Spectrum Filmmaking

This is Oscar Kraft, who attended our film-making course for youth on the spectrum. Now he is making his own films. What a success story! Bravo Oscar!

 

“Timeless” & “A Powerful Account Of A Complex Issue” – Crossing Jerusalem Reviews

From left to right – Louisa Clein, Chris Spyrides, Trudy Weiss, David Ricardo-Pearce, Adi Lerer, Andy Lucas

The reviews are in for Crossing Jerusalem!

Excerpt from The Public Reviews:

’Timeless’ is a word that is tossed around extremely frequently these days, but it is certainly the most appropriate word to describe Julia Pascal’s Crossing Jerusalem.

While the title suggests dynamic action, the small stage space and extremely personal scenes make for a claustrophobic, intense atmosphere, in which the dangers the characters face seem all too real.

There are some moments of humour, often provided by Varda’s husband, Sergei, these are then balanced with the intensity of the young male characters, especially Gideon, who recounts the story of his friend’s death while serving in the Israeli army, the most beautifully written section of the play.

Public Reviews: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Ciarán Leinster

Click here for the full article.

*****************************

Excerpt from The Arts Desk

The keynote of Crossing Jerusalem is complexity. Pascal has a real talent for imaging what all of her very different characters are thinking and feeling.

concludes on a gruelling and punishing note whose unrelieved horror and melodramatic sensibility is hard to take. But that difficulty is also just right for the subject matter.

There is much to enjoy, especially in Pascal’s account of the tensions between sexuality and ethnicity, and her portraits of marriages suffering under the burden of silence is compelling and convincing.

Sometimes funny, more often fraught, this is a powerful account of a complex issue. But Crossing Jerusalem is no easy ride.

Reviewer: Aleks Sierz

Click here for the full article.

From left to right – Trudy Weiss, Chris Spyrides

Crossing Jerusalem runs at Park Theatre, London, until August 29th.  Follow the link for tickets.

Crossing Jerusalem Actor Profile: Trudy Weiss

Trudy Weiss as VARDA KAUFMANN GOLDSTEIN

Welcome to an eight part interview series featuring the cast members of Crossing Jerusalem.  Check back daily for the next installment.

Introduce yourself and tell us about your character in Crossing Jerusalem.

My name is Trudy Weiss and I play Varda Kaufmann Goldstein in Crossing Jerusalem.  I am the matriarch in of the Kauffman family.   Varda has this whole world in her hands.  She’s been in Israel since the beginning, before the Six-Day War.  Her overview is quite comprehensive in comparison to her children or her second husband, the Russian Serge.  She’s of European parentage, so she has retained that specific ineffable sensibility.  And yes, Varda has an American accent because she was taught by Americans as a child.  Varda has become hard-bitten and cynical due to everything she has witnessed and all the tragedy and disappointment that has ensued. We are in the second Intifada, God help everyone!  The anticipated harmony has deteriorated into chaos,rage, mistrust, hatred, and a seeming inability to find a way to co-habit  at all.

One of the interesting parts of your character is she seems to be the keeper of secrets.  Can you elaborate more about this aspect of Varda?

I do think she was quite a passionate optomistic zealot when she was young.  Varda had absolute faith in all that had been hoped for and felt sure that together the Palestinians and the Jews could create  harmonious and respectful living conditions . This  has deteriorated into something completely unexpected.  Thus Varda is an absolute lioness about protecting her family, regardless if she’s “getting along” with them or not.  Varda will maintain the lineage at all costs.  Surely in this beautiful tender and explosive play, our dysfunctional family is a reflection of the dysfunctional country.  Israel , though still vibrant, alive, loud, wild , brilliant and determined, does not have the relatively peaceful balanced plans for unity that it had held sacred.  And yes, she has some of her own secrets….she’s been around a lot longer than her kids!

Rehearsal photo of Trudy Weiss as Varda Kaufmann Goldstein (foreground) & Chris Spyrides as Serge Goldstein (background) (Photo credit: Habie Schwarz)

Varda also comes across as intense.

