Socialist Worker

Reviews round-up

Issue No. 1971

A poster from the exhibition

A poster from the exhibition

Palestinian poster exhibition

The American University of Beirut has just put its collection of political posters of the Palestinian revolution and the Lebanese civil war online. They can be viewed at The poster illustrated is a tribute to the “heroes and martyrs” of the Palestinian refugee camp of Tel Al-Zaatar in Beirut which was overrun by right wing militias backed by Syrian troops in 1976.

The Philanthropist
by Christopher Hampton
Donmar Warehouse, central London until 15 October
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The title character is a university tutor of philology played by the outstanding Simon Russell Beale. He is removed from social realities as well as from meaningful relationships with others.

He lacks any backbone, as becomes apparent during the toe-curling dinner party that forms the play. The opinionated characters around him put him in relief.

The subversive wit hits its targets, showing the detachment of the traditional academic and the distance between the narrow mainstream perception of politics and everyday life.

Jessica Stoll

East Is East
by Ayub Khan-Din
Touring nationally until April 2006
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Given recent events it might seem perverse that a comedy about inter-generational struggles within an Anglo-Pakistani Muslim family who run a small fish and chip shop in Salford has begun to tour the country. Yet East Is East could hardly be more timely in its expoloration of racism.

George, father of the Khan family, wants his sons and daughter to marry who he wants them to out of respect for him.

His children reject the authority he tries to impose on them. The play is more thought-provoking than the 1999 film version as it explores the characters in more depth.

Christian Hogsbjerg

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant
directed by Richard Jones
English National Opera, central London until 7 October

This opera is a story of love, power and moral regeneration. Petra von Kant is a fashion designer and domineering boss who falls in love with Karin, an ambitious young woman, persuading her to become a model.

Petra becomes obsessed with her and is consumed by jealous rage when Karin flaunts her infidelity. The opera is an indictment of a society in which human beings have lost the potential to love, treating each other like commodities.

Sabby Sagall

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Article information

Sat 8 Oct 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1971
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