Page 29 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 20

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2 3
D
av idow itz
— T
h e
I
srael i
D
rama
have been seen in the bright lights of the stage. A noted poet
who has recently turned his efforts to the stage is Natan Alter-
man. His
Kinneret, Kinneret,
which dealt with the second Aliyah,
was received with mixed reactions.
The Works of Moshe Shamir
The works of Moshe Shamir are among the best known of
those seen and read. His play
He Walks Through the Fields,
based on his best selling novel of the same name, won critical
acclaim both at home and in Paris where it appeared as one of
the Camerai’s presentations in an annual Drama Festival. Shamir
wrote a much more elaborate but less successful play called
The
Wars of the Sons of Light,
based on his ambitious novel
King of
Flesh and Blood,
dealing with the period immediately after the
time of the Maccabees. In addition to these more serious efforts
Shamir has written other plays, mostly for the entertainment and
edification of new immigrants in various sections of the country.
These pot-boilers had little dramatic or literary merit, but since
Shamir is a popular writer they have been published.
The two most popular writers who have been seen and read
profusely are Ephraim Kishon and Yigal Mossensohn. Kishon is
a young man with an extremely facile pen. One of the very
popular columnists in the country, he appears almost daily in
Maariv,
the most widely read Hebrew daily. His columns are
translated for the Friday edition of the
Jerusalem Post
and have
been collected into books. In addition, he has written a number
of short skits and full-length plays. For the past year and a half
his comedy
The K’tuba
has been playing to full houses at the
Ohel Theatre. At present a motion picture, written around one
of his columns, is being filmed. Needless to say, Kishon finds no
difficulty in having his plays published.
Yigal Mossensohn, up to two or three years ago, was undoubt-
edly the most popular of Hebrew playwrights. At the time of the
War of Independence he wrote a war play entitled
In the Sands
of the Negev,
which was controversial and successfully produced
by the Habimah Theatre. A later play,
Casablan,
is currently
being made into a film.
Eldorado
was another of his successes at
the Ohel Theatre, but since then Mossensohn ran afoul both of
the public and the critics. In defiance of the critics who did not
like one of his plays, he took a series of paid newspaper adver-
tisements in which he attacked them indiscriminately. Mossen-
sohn has been in the United States for some time but has not
had anything appear on the stage.
Among the talented young novelists and short story writers
who have turned to the drama is Natan Shaham. His
They Will