AGS IRWIN 26 April 1949 to 6 May 2021

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Ags Irwin who was a great inspiration to the Company. At the end of her life, she generously contributed to our Giving Voice project, see more here.

We now wish to add a poem written during Covid, her bitter-sweet Lockdown Pie . She wrote it during the terrible year of confinement while undergoing treatment for cancer.

Ags never complained and she fought for every day of her life to be one of joy, humour and pleasure. She will be missed but we will always have her voice.

Lockdown Pie
By Ags Irwin
Read by Ruth Lass

WORLD THEATRE DAY 2021 – A REFLECTION

Theatre is international and transgressive. With its roots in circus, Commedia dell’arte and carnival, it is vulgar and challenging. 

What was my first theatre? Punch and Judy fighting in a booth on a Lancashire beach? A small dance band where I sang Que Sera, Sera as a precocious ten-year-old? Dancing in the Blackpool Summer Dance Festival? Daring to play Cleopatra at 17 with the local boys’ school? 

Was it watching May Britt and Sammy Davis Jr in Blue Angel with my Romanian grandparents in a Manchester cinema? (That was the nearest they could get to the European theatre they had lost.)  

Was it during my drama school training, when we toured Twelfth Night to an international theatre festival? I still see the other students and my teenage self, sitting in a sports stadium in Sofia as the Czechs theatrically demonstrated against the Russian invasion…

This past year there has been no theatre. But the impulse to write drama is unstoppable. I have written two new plays and tidied up older ones. I have Zoomed and supported others, who did not know they could, to make theatre from their own lives, as part of our Giving Voice project. I am currently plotting new ways to make performance outside as we move away from the plague.

No virus can stop drama. It is the modus operandi of our politicians and our semi-feudal monarchy. We crave theatre, the show, the performance, the play. Only in English is it ‘the play’. In French, it is une pièce de théâtre; in German, ein Theaterstück: a theatre piece. But in the English language we play, and when the virus is dead, we shall play as we have never played before.

Julia Pascal, Artistic Director of Pascal Theatre Company

Lost Jews & One Lost Stone COVID-19 UPDATE

Following the UK Government’s guidelinesPascal Theatre Company’s project Discovering and Documenting Lost Jews continues online.

We plan to engage and entertain you with our ambitious and interactive installation on 5th July. We will be hosting interactive workshops for young people and those of all ages.

We look forward to welcoming you in to our activities as soon as possible.

For more information please see https://www.lostjews.org.uk/

Do you have a couple of hours to spare?

Interviewing Skills for Oral History and Podcasting Workshop

Do you have a couple of hours to spare on the afternoon of Sunday 30 June at Edgware & Hendon Reform Synagogue? We need interviewees to help out with our Interviewing Skills for Oral History and Podcasting Workshop. As part of the project we are working with young people aged 14-16 to help them gain skills in interviewing and podcasting techniques with the added aim of helping to raise their confidence and introducing them to different ways of communicating. We need six Sephardim willing to be interviewed and have their stories transformed into a podcast for EHRS and for the Lost Jews project. If you do have some time available to help us, or would like more information, please get in touch with Polly at volunteer@lostjews.org.uk for further details.

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.

Research Volunteers Needed for Discovering & Documenting England’s Lost Jews

Are you curious? Are you well organised? Are you interested in undertaking research? Would you like to contribute to our project?

Discovering & Documenting England’s Lost Jews delves into the heritage of the Sephardim who have settled in this country since the 17th century. A vital part of our project focuses on researching aspects of this exciting history. We will be looking into key political events of an English state turned upside down by Oliver Cromwell at a time of fervent religious debate.

Questions we will ask are what was it like to be a Sephardi Jew – secretly or openly – in a country that had known no Jews for centuries? What did the Jews find in England? What did the English make of the Jews who arrived? What did the Jews bring with them to the host society? What language did the Jews speak when they fled persecution by the Catholic Inquisition? And we need your help to find the answers.

We will explore how the Jewish communities, who trickled in to England, gradually led to their acceptance as citizens.  Elements of our research will be fed in to our site-specific performance One Lost Stone on 22 September at Novo Cemetery. Our discoveries will also inform our programme of educational workshops.

