Daphna is extremely hostile and confrontational. This aggressive character attacks everyone and refers to them as“Bad Jews”. Daphna takes it to heart that she is one of the “Chosen People” and takes great pride that “22 percent of all Nobel Awards go to Jews!” Her rants are long and combative and they don’t allow anyone else get a word in. It is uncomfortable to watch her as she completely dominates the stage. Thus, it is an absolute joy when her cousin, Liam, steps up and puts her down. His tirade is hilarious and a giant relief from her constant bickering. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop her and she continues doing most of the talking. Her character is so completely one sided that the audience hopes for some redeeming quality which unfortunately never comes.
A story line about their grandfather’s holocaust experience is extremely powerful and leads to the play ending with a very quiet dramatic scene. However, the ending is abruptly followed by loud Jewish rap music. It ruined the final scene by not allowing the action to sink in. The audience felt like they were being suddenly kicked out of the theatre instead of given a minute to process their emotions. Silence would have been a much better choice.
If the Daphna character were more likable and the ending less abrupt, this would be a fantastic and powerful play. As it stands, the good only slightly outweighs the bad. Bad Jews is playing through December 27 at the Royal George Theatre.