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Previewed 28 March 2006, Opened 30 March 2006, Closed 21 May 2006 at the Playhouse Theatre in London
Alan Rickman and Katerne Viner's play My Name is Rachel Corrie in London - adapted for the stage from the writing of Rachel Corrie.
Why did a 23-year-old woman leave her comfortable American life to stand between a bulldozer and a Palestinian home? The short life and sudden death of Rachel Corrie, and the words she left behind. This one woman play explores Rachel's evolution into a young woman who cared passionately about the injustices she saw around her, and was determined to make a change.
Megan Dodds reprises her critically acclaimed role as 'Rachel Corrie' for this West End transfer. It is directed by Alan Rickman with designs by Hildegard Bechtler, lighting by Johanna Town and sound and video by Emma Laxton. Originally presented at the Royal Court Theatre's Upstairs Theatre in April 2005 before it transferred to the larger Downstairs Theatre for a limited run in October 2005. The play has been developed in collaboration with the Royal Court International Department with the kind permission of Rachel Corrie's family.
"Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer as she tried to prevent the demolition of Palestinian houses in Gaza was frank, witty and feverishly imaginative. And it's this that makes Alan Rickman's and Katherine Viner's dramatisation of extracts from her e-mails and diaries by and large so compelling." The Sunday Telegraph
"Edited by Alan Rickman and Katherine Viner from Rachel Corrie's journals and e-mails, it is a cry of indignation by a brave, thoughtful woman who wanted to help and to bear witness. Shw wasn't some airhead, a saintly, self-admiring maniac: she had faith and purpose... Alan Rickman directs with dispassionate clarity, and Megan Dodds plays Rachel Corrie with a buring, selfless intelligence." The Sunday Times
"My Name Is Rachel Corrie is a true and profoundly moving story. As a piece of theatre, it belongs to the verbatim genre, pieced together by Alan Rickman and the journalist Katherine Viner from the diaries, emails and lists of the extremely articulate, committed, courageous idealist Rachel Corrie. She was raised in Olympia, in Washington State, by intelligent, liberal parents, and when she left college she joined the International Solidarity Movement, an organisation committed to non-violent resistance to the Israeli military occupation in Palestine. At the age of 23, this slender blonde stood between a bulldozer and a Palestinian home. The bulldozer crushed her to death. This drama is many things. It's a piece about growing up in America today, it's a piece about the nature of heroism; it's a beautifully written and structured chronicle of a death foretold, which Rickman directs with great skill. My one problem is that even though I know that every single word is Rachel's, she seems almost too good to be true. Her only flaw, for heaven's sake, was an untidy bedroom... Strangely enough, had she been less astonishingly articulate, impressively informed, beautiful and utterly humane - in other words, less perfect - she would have made an even more interesting protagonist. As she is, powerfully played by Megan Dodds, she is a truly incandescent, blazing presence, her skin and eyes shining with Rachel's passionate intensity and goodness. Inspirational." The Mail on Sunday
Alan Rickman on devising the play My Name is Rachel Corrie: "I first read Rachel's emails in The Guardian in March 2003. They were so vibrant that they kind of demanded to be said out loud. I took them to Ian Rickson [the Artistic Director of The Royal Court Theatre] which then lead to a meeting with Rachel's parents, Elyse Dodgson and Katharine Viner. Ian took a big brave jump and said 'alright, I'll do it'. Almost a year later, we got the 187 page document which contained many of Rachel's journals, letters and poems which had been typed up very bravely by Rachel's sister Sarah Corrie... My biggest challenge was that Rachel's words were not written to be staged. We had to create a kind of narrative and progression so that you could feel her mind alive and changing and growing. This also involved using the acting skills of Megan Dodds, and the luck of all sorts of gifts, such as suddenly hearing for the first time that Rachel had a very beautiful singing voice."
My Name is Rachel Corrie in London at the Playhouse Theatre previewed from 28 March 2006, opened on 30 March 2006 and closed on 21 May 2006.