Our drama workshop at Bevis Marks Synagogue in February 2019 exploring the English history taught in many schools and the significant dates and events included in historical timelines.

Eight historical moments are key to our research:

  1. Historical antecedent: the expulsion of Jews from England in 1290.
  2. The Sephardi exodus: expulsion and departure of Jews from Spain and Portugal at the end of the 15th century.
  3. The tiny community of secret Jews (crypto-Jews) in England during the 16th and earlier 17th centuries.
  4. The circumstances around the re-admittance of Jews in the 1650s.
  5. The slow growth of the Sephardi community following re-admittance, in the second half of the 17th century.
  6. The Jewish Naturalisation Act 1753, and its subsequent repeal.
  7. Sephardi Jews prominent in 19th century British society.
  8. The 20th century wave of ‘new’ Sephardi immigration.

If you are interested in volunteering or would like to know more about this, please contact Stéphane Goldstein, at stephane@lostjews.org.uk.

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.

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

Bevis Marks Workshops

Pascal Theatre Company presents a series of three drama led workshops that examine the history of Sephardi Jews who came to England during the seventeenth century and beyond. Each workshop will cover different aspects of Sephardi history and culture.

The workshops are free and also include a tour of the venue, Bevis Marks Synagogue, London. The workshops run 10am – 12pm.

Book now as places are limited.

Sunday 20th January 2019
HIDING, SECRECY AND REVEALING – The Crypto Jews. This workshop looks at the history of the Crypto Jews: these were Jews who hid their identity and lived as Christians.

To book tickets click here.

Sunday 27th January 2019
NOVO CEMETERY – This workshop looks at the history of the Novo Cemetery in Queen Mary University, Mile End and will use drama to engage with, and explore, some of the stories and lives of the people buried there.

To book tickets click here.

Sunday 3rd February 2019
A REIMAGINED TIME LINE – Adding in Sephardi Hidden Histories. This workshop looks at the English history taught in many schools and the significant dates and events included in historical timelines. We will explore the histories that are hidden in the traditional narrative.

To book tickets click here.

Don’t forget to sign up to our mailing list to receive news about other workshops, volunteering opportunities and performances, and to discover hidden secrets and stories of Sephardi culture that have enriched the English way of life for centuries.

Posted in Uncategorised

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

Photos from St. Joan, London 2015

 

Juliet Dante, Rachel Harper und Samantha Pearl, in Aktion beim Theaterstueck “St Joan” von Julia Pascal, aufgenommen am Freitag, 22. Mai 2015, im Gasometer in Triesen. Regie fuehrte die Liechtensteinerin Katrin Hilbe. Foto & Copyright: Eddy Risch

Crossing Jerusalem Actor Profile: Waleed Elgadi

Waleed Elgadi as YUSUF KHALLIL

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 Waleed Elgadi and I play Yusuf Khallilin Crossing Jerusalem.

To describe him he is the acting patriarch of the Khallil family.  He is the only source of income for the family as his father is sick and elderly, and he tries to be the guiding figure for his younger brother. As the play progresses, Yusuf discovers that the other family in the play were the employers of his father when he was a young child.  He’s quite an aspirational person. He wants to be educated. He wants his brother, Sharif, to be educated. Yusuf has street smarts but has decided not to go down the same route as his brother. He is perhaps jaded by all the death he has seen and has decided to play the role of the dutiful son. He therefore does things very much by the book and can sometimes see the world only in black or white.  He doesn’t see violence or conflict as a solution to his living situation.

Besides being the eldest of 5 siblings, there is a 14 year age gap between your character and Sharif.  What kind of strain does that put on the relationship between the brothers?

I think Sharif, being the baby of the family, does adopt him as a father figure. One of the great tragedies for these two is that Yusuf takes the stance of an authoritative figure instead of being a friend to his younger brother. He tries too hard to be the father, mother, everything for Sharif and consequently comes off as ancient in Sharif’s eyes. With Sharif full of the anger or hot headedness of youth Yusuf becomes a stereotype to him, someone he can’t relate to.

