13 April 2013
THE BARRIER: INTRODUCION
Stamford Hill, North London, early 21st century. Shalev and Malka, strictly orthodox Haredi Jews, have a serious problem. A vital religious rule forbids switching on electricity on the holy day of Shabbos, from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. But they've recently moved, and their new next-door, non-Jewish, neighbours have a security light outside their front door, which is triggered when Shalev's family come in or leave their house.
The neighbours aren't willing to help, so Shalev finds a solution - the neighbours, Cas and Sam, are dismayed.
The play explores what follows: Cas's failure to get the support she wants from her retired hippy mum Roxy or her step-father, Harry, a non-religious Jew, or even Sam; the antics of another neighbour, an alcoholic misfit whose life revolves around his implacable hatred of Jews; and a jolly electrician whose casual racism depresses Cas further. Isolated, Cas agrees to a solution. But the tensions, within and between the families, and on the street, are not so easily resolved ...