Varda is intense.  She’s is like a whirling dervish as all activities converge. She’s also very outspoken and manipulative.  Part of that comes from her wanting to make sure everyone is behaving appropriately to ensure their survival.  Varda is an aging hippy and has transformed herself into a very effective and  successful business woman.Look at the Chicago 7.  She’s demanding and narcissistic.  There are positive virtues to that, the art of selfishness. Varda will keep her head above water through sheer bloody minded determinism.  Her saving grace is her abundant humour and perspective on the whole ensuing drama that has overwhelmed this tiny country. She is The Proctectress of the Jewish identity and that involves sacrifice.

How is working with Julia Pascal?

Julia is a fabulous, energetic massively intelligent woman . It’s been a great  advantage to have the writer working as director.That certainly expands our opportunities to develop as ,ultimately, after all our  exploration, she can weave our efforts into her intended tapestry.   It’s a gift.  Every day new layers are being revealed.  A good friend of mine has worked with Julia on many occassions and Julia had mentioned to my her that she was looking for a Varda.  My friend graciously suggested me. Lucky me! I’m very happy to be with Julia.  It’s a vibrant, lively, committed group of talented actors.It is a big emotional journey and we are all willingly taking it together.

Why should people see Crossing Jerusalem?

It’s a necessary even-handed perspective on an issue that has claimed the hearts, minds, and opinions of the entire world.  It’s a  balanced story in which we are able to clearly hear both opinions as reflected in the dense cornucopia of thought and emotion. It is of The Heart as it deals with the humanity of these people, not just the politics. It is the bottom line . We don’t get much of that in the newspapers.  Crossing Jerusalem is a powerful classic play because it’s timeless. This is an issue that we’ll be fretting and steaming about into eternity. Hopefully.

Crossing Jerusalem – Written and Directed by Julia Pascal

Synopsis:  Set during the 2002 intifada, and just before the invasion of Iraq, Crossing Jerusalem is a potent and dynamic exploration of the theatre of war. The play describes 24 hours in the life of an Israeli family who cross Jerusalem to eat in an Arab village. In the course of a single day Arab and Jewish histories burst into the present in the most politically tense city in the world.

Venue & Address: Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP
Telephone booking number: 020 7870 6876
Booking website: www.parktheatre.co.uk
Direct link to book tickets online click here

Opening and closing dates: Dates: Tues 4 August – Sat 29 August 2015 (Preview 4th and 5th August)
Times: 7.45pm Tues – Sat / Thu & Sat Matinees 3.15pm
Prices: £12.50 Previews / £18 Full / £15 Concessions /
£12.50 Tuesdays Residents with N.London postcode or Under 25s

Crossing Jerusalem Actor Profile: David Ricardo-Pearce

DAVID RICARDO PEARCEWelcome to an eight part interview series featuring the cast members of Crossing Jerusalem.  Check back daily for the next installment.

Introduce yourself and tell us about your character in Crossing Jerusalem.

My name is David Ricardo-Pearce and I play Gideon Kaufmann in Crossing Jerusalem.  He is a graphic designer and in the Israeli army.  Gideon is married to Yael and has a 4 year old daughter.  His wife wants a son but he doesn’t want any more children, or certainly not in the moment with the intifada and being in flux.  He is having serious doubts if he should stay in the Israeli Army or refuse.  Not only is he is to report for duty the following day, it’s also his wife’s 30th birthday.  The entire duration of the play takes place on his wife’s birthday.  All these concerns weigh on Gideon as the play starts.

Gideon has three unique relationships with the women of his life.  Can you elaborate for us?

Gideon’s mother was never around as a kid, so he never had a strong female influence in his life.  It’s a complicated relationship as he does love his mother.  Gideon and his sister are close, almost uncomfortably close at times.  They have a very strong bond but he worries about her the same way all brothers worried about their sisters.

He also has a strangle relationship with his wife in a way.  Yael says, “You’ve never spoken to me about my past in seven years.”  They get on well but he’s a closed book.  I think when we find them in the play they have been growing apart for a long time.  Yael just hasn’t been noticing it.  She doesn’t see him all that much because of the intifada, so much is forgiven in terms in behavior.  I think what we see in the play is a climax in a recent change in behavior, probably the last month or two.  His last tour was in December and the play takes place in March.  Something momentous must have happened when he was on duty that has slowly changed him and made him more distant from his wife.

