God on Trial, C Nova Venue 145, Edinburgh Fringe. Julia Pascal

This is a Cambridge University production taken from Frank Cottrell Boyce’s televised play God on Trial.  The idea comes from an apocryphal story of Jews in Auschwitz prosecuting God for allowing them to be annihilated.  Set in a tiny room the ensemble works with huge integrity on a tough text.  Despite their youth, the actors transmit a knowledge of Jewish history and philosophy with a rigour that had the audience hanging on every word.

This is an extraordinary court drama.  God comes out badly but the Jews are unable to convict him and must pray to him even if he does not exist.  These doomed souls are represented as fighting spirits, even when they are fighting with one another.  I liked the mixed gender casting which allowed the audience to feel the weight of women’s equal presence in Holocaust history and theatrical representation.  Louise Banable’s sharply intelligent production is a triumph.

Until 16 August, 7.30pm.  (70 mins)

Julia Pascal © 2014.