In a Fringe overloaded with Brexit gags and Boris bloopers, it can come as something of a shock to encounter raw political pain and suffering on stage. But, then, Café Palestine is not your average festival show.
The dozen or so young people who light up Pleasance Two, come from a refugee camp near Bethlehem, next to the 5m-high Israeli Separation Wall and a military checkpoint. They are part of the ‘Beautiful Resistance’ movement, which attempts to use dance, music and film to break the cycle of violence and oppression that young Palestinians experience.
By the end, the mourning garb has been swapped for jewel-bright silks, and the incantations of despair give way to up-tempo anthems, the dancers’ faces shining with pride and hope – the transformational power of art in action.
Words: Judy Diamond
Café Palestine, Pleasance Two, 22-26 August, 1.30pm