Audience Feedback

Who says? You say!
A Promised Land & Can You Dig the Temple Mount, Man?

On top of post-show discussions, Theatre Objektiv encourages audiences to feedback to us through written responses after each show or by email. This is what our audiences said. Responses are given here in chronological order of venues we played in. Most were handed in on the night. Emailed responses are signified as such.

Paisley Arts Centre Schools Matinee
• I found it to be an emotional show. I think if you use backdrops & more props so the audience knows where they are and gets what it was like back then. You should make it into a musical. P.S. I liked the second part. (S2 Pupil Paisley Grammar)
• Good, very interesting. (S2 Pupil Paisley Grammar)
• During the production I felt there was a love/hate relationship between the Captain and Rivka Feldman. The relationship made me feel their frustration yet their sympathy for the losses of their people. The production overall was powerful and I felt it highlighted the cruel acts of the time effectively. I liked the connection between the two performances [plays] in that they were both of the empowerment of the Jews. In one they brought them to death and the other how they built over the holy temple in Jerusalem. Very powerful. (S6 Pupil Castlehead H.S.)
• I didn’t expect it to be so political. This is not necessarily a bad thing though. I personally was unaware of Jane’s story & unaware of the Jewish political situation. [Younger?] School pupils would completely miss many of the political references. Thank-you for a very thought provoking performance. (S5 Pupil Castlehead H.S.)
• The first performance [play] was very intense between the two characters. It was quite emotional throughout. It was enjoyable although the emotions were overwhelming. (S3 Pupil Castlehead H.S.)
• Incredibly emotional and moving performance. You take the journey with the actors, feeling all they feel. The simple nature of the performance (two actors) works best as the audience only has a couple of people to focus their attention on instead of a few dozen. I visited Dachau in June, and feeling the emotion that still hangs in the air in these places, and then finding out about a woman’s time in Auschwitz. A Scottish woman’s time. It wasn’t all that surprising as there is a plaque dedicated to four British women in Dachau. (S6 Pupil Castlehead H.S.)

East Kilbride Arts Centre
• A Promised Land. One of the most moving productions I have ever attended in theatre. Acting was excellent & content of play was extremely moving. A truly moving experience and a wonderful evening entertainment. Temple Mount. Both plays extremely thought-provoking & thoroughly enjoyable. Thank you.
• Both plays were about contemporary issues not just history & therefore very challenging for the audience. A lot of research has gone into both plays. The acting was superb. The bit about Rivka’s hair could be interpreted in two ways – because of her treatment at the hands of British soldiers in Hamburg and also because, if she had been in Auschwitz, her head would have been shaved. Superb stuff.
• Learned more from second play [Temple Mount] than first. Thank you very much. Actors were terrific. Both plays beautifully written and well directed. More to come? A sequel [to the Temple Mount] would be edifying and entertaining.

Macrobert Stirling
• A Promised Land. Extremely moving & powerful. Beautifully acted. Theatre that challenges our lack of political understanding is so needed. I am inspired to learn more. Thank you.

Universal Hall, Findhorn
• As a reasonably observant Jew living in a spiritual but not religious community I found it very moving to have Jewish issues visible and expressed in the heart of my community. It is hard for my daughter to be visible at school as the only Jew. The fear of anti-Semitism still lives & I actually think there is little awareness or acknowledgement of that in schools. Thank you. The acting was powerful, emotive, great use of body language. Very well directed. Thank you again.
• I loved it. Moving, especially towards the end of A Promised Land. I liked the pairs of Jane and the German officer and Rivka and the Captain. The Auschwitz scene I found very moving. Characters very well portrayed including the accents. Many thanks.
• Fantastic play with excellent actors. Really well displayed the confused politics after the war. The Universal Hall was a great venue for this type of play.
• I really enjoyed it and it raised some interesting questions. I thought how the 2 actors portrayed all the characters convincingly was amazing. (Shay age 12.)

Byre Theatre, St Andrews
• Both plays were excellent – challenging, poignant, harrowing, cathartic – yes, a journey in an emotional sense. A Promised Land moved me to tears. As a former teacher of Religious Studies (and visitor to the Holy Land in the early 1970s), I felt the historical information was transmitted very meaningfully via the dialogue (i.e. the tensions between the three great monotheistic faiths about/on the Temple Mount). Thank you so much – a most inspirational evening.
• Excellent acting and the simple props allowed us to really engage in the situation. I really loved the feeling of intimacy which the actors were able to portray by their body postures and placement. The timing was great and the audience was always engaged with what was happening for the characters. Entertaining but also gave me a lot to ponder over. The second play was entertaining with lots of thought provoking information. The characters were engaging and the preacher’s character was very lovable. Could perhaps explore his innocence (world wise / lady wise) a bit more. (Gayle Malloy, Western Australia.)
• A wonderful, moving and emotional journey. Both plays were very well written and performances excellent. Thank you so much – a real treat.
• Fortuitous that this should have come to St Andrews between two visits from the Scottish-Palestinian support group which the ‘Town Church’ of Holy Trinity is hosting. The desire of the minister is to stimulate awareness of the issues and this play was a ‘Godsend’ providing the necessary balance. The next thing is to bring reps from both sides together to tease out the issues. (Rev Rory McLeod, Holy Trinity, St Andrews)

