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

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.

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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.