Rehearsal photo of David Ricardo-Pearce as Gideon Kaufmann (foreground), Andy Lucas as Sammy (back left) & Trudy Weiss as Varda Kaufmann Goldstein (back right) (Photo credit: Habie Schwarz)

Have you ever tackled a heavy subject like this in a play before?

I directed a play recently that was about a relationship between a Jewish father and his son, set on September 11th so that dealt very much with conflict between religions.  The Israel Palestinian is more than that obviously.  That play in terms of that debate of who’s right, who deserves what, who has been treated fairly, it had a similar feel to it.  I did a play about the Irish Republic Army.  It looked at an IRA cell in New York.  There was a lot of debate about terrorism and freedom fighters, and the same age old debate about land.  I suppose working and researching plays like this, you get a wider sense of what people go through in a lot of the world.  We don’t directly deal with many issues like that here in this country.

How are rehearsals with Julia Pascal going?

It’s going great.  It’s been a quick three weeks and we’re at the end of week two.  It’s getting quicker and more intense.  It’s fun.  Julia is really good at letting her actors play, find things, not being too descriptive and being tied down.  She lets you find your journey on your own and guide you through it in her own gentle way.  It feels very open at the moment and hopefully when we open the play it can continue to be quite open and fun.  It’s been enjoyable.

Why should people come see Crossing Jerusalem at Park Theatre?

I think that theatre should be entertaining regardless of what we’re talking about or it’s genre like a musical, ballet, opera.  It needs to engage its audience.  I think the best theatre is one that tackles issues in our world that are universal.  The Israel Palestine conflict is a massive ongoing debate that the entire world is having.  One of the wonderful aspects of Julia’s play is that it’s very even handed.  No one saying that Israel or Palestine is right.  This is what’s happening in this country and these are the debates people are having.

There’s something about what a play can do that’s much harder for a newspaper or documentary can accomplish because it’s putting a certain spotlight on a specific time, person, or area.  Political theatre is crucial for the life of theatre.  If you think about it, that’s how theatre has always been written.  Shakespeare’s plays have always had a political response to what was going on. That’s why people should come to see this play in its purest essence.  Crossing Jerusalem is also very funny with highly dramatic, interesting, screwed up relationships which are all recognizable from real life.  It has a lot of great ingredient in it.

 

Crossing Jerusalem – Written and Directed by Julia Pascal

Synopsis:  Set during the 2002 intifada, and just before the invasion of Iraq, Crossing Jerusalem is a potent and dynamic exploration of the theatre of war. The play describes 24 hours in the life of an Israeli family who cross Jerusalem to eat in an Arab village. In the course of a single day Arab and Jewish histories burst into the present in the most politically tense city in the world.

Venue & Address: Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP
Telephone booking number: 020 7870 6876
Booking website: www.parktheatre.co.uk
Direct link to book tickets online click here

Opening and closing dates: Dates: Tues 4 August – Sat 29 August 2015 (Preview 4th and 5th August)
Times: 7.45pm Tues – Sat / Thu & Sat Matinees 3.15pm
Prices: £12.50 Previews / £18 Full / £15 Concessions /
£12.50 Tuesdays Residents with N.London postcode or Under 25s

 

Crossing Jerusalem Actor Profile: Chris Spyrides

Chris Spyrides as SERGE GOLDSTEIN
Chris Spyrides as SERGE GOLDSTEIN

Welcome to an eight part interview series featuring the cast members of Crossing Jerusalem.  Check back daily for the next installment.

Introduce yourself and tell us about your character in Crossing Jerusalem.

My name is Chris Spyrides and I play Sergei Goldstein in Crossing Jerusalem.  He’s a Russian Jew, who once served in the Red Army and moved to Israel about ten years prior to the action of the play. He has left a series of massive personal and political events behind him: the death of his soldier son in the Soviet–Afghan War, the subsequent break-up of his second marriage and the collapse of the Soviet Union.  When the audience meet Sergei, he has been married to Varda, the matriarch of the play, for eight years.  He has become a bit disillusioned with living in ‘The Promised Land’. After narrowly surviving a bomb attack where he witnessed the death of many from his Russian community, he has also seen his employment prospects suffer during the Intifada, to the point where he has now been reduced to assisting his wife’s property business, something that frustrates him deeply. Although having suffered a lot of tragedy, Sergei is actually a positive force in the family group, often playing peacemaker, although his usual philosophical outlook is now being tested, for sure.

