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Dai review at Pleasance Cavern Edinburgh

This painful and beautifully acted piece of theatre is heart stopping. Iris Bahr’s solo performance of a range of characters caught up in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is by turns biting satire and lyrical reminiscence, full of dark humour and historical insights, at once profound and compelling.

Set in an Israeli cafe, each character is being interviewed for a film scenario about a suicide bomber until their monologues are suddenly interrupted by a deafening explosion, with sounds of splintered glass and screams of agony. The horror of these noises, the aural equivalent of Picasso’s Guernica, is juxtaposed with Bahr’s stylized physical movement from one character to the next.

The cross-section of characters and accents is dazzling, from a New York socialite to a Russian prostitute, via a gay German furniture designer obsessed with his former Israeli lover and many others. Each monologue is written with tough grace and real depth. Bahr’s acting is carefully balanced between naturalism and caricature, humanizing even the ideologues and conservatives she portrays.

More than a piece of theatre, Dai is a plea for the killing to end. The people she brings to life disappear all too abruptly, and our knowledge that they are merely theatre characters is shadowed by an unbearable irony.

Production Information

Pleasance Cavern, Edinburgh, August 5-27

Iris Bahr
Paul Lucas Productions
Iris Bahr
Running Time
1 hr