The CatStrand, New Galloway
• On Saturday night I took a small group from Dalbeattie to The Catstrand to see A Promised Land. This group has followed my interest in Jane Haining over the last 10+ years with a lot of interest, including visiting Budapest and Auschwitz. They, as well as myself, were thrilled by the play, placing Jane’s story in an understandable context, and pulling no punches as to the horror of her death, and the apparent ignorance back in Scotland of her death, a situation that continued till the late 90s when as Europe Convener we published the booklet of her life, then the Righteous among the Nations etc. Using Rivka to tell the story was creative use of narrative that brought home a great understanding of her work. Congratulations to all who were involved. (Norman Hutcheson)

Scottish Storytelling Centre
• An awesome production. Utterly riveting. Beautifully written. Moving. Magnificently acted. Flawless. Perhaps one of the most gripping pieces of theatre I have ever witnessed. I loved the way the actors transformed themselves so visibly from one person to another, and back to the first. Stunning. And a salutary reminder that the capacity for mindless brutality and racial hatred is not the preserve of any one nation or people. The play highlights the capacity for violence and hatred across the nations, and also the capacity for redemption! (Joyce Gunn Cairns by email)
• I went to see A Promised Land on Wednesday October 6th 2010, and just wanted to let you know that the play was really powerful and moving, well worth the money. The 2 actors portrayed what happened during the war and after really well. Having been to Auschwitz 1 and Auschwitz 2 (Birkenau) in 2008, I really understood what happened through the actors’ eyes and what horrors happened in the camps. Please let the actors know they were amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed the play. (Patricia Darling by email)
• I went to see A Promised Land at the Storytelling Centre, High Street, Edinburgh. I was blown away by the powerful acting of both Corinne Harris and John McColl who played their respective parts with such force that you actually forgot that there were only two people on the stage. The props were simple but effective. The story was very thought provoking, made me laugh at bits and shed a tear in others. The writer deserves every piece of credit (and more) for this truly outstanding play. It was one of the best productions I have seen in a long time. I wish the actors and crew all the best on their tour and hope many people take this wonderful opportunity to see A Promised Land. (Nikki Skinner by email)

Woodend Barn, Banchory
• Congratulations to the author on the script for the British Officer. In 1947 I was an Intelligence Officer in Palestine and although I never had to conduct heavy interrogations I could identify with every of the character’s attitudes if not with his behaviour! Much of his remarks are recent history but these were very widely accepted in 1947-48!! Well done! (John Hargreaves)
• An excellent evening. A Promised Land was moving without being emotionally indulgent. Refreshing to see a Christian’s life presented and celebrated in such a sensitive way. Can You Dig? provided a good contrast and was informative without being heavy.
• Excellent performances by two talented artists. The play reminded me of a lady I met in Holland, Eva Schloss, a survivor of Auschwitz.
• Excellent drama & well acted. Enjoyable and educational. 2nd play put the political/religious position succinctly as well as with lovely humour.

Ayr Town Hall
• Having seen both performances at the Wynd in Melrose I travelled to Ayr and persuaded my friend to accompany me to the Ayr performance. A Promised Land [is] a truly moving production with two outstanding performances from both actors. Can You Dig the Temple Mount, Man? Lighthearted and yet most informative, again excellently portrayed. Only two actors playing all the different roles – truly wonderful. I hope to be able to hear about and attend Theatre Objektiv future productions. Best luck to all. (Muriel Johnston)
• Very, very moving story. Beautifully acted. Most emotional. Powerful. Personally as a Jew and also a British Officer who served in the British Army in the Middle East I can feel for both characters. (Fred Berkley)
• A very powerful play. The acting was superb. I was transported back in time. A controversial story, well written and thought provoking.
• A Promised Land. Captivating – felt every emotion – outstanding. Can You Dig? Light hearted & informative. Excellent!!
• I believe drama is an effective way of getting a message across, of helping people to understand the true reality by going through it with the characters. You achieved this so well in A Promised Land. There were many messages and will be thought about long after the drama is over. If I changed anything, I would have an interval if possible as the play is so intense, well acted indeed! It is interesting that the “Promised Land” is such forbidden territory still today. Thank you for presenting both plays together.