Archive for the 'Shows' Category

Free Drama Workshop: Staging Sephardi Heritage, 16 June 2019

Discovering & Documenting England’s Lost Jews is a huge adventure into mapping different histories and finding connections. Using these discoveries we are creating a site-responsive performance, One Lost Stone, that will premiere on 22 September 2019 at Novo Cemetery, in the grounds of Queen Mary University of London, Mile End campus. And on 16 June, we are running a free drama workshop that will help originate this new work, and we would like to invite you to join us.

So, what are we discovering? Julia Pascal, Pascal Theatre Company’s Artistic Director, and her team of researchers, have been trawling through seventeenth century documents to read about Jews fleeing conversion in Spain and Portugal, and about Jews being burnt at the stake as heretics to the Christian faith. It is a bloody story, but it is not just a Jewish one. It tells us about Catholic Spain and Portugal and how the power of the Inquisition was a terrible force which meant that Jews were displaced all over the world. The English story comes in to play when Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel approaches Oliver Cromwell in his plea for the re-admittance of the Jews. Officially, England had no Jews after 1290 as England was the first European country to expel them.

“I have been excited to discover that the English Revolution of 1656, when the Republic began, was also the moment when Jews were being thought of as new immigrants.”

Julia

We are discovering the wealth of that Jewish experience that trickled into England from 1492. The languages of Ladino and Portuguese were the cultures of these Jews. Their survival in London is charted, and we have stories and names that reveal this amazing history. 

Our workshop on 16 June will be exploring some of the major figures of the story. Who knew that Licoricia was a major funder of royalty in the thirteenth century and one of the richest women in Winchester? There are many characters to explore in the workshop which will be revealing some of the great debates of philosopher Baruch Spinoza and Moses Maimonides. 

Using drama and movement techniques, Thomas Kampe will lead participants in playfully revealing the histories and stories we’ve uncovered. In experimenting with staging Sephardi heritage, participants will not only gain historical knowledge but also learn enjoyable ways to create new text and storytelling using this kind of source material. They can also take part in the journey towards using the workshop as inspiration for our site-responsive performance on 22 September 2019.

The workshop is FREE and open to all ages (although not suitable for the very young), backgrounds and abilities. For more information and to book your place go to our Eventbrite page.

Blueprint Medea by Julia Pascal, Finborough Theatre 21 May – 8 June 2019

The world premiere

Tuesday, 21 May – Saturday, 8 June 2019.

“If I am a virgin. If the enemy catch me. You know what they will do…”

Kurdish freedom fighter Medea escapes the Turkish military and arrives at UK Border Control on a forged passport. Slipping through immigration, Medea discovers how to exist on the margins of London life. Working illegally as a cleaner in a gym, she meets Jason-Mohammed, the son of Iraqi immigrants. Their attraction results in the birth of twin boys. Medea believes that she has finally found a new home, a new family and a new life.

But when Jason-Mohammed’s father decides that his son must marry Glauke, an Iraqi cousin, Medea realises that she will lose both her sons and her safe haven in the UK.

As her whole world falls apart, she is forced to accept that she has nothing to lose by revenging herself – destroying the lives who those who have betrayed her and keeping her sons’ spirits with her forever…

Based on interviews with Kurdish fighters living in the UK, and written and directed by the first woman ever to direct at the National Theatre, Blueprint Medea is an award-winning new drama loosely inspired by Euripides’ Medea, which connects the classical to the contemporary to explore eternal questions of passion, war, cultural identity, women’s freedom, sex, family and love.

Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm.
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3.00pm.

Finborough Theatre
118 Finborough Road
London
SW10 9ED

Written and Directed by Julia Pascal

Designed by Kati Hind

Presented by Pascal Theatre Company in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre.

Click here for info and bookings >

Sponsored by

Actors : Amanda Maud, Ruth D’Silva, Tiran Aakel, Shaniaz Hama Ali, Max Rinehart.

Designer : Kati Hind.

Video & Photos : Yaron Lapid

Announcing Discovering and Documenting England’s Lost Jews

A word from Julia Pascal, Artistic Director of Pascal Theatre Company:

I am delighted to announce that Pascal Theatre Company has been successful in securing funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for our new project:

DISCOVERING AND DOCUMENTING ENGLAND’S LOST JEWS

I am a playwright and theatre director who is fascinated by how we view national and international narratives about ourselves and our family histories.

Sephardi Jewish couple from Sarajevo in traditional clothing. Photo taken in 1900.

Sephardi Jews left Spain and Portugal to find refuge around the Mediterranean basin, including in the Ottoman Empire. They settled and lived for centuries in the countries we now know as Morocco, Algeria, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Serbia, Bosnia and Bulgaria. Most of them absorbed the local culture and lived with a double heritage.

Part of the excitement of our journey is learning about how these different waves of displacement influenced English life over the centuries and also today. This includes the experience of Jews who came from Arab countries where many lived peacefully alongside Muslims. As well as examining the Cromwellian and post Republican English history, the project will look at new immigrants – Jews arriving with elements of Arabic cultures in their histories.

I invite you to come with us.

There are many ways in which you can get involved:

On the 20th, 27th January and 3rd February we are running free morning drama workshops at Bevis Marks synagogue exploring three different aspects of Sephardi history and culture. The workshops include a tour of the synagogue. You can find out more information and book your tickets on our workshop page. Tickets are limited so book quickly.

We will also be looking for volunteers to help us document Sephardi oral histories and to participate in a site-specific public installation at the Novo Cemetery, London. This installation will be the premiere of a new work written by me and others involved in the initiative as a response to the stories and histories we’ve uncovered. Sign up to our mailing list to ensure you’re first with the news on how to get involved.

During our September installation, we are inviting four speakers to explore their varied experience of this little known history.

For more information visit our website: www.lostjews.org.uk, sign up to the mailing list, follow us on social media and through #LostJews, or contact Pascal Theatre Company on pascaltheatrecompany@gmail.com.

I look forward to sharing what we uncover.

Julia