Hostages-Gallows Humor

A play of mine called Hostages, written almost thirty years ago … I’m curious to see how it stands up after all these years…….Yussef El Guindi

Hostages, by Yussef El Guindi, which opened this weekend at 18th and Union is only tangentially about the political situation in the Middle East, the essence of Hostages is the relationship between two individuals, who do not like each other, stuck in an isolated situation for an unbearably long period of time.

It could have been written yesterday to remind us that even though the initial perpetrators of the current Middle East crisis, the two Bush presidents, have been out of office for a long time, presidents Clinton, Obama and the 45th have all been unable to create peace and stop the bombing of innocent civilians.

But, it also could have been written 100 years ago during the Russian civil war, about an aristocrat and a liberal democrat being imprisoned by the Bolsheviks, or 72 years ago when disgraced ex-concentration camp commandant Nazis were imprisoned with generals involved in the Stauffenberg plot to assassinate Hitler, because the play spoke about universal human emotions. I predict that this play will be just as relevant in 500 years as Shakespeare is today.