Serge seems to have no issues traveling in Jerusalem during the play.  Why is that?

He does have issues with it but he puts those fears aside for a few reasons. Firstly, he has more of an issue being stuck in the office all day. He’d rather risk stones, gunfire and bombs than have to lick another stamp! He also believes in this family more than they seem to and he hopes that the birthday outing to Sammy’s restaurant will bring them all closer together and strengthen them as a unit. On top of this, it’s Yael’s birthday, the Algerian Jewish wife of Varda’s son Gideon.  As a fellow ‘outsider’ to this family, he feels a special affinity for her and knows that Varda’s poor opinion of Yael has to be compensated for. For him, these are all bigger issues.

Serge seems to be the one person that calms everyone.  Why is that?

He believes in this family deeply, even though they’re an argumentative bunch who are often tearing strips off each other.  Sergei’s positivity and strength are the glue that holds the family together.  He makes an effort to calm arguments or tense moments by any means necessary. Usually it’s as the classic fool, often allowing himself to be perceived as naïve, idiotic, or a joker, sacrificing his own status for the greater good.  Underneath it all, he has a moral depth and emotional intelligence that the family need.

Rehearsal photo of Chris Spyrides as Serge Goldstein (Photo credit: Habie Schwarz)

Have you ever worked with Julia Pascal?

This is my first time I’ve worked with Julia Pascal and rehearsals have been great.  She’s very clear in what she wants but also has a free way of working. She’s also willing to assimilate suggestions and as a former actor herself she has great belief in the actor’s craft. Julia welcomes the variety of skills that we bring to the mix and you can see how much the work excites her.

Why should people come see Crossing Jerusalem at Park Theatre?

It’s a beautiful, passionate, visceral and poetic play which is often funny and sometimes harrowing. It’s very even-handed about a very complex subject which doesn’t happen very often when it comes to the Israel/Palestine situation. We have a great international cast of actors and it’s been a joy to rehearse.  I look around the room and think we’re capable of making something magical.


Crossing Jerusalem – Written and Directed by Julia Pascal

Synopsis: Set during the 2002 intifada, and just before the invasion of Iraq, Crossing Jerusalem is a potent and dynamic exploration of the theatre of war. The play describes 24 hours in the life of an Israeli family who cross Jerusalem to eat in an Arab village. In the course of a single day Arab and Jewish histories burst into the present in the most politically tense city in the world.

Venue & Address: Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP
Telephone booking number: 020 7870 6876
Booking website: www.parktheatre.co.uk
Direct link to book tickets online click here

Opening and closing dates: Dates: Tues 4 August – Sat 29 August 2015 (Preview 4th and 5th August)
Times: 7.45pm Tues – Sat / Thu & Sat Matinees 3.15pm
Prices: £12.50 Previews / £18 Full / £15 Concessions /
£12.50 Tuesdays Residents with N.London postcode or Under 25s

 

Crossing Jerusalem Actor Profile: Louisa Clein

Louisa Clein as LIORA (LEE) KAUFMANN

Welcome to an eight part interview series featuring the cast members of Crossing Jerusalem.  Check back daily for the next installment.

Introduce yourself and tell us about your character in Crossing Jerusalem.

My name is Louisa Clein and I’m playing Liora “Lee” Kaufmann in Crossing Jerusalem.   Lee is the daughter of Varda, the sister of Gideon.   She’s a single 35 year old woman that works with Jewish and Arab kids, and is also in the medic unit of the Israeli Army.  She is an idealistic character.  Lee does believe that working with Jewish and Arab kids might make a different.  She is also very lonely and confused.  Her relationship with her brother is complicated and is jealous of him.  She also has a terrible relationship with her mother that is a battle throughout the play, which is a constant source of pain, anger, sadness, jealously for Lee.

