A married couple, officers of the Norwegian government, witness first hand the ravages of war in the Middle East and return home determined to do something about it. They set about both confronting and manipulating the system to create a “back door channel” for peace talks between the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Which led to the famous and controversial Oslo accord, which of course didn’t create piece…but built the first, however precarious, bridge.
As drama, it provides the best kind of material, a background story that no one knows, that exists behind the foreground story that most with a sense of contemporary world events know; and the resultant play, Oslo, has been written by the arguable (but not very) best contemporary American playwright for the job, J.T. Rogers, whose specialty is turning historical chapters into a theatrical page turners. With a splendid cast, under the direction of Bartlett Sher, Oslo’s maneuvers and negotiation provide all the suspense of a high tension thriller.
Oslo is at the Mitzi Newhouse Theatre in Lincoln Center.