Leah Rabin came to view the play on April 27, 1999. Hare writes in his diary that when he heard Mrs. Rabin was coming, he immediately recalled a conversation with the director, Stephen Daldry. "We had resolved that, should Leah Rabin attend, we would cut two passages which we thought needlessly cruel. In the settlements, Mrs. Rabin is despised as the wife of the man who signed the Oslo agreement. "As soon as her name is mentioned the settlers disparage her by claiming that she is 'ugly, a very ugly woman to look at'. Later, they repeat the rumours that Rabin was unfaithful to her."
After the show, Mrs. Rabin came into the dressing room with her bodyguard. She shook Hare's hand gravely, saying, "You cut some lines tonight. Usually you say that I'm an ugly woman. Isn't that right?"
Hare was unsettled. "'I'm not going to talk about it. I refuse to talk about it.'"
Mrs. Rabin had spoken to Judi Dench in the corridor outside and asked her if she thought Hare favored anyone in the show. "Judi had said that my whole strength was that I allowed everyone their point of view. Mrs. Rabin had said, 'I don't think so. No, I don't think so. I know who he favors.' Now that she was in the dressing room I told her that I hoped that she could see that the play had a hero. Every night, I could feel the audience's love for her husband. Again she looked at me very hard. 'The audience? I don't know about the audience. But I can feel your love for him.'"
They discussed the possibility of taking the show to Israel, and Mrs. Rabin shook her head, saying, "You would have to live with one of these," pointing to her bodyguard.
"She shook my hand again. Her grip was steady and she was completely focused. 'I can't thank you enough. What you are doing is a valuable contribution to the whole story of our part of the world. There is one thing I am sure of and I can say it to you with utter certainty. My husband would have loved it. Yitzhak would have loved it.'"
Excerpts from Acting Up
Copyright: 1999, David Hare
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