My Name is Rachel Corrie
The Royal Court, London
Runs until 30 April
Phone 020 7565 5000 for tickets
Rachel Corrie was a 23 year old American peace activist who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003. She was trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home.
The play My Name is Rachel Corrie aims to explore the motivation and circumstances surrounding her work with the International Solidarity Movement in the Occupied Territories.
Adapted from Rachel’s own writings — from her journal and her e-mails to friends and family — this is a powerful and moving one woman show.
It is an emotional dramatisation of an awakening of conscience and a struggle with ideas. The play powerfully captures Rachel’s reactions to the injustices and inconsistencies being played out in the Occupied Territories.
But overwhelmingly it is an inspirational, but deeply sad, story about a young woman who tried to make the world a better, safer place for everyone.
We hear Rachel’s eloquent arguments for an end to the daily persecution and brutality endured by the Palestinian people, and her commitment to their freedom and self-determination.
But this is not a piece of propaganda. The audience is left to draw its own conclusions about the conflict. It is also a very personal and individual account of a life cut short.
But as Rachel’s parents point out, there are many lives that have been lost in the conflict — people who also leave loving, grieving families behind. Telling Rachel’s story on stage is a means of remembering them.
Among the many wise things Rachel says, she notes that while individuals can and do make a difference, nevertheless it is important for activists to work together.
She says, “If the international media and our government are not going to tell us that we are effective, valuable, we have to do that for each other — and one way we can do that is by continuing our work, visibly.”
The play ends with footage of Rachel, then aged ten, addressing a press conference on world hunger. She says, “My dream can and will come true if we all look into the future and see the light that shines there. If we ignore hunger, that light will go out. If we all help and work together, it will grow and burn free with the potential of tomorrow.”