How are rehearsals going so far?

It’s been a really fun process so far.  Everything’s been going very well, I don’t want to jinx it! Its a luxury having a director that’s also the writer in the room. Often, when the writer isn’t present, you’re scared as an actor to change the words because you don’t want to cause offense. We can discuss topics, the process is open and free and we’re allowed to experiment. From the table read it was obvious that we were in a good place.  Everyone came with a solid bag of tricks and knew what they were doing and had a good idea of who the characters are. I think Julia Pascal has a great cast but then again I’m biased!

The big question, why should people come see Crossing Jerusalem?

You should come because it’s more than a piece of theatre about the Israeli – Palestinian conflict.  It’s about families, about dysfunction, about how one lives within the backdrop of this conflict.  It’s a great piece of drama but it also has some comedic parts to it.  There are a couple of characters that are very funny and we’ll have some laugh out loud moments throughout the piece.  But you should come see it because it’s a really good piece of writing.  It’s a passionate play which is quite indicative of the region.

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: Alistair Toovey

Alistair Toovey as SHARIF KHALLIL
Alistair Toovey as SHARIF KHALLIL

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 Alistair Toovey and I’m playing Sharif Khallil.  He is the younger brother of Yusuf.  In the play we see him battling with moral issues, against his brother, and against different generations in the play about what he thinks is right and wrong.

Can you elaborate more about the generation gap between you and your brother in the play and how that affects the events of the story?

I think the generation gap isn’t an issue until the play, so before the play I don’t know whether it was too much of a problem.  On this day, when the play takes place over 24 hours, it suddenly is an issue since his brother can’t understand.  He’s not one of the guys, one of the kids, not on the streets; you don’t know what it’s like because Yusuf is old.  I say to Sammy, the restaurant owner, “You’re old, you’re wrinkled, and my friend that just died will never grow old enough to grow a beard.  How can you possibly understand?”  It’s his naivetivity and his tragedy.

Can you relate to your character at all?

Yeah.  Maybe as a teenager around 16, hearing advice from older people and just not taking it in.  With it going way over your head because you just don’t think they understand, but they have been in the same or similar situation.

How are rehearsals going with Julia Pascal so far?

She’s really great.  Julia is the writer and director.  It’s a great mix.  I love digging into the text and finding as much as I can, and even when you get to a point where you’re stuck, it’s a gift to be able to turn to her and ask, “What were you thinking at this point?  Am I on the right track of discovering something?” She can point you on the right track.  It’s great.

Why should people see Crossing Jerusalem?

People should see Crossing Jerusalem because it’s rare that you find a piece that was written in 2002 that’s even more important and prevalent today than it was then.  Maybe not more important but nothing has changed.  If not, things have gotten worse.  This play doesn’t pick sides.  There’s no ‘Pro’ this side or that, or in a religious context, it’s a completely even debate.  It’s fascinating and enlightening.

 

CJFront700x700

 

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

Introducing The Cast Of Crossing Jerusalem

 

 

CJ POSTER Front

Ladies and gentlemen, the cast of Crossing Jerusalem.  Check back daily for a different featured profile of each cast member, leading up to the first night of previews at Park Theatre on Tuesday, August 4th.

For tickets and information:

https://www.parktheatre.co.uk/whats-on/crossing-jerusalem

Below is the full cast.

