Niv Petel gives a captivating and heart wrenching performance in his one man play, Knock Knock. It follows the story of a single mother raising her child in Israel, knowing that one day he will be called on for national service, and all the risks that this entails. Petel’s portrayal of the mother is beautiful, humorous and oh so real. We stay with her from her son’s infancy through to adulthood, and feel every loving moment, every teenage argument, every school bully and every awkward talk of girls. We laugh, we cringe and we cry by her side.

A story that is evidently close to Petel’s heart, he takes up every inch of the stage with his deeply emotional performance, and often I would forget that it was just him and not a complete cast at his beck and call. He allows the audience to see the similarities and the common ground, to recognise a mother’s love for her child, and counteracts them with small scenes of violence and terror to ensure we never forget the futility and brutality of war.

Evocative and emotive, while never coming off as pretentious or preachy, I defy anyone not to be absolutely mesmerized by Knock Knock, and if it were possible to give more than five stars, I most certainly would have.

Words: Rachel Mackie

Knock Knock, C Venues, Aug 24-28, 7.30pm

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