Is there a part of Lee in you?  Can you relate to your character?

There’s a part of her that resonates with me.  She’s a strong independent woman, which I hope to think that I am.  She’s someone that has an inherent sense of morality, of belief, that something has to change, and that there’s a possibility of peace in Israel.  She’s a character that fundamentally believes in a two state solution.  She also exploits her sexuality and uses it to feel alive.  Lee realizes the power of her body and uses sex to get what she wants.  It’s a fun part of the character to play with.

Lee comes across as an instigator or truth-seeker.  Can you tell us more about that side of your character? 

Rehearsal photo of David Ricardo-Pearce (left) as Gideon Kaufmann and Louisa Clein (right) as Liora “Lee” Kaufmann (Photo credit: Habie Schwarz)

Yeah, Lee is a truth seeker.  The female agenda of this play is holding onto family.  Lee is trying to repair some sort of relationship with her mother and to hold onto her relationship with her brother.  Lee just wants life to be how it was when they were younger, searching for happier times.  She blames her mother for a lot of things.  She misses her father.  She has created a world with Gideon that is fantastical and exclusive.  Lee, in a way, is still growing up.  She now realizes she’s an independent woman.  There’s this juxtaposition of her sexuality and her promiscuity.  By the end of the play she has broken that tie with her mother, and no longer needs approval, giving her a sense of freedom.

Can you give us some insight on how rehearsals are going?

I’m loving it.  It’s wonderfully exciting and a great company.  The subject matter is fantastic too. It’s always a vibrant discussion that’s exciting and with lots of laughter.  We’re having fun.  I think the more serious the subject matter, the more joyous the rehearsals have to be, because there needs to be laughter in the room.

Why should people come to see Crossing Jerusalem?

It’s a play that has a lot to say about Israel without putting its foot down on either side.  I think it’s a very honest and true depiction of what’s happening in Israel.  Crossing Jerusalem was written a long time ago, but it’s still relevant and perfect for what’s happening now in the Middle East.  When you listen to one side of the argument you go ‘yeah’.  And you listen to the other side and go ‘yeah’ as well.  That’s so much of the problem, each argument is equally weighted.  In terms of solutions, who knows what they are.  This is just one tiny family’s drama set in within this enormous eternal problem.

 

Crossing Jerusalem – Written and Directed by Julia Pascal

Synopsis:  Set during the 2002 intifada, and just before the invasion of Iraq, Crossing Jerusalem is a potent and dynamic exploration of the theatre of war. The play describes 24 hours in the life of an Israeli family who cross Jerusalem to eat in an Arab village. In the course of a single day Arab and Jewish histories burst into the present in the most politically tense city in the world.

Venue & Address: Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP
Telephone booking number: 020 7870 6876
Booking website: www.parktheatre.co.uk
Direct link to book tickets online click here

Opening and closing dates: Dates: Tues 4 August – Sat 29 August 2015 (Preview 4th and 5th August)
Times: 7.45pm Tues – Sat / Thu & Sat Matinees 3.15pm
Prices: £12.50 Previews / £18 Full / £15 Concessions /
£12.50 Tuesdays Residents with N.London postcode or Under 25s

 

Crossing Jerusalem Actor Profile: Adi Lerer

Adi Lerer as YAEL KAUFMANN

Welcome to an eight part interview series featuring the cast members of Crossing Jerusalem.  Check back daily for the next installment.

Introduce yourself and tell us about your character in Crossing Jerusalem.

My name is Adi Lerer and I play Yael Kaufmann in Crossing Jerusalem.  She is turning 30 and it’s a big day for her.  She’s going to have a birthday meal together with her family.  Yael is the wife of Gideon and she wants to have another baby.  They already have a 4 year old girl and now her real wish is to have a son. Gideon doesn’t want to have another baby, this rejection and him avoiding confronting this issue aggravates their relationship.  She can feel that there is something is going on in Gideon’s life that he’s not telling her.  The only way to save their marriage is for him and for her to open up-to grow up.

Besides the cultural significance of having a son, are there other external forces that make Yael’s desire to have another child so strong?