Louisa Clein as LIORA (LEE) KAUFMANN
Louisa Clein as LIORA (LEE) KAUFMANN

Waleed Elgadi as YUSUF KHALLIL
Waleed Elgadi as YUSUF KHALLIL

Adi Lerer as YAEL KAUFMANN
Adi Lerer as YAEL KAUFMANN

Andy Lucas as SAMMY
Andy Lucas as SAMMY

David Ricardo-Pearce as GIDEON KAUFMANN
David Ricardo-Pearce as GIDEON KAUFMANN

Chris Spyrides as SERGE GOLDSTEIN
Chris Spyrides as SERGE GOLDSTEIN

Alistair Toovey as SHARIF KHALLIL
Alistair Toovey as SHARIF KHALLIL

Trudy Weiss as VARDA KAUFMANN GOLDSTEIN
Trudy Weiss as VARDA KAUFMANN GOLDSTEIN

CJ POSTER Back

Crossing Jerusalem at The Park Theatre 4-29 August 2015

by Julia Pascal

Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP

Previews: 4 Aug 2015
Press Night: 5 Aug 2015 (7pm)
Plays until: 29 Aug 2015

Performances
Tue – Sat Evenings 19.45
Thu & Sat Matinees 15.15

Jerusalem at the height of the last intifada. A wife wants to celebrate her 30th birthday. A husband does not want to have a son. A businesswoman wants to sell an apartment block.  A daughter wants to shock her mother. A brother wants to kill soldiers. A soldier wants to stop soldiering.  Israeli Jews, Arabs and Palestians all meet on one day as bombs explode.

TICKET AND INFORMATION  :
https://www.parktheatre.co.uk/whats-on/crossing-jerusalem

St Joan comes to London, for two nights only!

We are delighted to be able to bring our 5 star Edinburgh Fringe show to London, for two nights only!

St Joan

7th May 2015 to 8th May 2015 – 8.00pm

The Courtyard Theatre, Bowling Green Walk, 40 Pitfield Street, London N1 6EU
Liverpool St / Old Street / Shoreditch High St.

Price: £10, £8 Concession

Bookings & Info : www.thecourtyard.org.uk/whatson/565/st-joan

Facebook : www.facebook.com/stjoantheplay

PASCAL THEATRE BOOSTED BY DONATION FROM SANTANDER FOUNDATION

Pascal Theatre has received a grant from Santander. The donation was provided by the Santander Foundation which offers grants to UK registered charities for projects that help disadvantaged people in local communities.

“The Santander Foundation makes hundreds of donations every year to good causes throughout the UK. Our branch is committed to playing a key part in the community and we are delighted to be supporting Pascal Theatre, and hope the donation makes a real difference to local people.”

 

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St Joan Rides into Edinburgh Fringe

What happens when a Black Jewish Londoner dreams she is Joan of Arc? How can she overturn history? These are some of the tantalising questions behind Julia Pascal’s imaginative satire on nationalism.

Three women of different ages and ethnicities are Joan journeying back to medieval France, walking through nineteenth century Africa and shadowing the ghettoes of twentieth century Europe.

Can today’s Joan save a young Moroccan immigrant about to drown in the Seine?

St Joan is at  the Bedlam Theatre, Venue 49, 11b Bristo Place Edinburgh EH1 1EZ

2nd – 24th August 2014 at 16:30. Show length 60 minutes.

 

About the Production:

Pascal Theatre Company, ManyTracks Inc. & Add2 Productions present St  Joan

Written by Julia Pascal. Directed by Katrin Hilbe.  Designed by Kati Hind.

This new collaboration from London/ Paris, Sheffield and New York brings together three experienced artists to explore history through women’s eyes.

Pascal Theatre Company, under Julia Pascal’s artistic direction, is a London-based Registered Charity. It has concentrated on New Writing since 1985. With BBC Children In Need funding, it also works with disadvantaged young people. Projects use theatre, film, site specific performance and training. Over the past ten years the Company produced three major Heritage Lottery-funded projects.St Joan marks Pascal Theatre Company’s Edinburgh Festival debut.

ManyTracks Inc. was established in 2009 and founded by Katrin Hilbe. New York-based it is focused on engaging, mind-provoking theatre that values asking questions over providing answers. ManyTracks presented the five star winner Breaking the Silence at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival and is keen to return with St Joan to build on last year’s success.

Add2 Productions is a new venture headed by Kati Hind. The Company  collaborates with other artists to produce top quality, ground-breaking theatre.  St Joan is its first production  and has been selected by Add2  because it  unites complex textual elements, chorus- based work and highly physical performances. St Joan will be staged in an abstract world of steel to create the rough and exciting journey Joan makes from stake to horse!

Tickets:  www.edfringe.com or from the venue box office  0131 629 0430.

