A MANCHESTER GIRLHOOD:  A REFLECTION ON OUR NORTHERN TOUR AND PRODUCTIONS IN LONDON APRIL & MAY 2023

Julia Pascal

A Manchester Girlhood.

Blackpool’s Old Electric Theatre

Manchester’s Jewish Museum

Burgh House, Hampstead, Camden, London

JW3, Camden, London

April-May 2023

Pascal Theatre Company’s spring mini-tour to Blackpool and Manchester was highly successful. A Manchester Girlhood is the story of three Manchester Jewish sisters, daughters of Romanian parents and their journey from childhood to death. Our northern premiere of A Manchester Girlhood was at the Old Electric Theatre in Springfield Road, Blackpool. It was April and out of season but the sun was unusually strong.  Although the production had been staged in 2019 as Three Sisters, produced by Rosemary Hill’s company The Play’s The Thing, the text was edited and the production was different. Of the original five performers, three were new.  Taking the roles of the three sisters, Pearl, Edith and Isabel were Amanda Maud, Giselle Wolf and Lesley Lightfoot. Their parents Esther and Emanuel were played by Rosie Yadid and Eoin O’Dubhghaill. Eoin also played several male roles.  This production was far more musical than the first owing to the extraordinary singing skills of the company.

Continue reading “A MANCHESTER GIRLHOOD:  A REFLECTION ON OUR NORTHERN TOUR AND PRODUCTIONS IN LONDON APRIL & MAY 2023”

WOMEN FOR WOMEN: 19th Century Women in Bloomsbury

We continue to uncover trailblazing 19th century women whose voices should be heard and shared. We recognise the barriers women faced, celebrate their achievements and hold them up as inspiration to others, particularly in these challenging times.

We are very grateful for the wonderful tributes that we are collecting. Keep checking the website to see who has been added: Introduction and Women – Pascal Theatre Company (pascal-theatre.com)

Here we share Ellie Smolenaars’ blog celebrating Harriet Martineau.

Credit: Harriet Martineau. Wood engraving. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) was a 19th century British writer, journalist, sociologist and political commentator. Her series of British Illustrations of Political Economy achieved bestseller status, she published a methodology for sociological research in How to Observe Morals and Manners, and wrote many books, comments, essay, letters and stories. Read about her in this short sociologically inspired biography and discover her works for yourselves. Because, what is important in Martineau’s work: she trusts her readers.

Continue reading “WOMEN FOR WOMEN: 19th Century Women in Bloomsbury”

Pascal Theatre Company returns from Blackpool and Manchester

After successful showings in the north,

A MANCHESTER GIRLHOOD

Moves to London:

17th May 2023, 7.00pm at Burgh House, Hampstead
What’s On | Events | A Manchester Girlhood | Burgh House

21-23 May 2023 at 7.30pm at JW3, West Hampstead
https://www.jw3.org.uk/whats-on/manchester-girlhood

SOUND RECORDING OF A MANCHESTER GIRLHOOD by Julia Pascal
Cast
Esther: Rosie Yadid
Emanuel, Albert, Cecil, Vicar, André: Eoin O’Dubhghaill
Isabel: Lesley Lightfoot
Edith: Giselle Wolf
Pearl: Amanda Maud
Sound Design: Shock Audio Visual Ltd

“A brilliant piece of theatre.” Lost In Theatreland

“Joyous and poignant and funny and sad.” HonoraryMancBlog

“Brilliantly emotive and educational.” Lost In Theatreland

“One of the main takeaways from this piece was Pascal’s dedication to telling female stories, empowering all the women in the play.” Lost In Theatreland

“Pascal’s work tugs at the heartstrings, offering a voice for their untold stories, as the girls navigate education, marriage, love, religion, and identity.” Lost In Theatreland

“This play really put things into perspective of our lives and what our immigrant parents went through to get us where we are today and Pascal captured that in A Manchester Girlhood.” I Love Manchester

“A Manchester Girlhood ‘moves in time and space’…The characters depicted as ‘children, young, mature and elderly women’…it was a masterclass.” HonoraryMancBlog

UNMISSABLE, INTELLIGENT AND INTIMATE I Love Manchester

A Manchester Girlhood – at Manchester Jewish Museum Review

Read the review here :

Pascal Theatre Company NOW in Blackpool and Manchester

A Manchester Girlhood shows:

20 April 2023, 7pm at the Old Electric Theatre, Blackpool:  https://theoldelectric.co.uk/whats-on/list/?tribe-bar-search=A+MANCHESTER+GIRLHOOD

23 April 2023, 7pm at Manchester Jewish Museum:https://www.manchesterjewishmuseum.com/event/a-manchester-girlhood/

INTERVIEWS:

Listen to Julia Pascal interviewed for Salford City Radio Kaleidoscope with Jill Bowyer : https://www.salfordcityradio.org/listen.php listen live 20 April at 16:15 or Listen again – (canstream.co.uk)

Listen to Giselle Wolf interviewed for BBC Radio Manchester: BBC Radio Manchester interview with Giselle Wolf: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/live:bbc_radio_manchester listen live Sunday 23/04 at 9:20am.

A MANCHESTER GIRLHOOD MOVES TO LONDON IN MAY:

17th May 2023, 7.00pm at Burgh House, Hampstead

What’s On | Events | A Manchester Girlhood | Burgh House

21-23 May 2023 at 7.30pm at JW3, West Hampstead
https://www.jw3.org.uk/whats-on/manchester-girlhood

April Premieres

Pascal Theatre Company takes the train!

A Manchester Girlhoodwritten and directed by Julia Pascal, performed by Lesley Lightfoot,  Amanda Maud, Eoin O’Dubhghaill, Giselle Wolf and Rosie Yadid tours to the north and returns to London.

Competition. Rivalry. War. Racism. Religion. Women’s Education. Passion. Women’s Rights. Arranged Marriage.

These are central themes in Julia Pascal’s witty and dynamic new play. This radical, multi-layered theatre work uses Brechtian cabaret and Greek stage techniques to explore 20th century Jewish exile from Europe. It reveals the effects of identity-crisis, the struggle for women’s freedom, intense family rivalry and the dilemma of marriage. This script is fuelled by a desire to show major recent historical events through the eyes of girls and women.

cast: Lesley Lightfoot,  Amanda Maud, Eoin O’Dubhghaill, Giselle Wolf, Rosie Yadid

20 April 2023, 7pm at the Old Electric Theatre, Blackpool,
Booking:  https://theoldelectric.co.uk/whats-on/list/?tribe-bar-search=A+MANCHESTER+GIRLHOOD

23 April 2023, 7pm at Manchester Jewish Museum
Booking: https://www.manchesterjewishmuseum.com/event/a-manchester-girlhood/

Showing in London:

17th May 2023, 7.00pm at Burgh House, Hampstead

21-23 May 2023 at 7.30pm at JW3, West Hampstead
https://www.jw3.org.uk/whats-on/manchester-girlhood

World Poetry Day 2023

Today is World Poetry Day. We celebrate poetry as the world’s oldest form of storytelling but who was the world’s first poet? What was her name? That we don’t know. But today we want to honour Christina Rossetti.

commons.wikimedia.org

Christina Rossetti is so utterly of today that we need to lift her out of the 19th century and into our own.

In Entrapment she writes: 

I wish and I wish I were a man.

This is not about wanting to be transgender. It is about longing for equal power.

 Her thoughts continue as she writes that she wishes to be  

Not a body and not a soul:
Not so much as a grain of dust
.

What a sense of self-abnegation she projects and how familiar this is.

 In an Artist’s Studio she captures the objectification of the model:

Not as she is, but as she fills his dream.

How sharply Rosetti critiques female stereotypes.

A nameless girl in freshest summer-greens,

A saint, an angel.

The model isanonymous, pure and sexless.

Rosetti’s genius has been forgotten for too long. Was she ahead of her time or are we still way behind our own? Patriarchy rules forever?

Entrapment

Read by Julia Pascal: 

From The Antique Lyrics – Christina Rossetti

It’s a weary life, it is, she said:
Doubly blank in a woman’s lot:
I wish and I wish I were a man:
Or, better then any being, were not:


Were nothing at all in all the world,
Not a body and not a soul:
Not so much as a grain of dust
Or a drop of water from pole to pole.


Still the world would wag on the same,
Still the seasons go and come:
Blossoms bloom as in days of old,
Cherries ripen and wild bees hum.

woman framed by a man:

In an Artist’s Studio – Christina Rossetti

Read by Julia Pascal: 

One face looks out from all his canvases,

One selfsame figure sits or walks or leans:

We found her hidden just behind those screens,

That mirror gave back all her loveliness.