Yael is someone who is very intelligent and passionate.  She wants to expand her family. Especially during this moment in life, during the 2002 intifada, when you experience conflict, a situation of war, you feel that time is very precious.  This idea can go both ways.  Why should we have children during this conflict?  Or you feel the opposite.  You want to breed and have more of a lineage.  Make life because there’s so much death.  She wants to create a beautiful thing to bring into the world instead of destroy.  Her voice is changing.  Her whole being is rediscovering her strength, her autonomy in the world.  She can voice what she wants.  It’s up to her.  She has the strength to do that.

Rehearsal photo of Adi Lerer (foreground) as Yael Kaufmann & David Ricardo-Pearce (background) as Gideon Kaufmann (Photo credit: Habie Schwarz)

How does being an Israeli make this role different from other productions you’ve worked on?

Being Israeli helps me because I can connect to it all very easily.  On the other hand, it can hinder you as well because it can be a bit adrenalizing.  I can feel it a bit too much.  It’s really fascinating working with people that aren’t Israeli on a play that talks about your home country. It puts everything in a different perspective; it gives the whole situation a fresh look so it’s a really interesting journey for me.

You’ve worked with Julia Pascal before?

This is my 4th production with Julia.  My first one was in 2001 with Woman in the Moon at the Arcola.  We’ve done a few others like The Dybbuk performed in New York.  It’s a pleasure to work with Julia, we understand how the other works.  I work quite physically, devising theatre, and incorporating text.  That’s how Julia works as well and I connect with that.  It’s exciting to work on a linear text based production with her.  It really feels like home working with Julia.

Why should people see Crossing Jerusalem at Park Theatre?

It’s a very honest story.  You can look at it on many levels.  It’s a story about a family and their cracks, their longings, wishes and fears, all being heightened in a situation of conflict. It makes you behave very different and to tackle the Israeli conflict will always be difficult and challenging.  What’s really refreshing about this production is that it’s very honest about what people do to each other and how they feel.  It’s very visceral and true to the core of how we treat each other.

Crossing Jerusalem – Written and Directed by Julia Pascal

 

Synopsis:  Set during the 2002 intifada, and just before the invasion of Iraq, Crossing Jerusalem is a potent and dynamic exploration of the theatre of war. The play describes 24 hours in the life of an Israeli family who cross Jerusalem to eat in an Arab village. In the course of a single day Arab and Jewish histories burst into the present in the most politically tense city in the world.

 

Venue & Address: Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP

Telephone booking number: 020 7870 6876

Booking website: www.parktheatre.co.uk

Direct link to book tickets online click here

 

Opening and closing dates: Dates: Tues 4 August – Sat 29 August 2015 (Preview 4th and 5th August)

Times: 7.45pm Tues – Sat / Thu & Sat Matinees 3.15pm

Prices: £12.50 Previews / £18 Full / £15 Concessions /

£12.50 Tuesdays Residents with N.London postcode or Under 25s

Crossing Jerusalem Actor Profile: Andy Lucas

Andy Lucas as SAMMY

Welcome to an eight part interview series featuring the cast members of Crossing Jerusalem.  Check back daily for the next installment.

Introduce yourself and tell us about your character in Crossing Jerusalem.

My name is Andy Lucas and I’m playing Sammy in Crossing Jerusalem.  As far as my character goes, I get the feeling I’m the United Nations in this place.  I’m the buffer zone between the Jews and the Muslims, which is a double edged sword.  I get shit from both sides and I get joy from both sides.

Can you relate to your Sammy character at all?

I’m a Libra, that’s my star sign.  Libras likes to have a balance in life and see justice be done.  Consequently to Sammy, it’s frustrating that there is no justice in this situation.  In the play, there’s a confrontation between a family of Jews and a Muslim waiter.  They discuss how far back one goes.  How far back do you go before you realize somebody has a right to something you own?  So I can relate to Sammy being frustrated and not being to help.  I can also relate to Sammy just wanting a peaceful and quiet life.  Not being religious or overtly political, because that way lies illumination.

Sammy’s restaurant seems to be one of the few constants in Jerusalem. Can you elaborate more about Sammy’s importance to this society?

