesigator

Private Invesigator play. (photo credit: Gadi Dagon)


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 analysis 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 experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • 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


Private Investigator is a dense, impassioned, sometimes close to bleak piece. Despair lurks, until slashes of humor and hope send it back to its shadowland.

Yes. Here and there it sags a bit.

Never mind. It is one of the finest, most intelligent, challenging and absorbing pieces of theater I have seen in a long time.

Who are we? What are we? One or many? What brings us together or pulls us apart? Where do I end and you begin? “Only connect,” as E.M.Forster has famously said. But is that true? PI seems to be asking these questions through a so ordinary story line. Mrs Wietzman (Irit Pashtan) comes to the PI (Nir Ron). She wants him to find her husband (Erez Shafrir), who has been missing for five days. From the beginning, the coincidences pile up. Or do they? Nothing is what it seems. Relationships, encounters, incidents huddle and separate, orchestrated by a billowing, swelling, now stormy, now quiescent fabric sea that the actors manipulate.

PI is set in a skewed, decaying urban landscape by Svetlana Breger. Judit Aharon’s meticulous costumes supply what color there is. Yoni Rechter’s deceptively simple melodies complement the dramatic tension of Schubert’s tragic Erlkönig, while Sharon Stark’s atmospheric lighting pulls it all together.

The cadaverous Nir Ron beautifully underplays the PI. He always seems to be holding back, to be on the point of, never completely committing, and therefore looms powerful.

Irit Pashtan is very believably unbelievable, shifty almost, as Mrs. Weitzman. “Tell her I’m alive,” the missing husband says to the PI. He isn’t. Not really, and Erez Shafrir puts that skillfully across.

Sisters Bettine and Minna, very different the one from the other, are sensitively portrayed by Carmit Mesilati-Kaplan and Orit Gal, respectively.

Indeed, the acting in this production is excellent, an ensemble in every sense of the word. Ariel Wolf as Michael needs to get a bit more experience under his belt – but he’s in good hands. Go see this play. Do yourselves a favor.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

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