A queen in opal or in ruby dress,

A nameless girl in freshest summer-greens,

A saint, an angel — every canvas means

The same one meaning, neither more or less.

He feeds upon her face by day and night,

And she with true kind eyes looks back on him,

Fair as the moon and joyful as the light:

Not wan with waiting, not with sorrow dim;

Not as she is, but was when hope shone bright;

Not as she is, but as she fills his dream.

Ellen Frantz interviews leadership coach Annette Corbett to mark International Women’s Day 2023

Listen to the interview:

Ellen Frantz interviewed Annette Corbett for Pascal Theatre Company to hear her experience and views of women as leaders.

Full text here:

Excerpts below:

What made you start a women in leadership business?

What I was seeing is that women didn’t want to call themselves leaders, and I wanted to help them think about “Why is that?” and “What does leadership look like for them?” and “How can they express it in a way that feels more aligned with who they are?”

How do you think that women can be empowered to see themselves as leaders?

What I see a lot with women who I consider to be leaders, even if they don’t necessarily consider themselves to be leaders yet, is that they’re very collaborative. And I think because that’s not necessarily a value that we’ve valued ….that’s part of why they don’t think of themselves as leaders. So, .. my definition of leadership is really broad in that if you see that there’s a change that you want to make, and you are taking responsibility for making that change, that means you’re a leader.

How are women using their skills to overcome issues they face in the workplace?

for myself … but also for a lot of women I work with – they tend to be kind of perfectionists and people pleasers is how I describe them. So, we don’t want to get stuff wrong. We don’t really necessarily want to ask lots of questions because we feel like we should know the stuff. But when we come together as a group, then it feels easier to ask what might feel like stupid questions because we recognise that there are lots of other people in the room who feel the same. And I think that skill of communication and kindness that so many women have is really valuable in supporting each other to face that more challenging environment in the workplace.

Can you suggest some inspirational women role models?

I was particularly thinking of Bessie Boothroyd actually at the moment because of her passing away, was it 93? I was really stunned by her history when I was watching the news last night, and they did a bit of a breakdown of her life story. … I was like, wow, how did we not know this story before? This amazing woman. And there’s so many different facets of her and her good humour but her power as well, and that combination of being able to hold such a male dominated environment like the House of Commons and make sure everyone was behaving themselves.

And Nicola Sturgeon … there was a quote of her talking right near the end of her career; she’s saying something like, I went, I know, at the right time. And again, it was that sense of recognising there was a mission that was wider than her that she was serving. So, she was leading from this – I talk about leading from a place of service – she was leading from a place of service rather than wanting to hold onto power, and she recognised when it was time to let go and pass it onto someone else.

There are the ones in the background …who could be inspiring if we knew more about them. ..that made me think of one of Pascal Theatre Company’s projects [Women for Women]…all these untold stories that we know so little about. The idea that anonymous is often the woman in these stories. And it’s these women who are really leading the way and at the forefront of developing amazing things that we don’t even know unless we do the research because it’s just not a story that’s told.

Annette Corbett   Annette Corbett • Coaching

Women for Women: Introduction and Women – Pascal Theatre Company (pascal-theatre.com)

International Women’s Day 2023

Ada Lovelace invented the computer in the 18th century. Only in the 21st is her name becoming spoken about so it is not surprising that 19th century women, who fought for equal rights in all fields, are still buried. Monuments to male achievements dominate all countries’ national monuments and street names? Where are the women?

We are aware of so many whose names deserve our recognition. Among those are Elizabeth Jesser Reid who founded Ladies College (renamed Bedford College) to offer higher education to women, Sophia Jex Blake, who opened the London School of Medicine for Women, Eleanor Marx whose actions and writings have been obscured by masculinist Marxists and historians, Eliza Orme, the first woman to obtain a law degree in England who worked as an unofficial legal practitioner, women unable to qualify as barristers or solicitors until Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919. To celebrate the work of these activists is to challenge patriarchy which dominates every country in the world. 

In the Lottery Heritage Fund project Women for Women we are discovering so many whose names have been whitewashed from the national memory. They fought for female entrance into the arts, business, law, politics, medicine, sciences, social reform, philosophy. Without them our education system would be the poorer. Without them women would never have been allowed to enter male-only institutions or consider professions considered unsuitable for women. Without them we might still be under laws which prevent women owning property or our own bodies.

The work is not finished. Honouring these 19th century women empowers girls and women today and makes us realise that we are standing on the strong shoulders of those fearless women who came before us. We are now unearthing those whose names have been buried. We will continue excavating to honour these female ancestors who still empower the living and the not-yet-born.