Press Enquiries to Janey Klein 020 7383 0920

More information on the play : www.stjoantheplay.com
St Joan’s email     info@stjoantheplay.com

Follow us on twitter
@stjoantheplay

Facebook                                                                                                                            https://www.facebook.com/stjoantheplay.

Venue
www.bedlamfringe.co.uk
info@bedlamtheatre.co.uk

PASCAL THEATRE COMPANY
www.pascal-theatre.com
35 Flaxman Court
Flaxman Terrace
London WC1H 9AR
Registered Charity 291910

EDRS Secret Listeners Review

A review of the Secret Listens Project written by the young people from the Edgware District Reform Synagogue who took part in the workshop at the Jewish Museum.

On the 20th January 2013, 3 pupils braved the snow on a trip to the Jewish Museum in Camden. Leon Hirsh, Millie Bard and Jonathan Lubin from the EDRS religion school and were accompanied by Nigel Williams, Ben Braverman and Hannah Mendoza-Wolfson. When we arrived we were greeted by two ladies from a West End production company called Del and Ariel; who we worked with throughout the morning learning about the Secret Listeners and what happened at Trent Park in London.
The Secret Listeners were a group of German-speaking translators who put the Germans in a place of luxury in the form of Trent Park in North London to give them a false sense of security so the translators could listen in to the conversations to gain intelligence that would help the Allied forces in Europe. They worked in a separate outhouse in Trent Park in room called the M-Room were they operated.
Once we were comfortable with the topic, we then from scratch started to form ideas on a small production to present in the afternoon. We were all intrigued by the ways that the British manipulated the German Generals into releasing information on the on-going conflict in Europe and the Concentration Camps. We rehearsed our small show in the hall just before lunch with an audience just about reaching five. When we arrived back after lunch we were shocked to see that in the twenty minutes were gone, so many people had arrived and there was an audience of over 60 were now sitting waiting for the show to start. We had not realised that it wasn’t just us presenting but actually a small convention about the Secret Listeners.
After our performance, there was a short Q&A with just us 3 kids. We were also shown a short film made by a man called Mark Norfolk featuring Fritz Lustig, one of the only remaining Secret Listeners. After the film there was another panel discussion with Mark Norfolk (editor), Thomas Kampe (director), Julia Pascal (producer), Mike Tsang (photographer), Nick Ryan (audio), and Jonathon Meth (playwright) along with Fritz Lustig. Jonny and Millie participated in the panel discussion, both asking Fritz their questions. We arrived back at Edgware Station, excited to tell our parents about our amazing experience.
We would like to thank Nigel, Ben and Hannah for taking us, even on that very snowy day.
Millie Bard and Jonathan Lubin

Nineveh

Nineveh, a new play by Julia Pascal and directed by Ailin Conant opens at Riverside Studios, April 16-May 11 2013
Presented by Theatre Témoin.
Once there was a boy. The war had taken his hands and arms. When he went home, his family didn’t recognise him. “You have no arms”, they said, “you are not our son”. They threw him into the river, where a giant fish swallowed him…
Three former soldiers are trapped in a whale. When a boy from another war zone arrives, they are forced to deal with their own pasts.

Inspired by true stories told by child soldiers and ex-combatants from across the world; collected by Ailin Conant during a year of creative work in Kashmir, Israel, Lebanon, and Rwanda.

RUNNING TIME

60 minutes with no interval.