Both Alistair Toovey and Waleed Elgadi say something very similar in the play.  No matter what goes on, no matter who’s in charge, you always seem to survive.  There’s two ways to look at it.  You can either be the vulture that survives on carrying after the bloodbath, or you can look upon it as being the water carrier, being someone that facilitates people being able to live together.  There are only two professions that you can’t do without.  One is a funeral director and the other someone that makes and sells food.  You need to eat.  Luckily for Sammy, he has chosen the restaurant side and not the funeral side.

How has working under renowned writer and director Julia Pascal?

I think through her we’ve done amazing well since it’s been the 5th day of rehearsals.  We’re going to have what we call a ‘stagger through’ which is a run very early in the rehearsal process.  I think we all have done remarkably well.  I think Alistair mentioned that it’s both a privilege and a boom to have the writer and director in the room at the same time.  That’s not always the situation.  Sometimes the case is that you can’t criticize the writing because the writer isn’t there, and then you can’t complain about the directing to the writer because they’re one in the same person.  Julia has been amazingly generous and complimentary.

Why should people see Crossing Jerusalem at Park Theatre?

Good question since you’re going to spend good money to see something that can be harrowing at times.  It’s quite sad at certain moments.  I think the reason I chose to do this is because, the way Julia wrote it, it’s very even handed.  She bad mouths and praises Jews, Muslims, and Christians.  She gives a balanced account of what it must feel like being surrounded by death every day.  God forbid we have a terrorist attack and live traumatized for the next 10 years, but these people live it every single day of their lives.  I can’t imagine how it must be like.

I think the reason why I’d like people to experience Crossing Jerusalem is to see what life’s like, but to think, “Can I offer some solution?” “Can I help in the way I approach things?” “Can I not look at everybody who has a different opinion as me like a gorilla or a terrorist?” “Can I not put everybody down who’s a different generation to me?”  “Can I understand that?” Maybe if all did that we might have less war, war, war, and more jaw, jaw, jaw.

Crossing Jerusalem – Written and Directed by Julia Pascal

Synopsis: Set during the 2002 intifada, and just before the invasion of Iraq, Crossing Jerusalem is a potent and dynamic exploration of the theatre of war. The play describes 24 hours in the life of an Israeli family who cross Jerusalem to eat in an Arab village. In the course of a single day Arab and Jewish histories burst into the present in the most politically tense city in the world.

Venue & Address: Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP
Telephone booking number: 020 7870 6876
Booking website: www.parktheatre.co.uk
Direct link to book tickets online click here

Opening and closing dates: Dates: Tues 4 August – Sat 29 August 2015 (Preview 4th and 5th August)
Times: 7.45pm Tues – Sat / Thu & Sat Matinees 3.15pm
Prices: £12.50 Previews / £18 Full / £15 Concessions /
£12.50 Tuesdays Residents with N.London postcode or Under 25s

Secret Listeners at The Jewish Museum 20/1/2013

Secret Listeners at The Jewish Museum
The Jewish Museum
Sunday 20th January 2012
2.30pm-4.30pm.
THE SECRET LISTENERS is a  Heritage Lottery Fund project based on the German and Austrian Jewish refugees who worked as Secret Listeners for the government during World War Two.

 In July 2012, we focused on Trent Park where German prisoners of war were bugged.
Our site-specific performance honoured the listeners and revealed evidence of the conversations that were recorded. This was rehearsed and performed with volunteers who were mentored by theatre and arts professionals as this is a learning project. We are also continuing to interview refugees as part of our outreach.
On January 20 we will present a short performance by young people from Edgware District Reform Synagogue inspired by those texts. This will be followed by a  film which shows the work done at Trent Park. A panel including Fritz Lustig, who worked as a Secret Listener during the war, Thomas Kampe, director of the installation, Mark Norfolk, film-maker, Jonathan Meth, educational team leader. Lesley Lightfoot from Trent Park/Middlesex University and Julia Pascal, producer, will reveal how such a large project was mounted. After this there is  Question and Answer time for the audience.

The Wedding Party at Ohrid Summer Festival 2012

Anna Savva stars in THE WEDDING PARTY at the Ohrid Festival, Macedonia. August 15 at 9pm.

