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REVIEW: “Akhnaton” at Bruka Theatre (Subscriber Content)

By Kylie Masznicz
Image courtesy of Bruka Theatre.
Image courtesy of Bruka Theatre.
Image courtesy of Bruka Theatre.

Akhnaton tells a story of an Egyptian king that tried to create a world full of peace and truth rather than war and glory. However, his subjects think he’s mad and with more changes bring more outrage. Watch as Akhnaton tries to stay true to his morals while also pleasing his people and thos…

Image courtesy of Bruka Theatre.
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Norm Robins March 6, 2019 - 10:13 am

I agree. The play was a delight to see, and the cast and crew worked their hearts out to deliver a top shelf performance. Agatha Christie is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most read author. She took murder out of the back alley and put it into the parlor where it rightfully belongs. How can one not applaud that?

But to understand this play more deeply one must understand the times. Agatha Christie wrote Akhnaton in 1937 just before Adolf Hitler incorporated Austria into Germany and demanded Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland from Britain’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, both in 1938. World War I had been horrific. Britain and France were in no mood to fight another war. Pacifism was in the air. There was even talk of outlawing war altogether. And Christie was a woman of those times. Chamberlain is notorious to this day for caving to Hitler at a time when Hitler could have been easily taken out. Bottom line: World War II killed 50 million people in Asia, 50 million in Europe, and 50 million Europeans were left permanently homeless.

In world War II Germany’s General Staff didn’t want to invade France because French and British forces were too powerful. Hitler disagreed. He thought that they had given up the will to resist. And he was painfully correct. Germany invaded. France resisted Germany for 4+ years in World War I, but France fell in 4+ weeks in World War II. But for a boneheaded move by Hitler the majority of British forces would have been wiped out in its retreat from Dunkirk.

Akhnaton the play was a delight to watch, all 3-plus hours of it. But don’t draw the wrong conclusion. Akhnaton’s pacifism was a disaster for Egypt just as was Chamberlain’s for Europe. Please don’t let Agatha Christie’s apparent pacifism fool you, either.

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