Inspired by an incredible true story, Surfing the Holyland returns to the stage once more for Brighton Fringe 2023. Drawing on the universal experience of the outsider and the unique perspective of the Jewish convert, writer and performer Erin Hunter’s (Newsrevue, Canal Café Theatre; After the Tempest, Teatro Vivo) Popcorn/BBC New Writing Award-nominated Surfing the Holyland offers audiences a rare glimpse into Israeli culture and daily life.
Heather is bored of her job, bored of Ohio, and bored of fertility problems, so when her husband Zach lands a new job in Tel Aviv, Heather is happy to swap home for the Holyland. There, immigrant life slaps Heather with acute culture shock, a rejected work visa and a husband who discovers God. But Heather is determined to have her own adventure. When she impulsively books a surf lesson with a painfully sexy teacher, everything changes. Surfing helps Heather cope with the Israeli ‘balagan’, finding a wall of water all while her husband Zach finds ‘The Wailing Wall’.
A classic fish-out-of-water tale with sharp observational comedy, electrifying storytelling, and bold physicality, Surfing the Holyland playfully blurs the boundaries between comedy, musical and drama all whilst exploring the immigrant experience, female empowerment, and rebirth.
Directed by Adam Lenson (Public Domain, Southwark Playhouse, Vaudeville Theatre; Stages, Vault Festival), with twelve colourful characters played at breakneck pace, four comedy ukulele anthems and one surfboard, Hunter’s solo show packs some chutzpah! Think Bridget Jones on a surfboard in the scorching Middle East…
Writer and performer Erin Hunter comments, What an unexpected joy to be invited back down to Brighton Fringe and to be performing at brand new venue Caravanserai. Its playful vintage fairground vibes really capture the spirit of Surfing the Holyland. As a deeply personal story of female empowerment through surfing, I’m delighted to be collaborating with Slackline Productions who put the stories of women 35+ centre stage. In this particularly troubling period for Israel, Surfing the Holyland offers audiences an outsider’s unique perspective and a way to connect through comedy, music and, of course, surfing!
Previous praise for Surfing the Holyland
You will love this show…so real it hurts…you’re going to laugh for a good hour ★★★★★ – West End Evenings
Erin Hunter’s effervescent one-woman show…Hunter is impressively versatile – Edinburgh Reporter
Lightning paced, sharp-witted and uplifting – Fringe Biscuit
A dynamic and fast-paced one-woman show…pithy ditties on the ukulele…the themes here are so universal, the narrative so idiosyncratic and Hunter so engaging that it’s all as fresh and sparkling as a dawn surf in the Mediterranean. – Broadway Baby
Dates Thursday 1st June – Sunday 4th June 2023
Location Caravanserai, St. Peter’s Church North, Brighton, BN1 4GU
Tickets Tickets are available from