Rachel Corrie was an American activist who at the age of 23 years old, was killed by an Israeli bulldozer while trying to prevent a Palestinian home from being demolished. My Name is Rachel Corrie tells the story of her life – from young American girl in a small town to international activist in the Gaza Strip – using extracts from her diaries and emails, edited by the late Alan Rickman and the Guardian's Katharine Viner.
This new production for Sheffield's Theatre Deli sees Ella Dunlop take on the title role of this one-person play with impressive skill. Dunlop’s portrayal of Rachel is irresistibly engaging, drawing us into Rachel’s inner thoughts and her understanding of the world around her.
The play begins with a young Rachel full of youthful hope and curiosity – Dunlop gestures and shouts and sings and stomps around the stage, full of excitement about life and all its possibilities. As Rachel gets older, in her thirst to grow and to travel, we follow her to the Gaza Strip, where she volunteers as part of the International Solidarity Movement. Here, Rachel’s youthful wide-eyed curiosity shifts into wide-eyed disbelief at the injustices she sees around her.
This production is relatively stripped back, but Dunlop’s portrayal fills the stage, with well-placed sound and lighting effects lending additional vigour. The diary extracts flashed up on swathes of fabric behind the stage serve to remind us that what we’re seeing isn’t simply a play, but the story of a real, young life.
- Words by
- Emma Liasides