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/

THE SECRET LISTENERS

Pascal Theatre Company production 2012.
THE SECRET LISTENERS at Middlesex University, Trent Park,  Sunday July 22 2012.
Site-specific installation reveals secrets of when the British bugged Nazis in a Middlesex mansion
German and Austrian refugees – many of them Jewish – who had fled Nazi Germany before the Second World War, were recruited by British intelligence to spy on top-ranking Nazi prisoners in a secret project based at an Enfield mansion.
Now this secret work will be explored  in an event  at Trent Park – the place where it happened. The project has been made possible by a grant  from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Pascal Theatre Company, working with Middlesex University, The Jewish Military Museum, The Jewish Museum and the Wiener Library, will train up 20 young volunteers to undertake the research needed to pull the information together. Trent Park is currently home to Middlesex University where the performance is scheduled for 22 July, 2012.
The project, called The Secret Listeners, will show how the refugees provided vital information because of their extensive knowledge not only of the German language but also cultural traditions. They recorded and made detailed transcripts of private conversations between Nazi senior officers, which yielded valuable strategic information to the Allies, including to what extent the German army was aware of and implicated in the Holocaust.
Nazi prisoners, including many generals and other high-ranking officers, lived a relatively comfortable existence in the mansion, previously the home of the Sassoon family, and where Charlie Chaplin and Lawrence of Arabia had once been house guests.  The British plan was to make the POW’s feel relaxed enough to discuss issues among themselves, unaware that every room throughout the building was bugged.
Young people working on the project will be recruited from students and graduates at the University as well as volunteers from the North London Jewish Community. They will have access to transcripts of the original recordings held in the National Archives.
A subsequent performance of the resulting drama will be held at The Jewish Museum in 2013  and a permanent record of the project will be available at the University and the Jewish Military Museum.
For the Heritage Lottery Fund, Head of HLF London Sue Bowers said: “This is a fascinating but little-known slice of national history which underlines the vital contribution made by this group of refugees. The young people taking part will help ensure that the story is much more widely known while at the same time gaining a range of valuable skills.”
Director Thomas Kampe
Sound Designer Nick Ryan
Artistic Consultant Adam Ganz
Further information
Julia Pascal, Director, Pascal Theatre Company, on: 020 7383 0920, email pascaltheatrecompany@gmail.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

New York Times Review for The Dybbuk in New York

View the review on the New York Times website here.

“The Dybbuk,” the 1914 play written by S. Ansky that is a pre-eminent work of Yiddish theater, dramatizes the Ashkenazi Jewish myth of a dislocated soul that inhabits a living person. Ansky’s play itself has something of a shape-shifting spirit, revised many times for the stage, film, dance and even opera. In revisiting the story, the English playwright and director Julia Pascal, who has often mined Jewish themes for their universality, has framed it in the context of the Holocaust, powerfully elevating a folk tale to an existential meditation.

First performed in London in 1992, Ms. Pascal’s “Dybbuk” toured widely in Europe but hasn’t been performed in the United States until now, as part of a new four-week Dream Up Festival at the Theater for the New City.

In this exceptional rendering a dybbuk’s essence is simplified. It is the soul of a person who has died too early, and the play opens with a monologue by Judith (Juliet Dante), a contemporary British Jew describing a trip to Germany. Unable to shake her thoughts of the generations lost to the Nazis, Judith is haunted by the faces she sees in dreams — her own dybbuks.

The scene changes to a wartime ghetto, and Judith becomes one of five Jews living in too-close quarters on little more than fear and memories. When not imagining banquets to feast on, the five — none terribly religious — obsess over what has befallen them. But as the play notes, it doesn’t matter how you define yourself when others are hijacking your identity for their own purposes. Eventually the group unifies culturally, chanting Kaddish, the mourning prayer, and acting out parts of Ansky’s tale, including a vivid dance of possession.

This production, directed by Ms. Pascal and designed by Thomas Kampe, makes ingenious use of simple props like blankets and ladders to convey the debased poverty of the ghetto, the customs of Ansky’s shtetl life, even the grinding forces that confront these souls. The cast members all handle multiple roles unflappably yet with urgency, giving numerous characters colorings of their own.

“Dybbuk” builds to a remarkable climax, with layers of sounds — the barking of orders, the chugging of trains — punctuating a trip to the death camps. To the swelling strains of Mozart’s Requiem, the ensemble depicts dozens of passengers, gaunt and ravaged, disembarking to meet their doom. Well after the play ends, this harrowing image holds fast.

The Dybbuk in New York

The Dybbuk is having its US professional premiere at New York’s The Theater for the New City, 10-25 August where it will be part of the Dream Up Festival.

The performances take place at 7pm weekdays and 2pm Saturdays.

Written and Directed by Julia Pascal,
Design and Movement Direction: Thomas Kampe.

Cast:
Juliet Dante
Stefan Karsberg
Adi Lerer
Simeon Perlin
Anna Savva