A one act play.

What happens when a woman cop is faced with the man who killed the love of her life?
Should  Aella should torture her prisoner to make him reveal the name of the brains behind the violence or respect the bomber’s human rights.
Written and directed by Julia Pascal.
Designed by Claire Lyth.
Sound design by Kit Wilson.

Ohrid Summer Festival

Inspired by a lecture given by George Steiner at Birkbeck College, London University, spring 2012.

Learn more about The Secret Listeners online

You can also hear Jason Solomon talking to Julia Pascal as well as 93-year-old Fritz Lustig who was one of the real’Secret Listeners’ on the latest edition of the Sounds Jewish Podcast from The Guardian

Listen to Julia Pascal on the Sounds Jewish Podcast on guardian.co.uk

The Secret Listener website is now live and features booking information, a video and a blog about the development of the show. http://www.secretlisteners.com/

2012 News

New work is happening at a site-specific performance at Trent Park on July 22.

The Secret Listeners is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It is about the German Generals who were imprisoned in Trent Park during WW2 and who were listened to by German Jewish men and women working for the British government.

Watch this space for more news.

NEW WORK IN 2011

HONEYPOT  a new play by Julia Pascal premieres at The New Diorama Theatre October 11-30 2011. Set in Sweden, Israel and France, this new play explores one woman’s journey into the underworld of Mossad during the  Israeli revenge killings after the Munich Olympic Games murders.

Cast includes Jessica Claire and Paul Herzberg.

Directed by Orly Rabinyan.

Designed by Claire Lyth.

Lighting Design by Jessica Faulks.

Sound Design by Dan Hunt.

Press Officer Anne Mayer.

www.newdiorama.com

 

A staged reading of Pascal’s play THE RETURN is at The Jewish Museum November 13.   This has been funded by the European Association for Jewish Culture.

EDUCATION 2011

BETWEEN EAST AND WEST- THE BRITISH-BORN CHINESE
A NEW JOURNEY INTO A NEW COMMUNITY

Pascal Theatre are delighted to announce that we are the recipients of a £25,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant that will produce a series of photographs and interviews that focusses on the British-born Chinese community.
Led by photographer Mike Tsang, Pascal Theatre will support this project “Between East and West: The British Chinese”.
This project will document the lives and heritage of the British-born Chinese  to recognise the increasingly influential impact this diaspora has had on British culture.
Through production of photographic portraits and accompanying text interviews, we will also give a voice to an under-represented minority in Britain which  has had disproportionately little media exposure and currently no elected MP representative.  We also aim to celebrate the migration stories of these  families and their lives in Britain today.
This trailblazing project will  focus on photographs    and  interviews which  document aspects of  the lives of British-born Chinese.
Through the collection of old family photographs, we aim to illustrate the history of each family.  This work will conclude with an exhibition and an art book run designed to share experience and testimony  both with  community members and the wider London public.  The collection will be placed with museums and educational establishments with the goal of providing an archive contributing to the understanding of British and Asian heritage.
We will soon be engaging Londoners to participate in learning about this valuable legacy.  We welcome any stories of British-born Chinese heritage and look forward to hearing about them over the next year.

Gay and Lesbian Drama Workshops and Performance!

A Pascal Theatre Company project

in association with The Drill Hall

staying OUT late

An invitation to older LGBT people living in Camden to participate in free workshops

Philip Osment and Clare Summerskill will be running free workshops in January and February. These will provide an opportunity for you to contribute your thoughts/experiences, hopes and fears about care and ageing, to have a say in the debate and help to change attitudes.

Material from the workshops will be used to develop scenes and songs for a piece of theatre.

The dates are:

22 & 29 January 2011

5, 12, 19 & 26 February 2011

All Saturdays 1pm–4pm

To book a free place, contact Ags Irwin on

07860 248376 or member@agsirwin.freeserve.co.uk

Funded by the Emanuel Vincent Harris Trust and The Lottery.

16 Chenies Street

London WC1E  7EX

drillhall.co.uk

PERFORMANCES are March 31 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Booking from The Drill Hall Box Office. www.drillhall.co.uk