Actors is a dramatic novel filled with intrigue and passion, set in Israel during the 1982 Lebanon War. A group of young actors gather in an abandoned building in Jaffa in order to produce an avant-garde play about World War II. The group are also engaged in a political struggle involving espionage and other underground activity, against Israel`s policy in Lebanon.
The hero, Benny Lahiani, is a failed actor who plays minor roles in the theater as well as in real life. Dominated by passivity, a hazy mind and a detached attitude, he allows himself to be carried along by events without trying to control either them or his own life. In this vein, Benny leaves his home in Galilee and moves to Jaffa, has an affair with Miki and plays various small parts in the play, without ever becoming involved. He does not inquire into the group`s political activities, and allows his co`actors to use him for their own purposes. However, their attitude towards Arabs—particularly the actor, Akram`as well as to Benny`s North African descent highlight the exploitation and blindness that dominate this novel. As events unfold, the real world and the stage become confused in the actors’ minds. And then, one day, they disappear, leaving Benny to fantasize about how he will play the major roles-in fact all the roles-at least until their return. At the novel`s surprising end, the actors` spying activities are exposed, but Benny`s unfocused mind still refuses to accept reality. Taking us from the breathtaking landscape of Galilee, through the hot dusty streets of Tel Aviv, to the narrow alleys of Jaffa, Benny`s narrative also portrays the bohemian lifestyle of the Jaffa commune and creates a fascinating world.