written and performed by Robbie Gringras
What does Shabbat mean in Israel? Does anyone agree? Is this a cultural war, or a misunderstanding within the family? Do Israel’s ‘Shabbat wars’ symbolize a deeper question at the heart of the Jewish people?
Shabbes! is a unique one-person show built from interviews with Israelis who have ‘what to say’. Robbie Gringras leaps across the stage, juggling between nine different characters involved in the struggle for Israeli’s soul – from the Hared who shouted ‘Nazis’ at the police on Bar Ilan Street, to the cameraman who ran after him, to the Ramat Aviv resident who would rather her son be a drug addict than chozer bitshuva, to the “knitted kipa” resident of Kiryat Arba who views throwing stones on Shabbat a far greater sin than driving.
Shabbes! is visual, acrobatic, thought-provoking and controversial, and in having all opinions expressed through one body, it also goes some way to suggesting a vision for future unity. The show lasts 45 minutes, and is designed to lead into a fiery discussion at the end.
“Robbie Gringras zeroes in on a hot-button issue in his shock-full solo show… a body that contorts into an infinite number of poses and personalities… Refreshingly complex… flawed human beings struggling with an emotional, and perhaps unsolvable dilemma.” (Jerusalem Report)
“Phenomenal success… hundreds of participants at Limmud watched the show – all were very stimulated and moved… over 170 cited you or the show as their favourite feature of the conference… On behalf of Limmud, I would not hesitate to recommend ‘Shabbes!’ to any audience.” (Clive Lawton, Executive Director of Limmud Conference)
“Engaging and exciting show… accessible to everyone.” (Jewish Chronicle)