Learn about women we should celebrate here: Introduction and Women – Pascal Theatre Company (pascal-theatre.com)

3 Interactive Workshops Kilburn Older Voices Exchange April 2023

As Happy As God In France

Burgh House 26 January 2023

A hidden story of women’s imprisonment, for the crime of being exiled Jews was witnessed by over 80 people last night. My play As Happy As God In France, an epic about 8,000 arrestees, was performed by five women on a handkerchief-sized playing space at Burgh House. The audience wanted to talk about the shock of this 1940 history and the voices of the unknown, the unheard and the unseen. Last night they were seen and honoured.

Pascal Theatre Company Winter/Spring Newsletter 2023

Coming Up in 2023

As Happy As God In France

Burgh House 26 January 2023

We will mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 with a semi-staged reading of AS HAPPY AS GOD IN FRANCE by Julia Pascal, which explores a little known incident in the life of  German Jews Hannah Arendt, Charlotte Salomon and Eva Daube in the chaotic weeks between Armistice and Occupation. 

Supported by the Cockayne Foundation and the London Community Foundation.

Line drawing by Anne Sassoon.

Book here

Spring 2023: A Manchester Girlhood

Touring the Northwest:

The Old Electric Theatre, Blackpool, 20 April 2023 

Jewish Museum, Manchester, 23 April 2023

And in London:

JW3, London, 21, 22, 23 May 2023

An exploration of a Romanian Jewish family’s journey to early 20th century Manchester and the journey of three girls into mature women over the major events of time.  The play, written and directed by Julia Pascal, focuses on three daughters, bonded and divided by competition, war, love and jealousy.

Learn more

Women for Women Continues

Women for Women

19th Century Women in Bloomsbury

Why are so many 19th century innovators hidden from mainstream history? Because they are women? Why have they been written out of traditional narratives? We are working to redress this in our project. We thank academics and writers who are contributing stimulating profiles championing trailblazing women. 
In communities and schools, we have walked and talked and written and spoken about the women who have changed the status of women in education, the arts, science and welfare. Our workshops have included all ages and have raised awareness about this heritage. 

There is more to come.

If you would like to contribute or get involved, please contact us.

A Look Back…

Dancing, Trailblazing, Taboo! Eleanor Marx: A Life in Movement

Performed at the Royal National Hotel in October.

The dance-theatre event performed at the Bloomsbury Festival was a huge success.  Collaborating with students from London Contemporary Dance School and professional actors Ruth Getz, Lesley Lightfoot and Amanda Maud, Julia Pascal created a celebration of the brilliance of Eleanor Marx.

See Film and Learn More

12:37 at Finborough Theatre

To write an epic play on this scale, using only five actors, is quite an achievement.  London Theatre1, John Groves

This is an important and complex play that attempts to raise nuanced and controversial questions around Jewish violence and national identity. 

Everything Theatre, Sara West

What an impressive and profound piece of theatre! It worked on so many levels – your writing, your directing and staging, the quality, accuracy, versatility and energy of your terrific cast. It’s both moving and distressing and you’re brilliant!

Mike Leigh

In association with Neil McPherson 

Written and Directed by Julia Pascal 

With Alex Cartuson, Ruth Lass, Danann McAleer, Lisa O’Connor, Eoin O’Dubhghaill

Performed at Finborough Theatre

Learn more

Unseen London

We all want quiet. We all want beauty … we all need space. Unless we have it, we cannot reach that sense of quiet in which whispers of better things come to us gently.

Many of us may enjoy Hampstead Heath, visit National Trust properties, talk about preserving the ‘green belt’ from development and shop at Octavia Foundation charity shops.

But, to who do we owe this legacy?  We celebrated the work of Octavia Hill learning about her life and work and reflecting on changes nowadays and who is fighting these battles nowadays.

A Manchester Girlhood – Trailer

Pascal Theatre Company takes the train!

A Manchester Girlhood , which tells the story of three Jewish girls and their journey to womanhood, returns to its Northern roots. This one-act play reveals the lives of Jewish immigrants to Manchester at the beginning of the 20th century.

Tiran Aakel, Amanda Maud, Saria Steyl, Fiz Marcus

Competition. Rivalry. War. Racism. Religion. Women’s Education. Passion. Women’s Rights. Arranged Marriage.

These are central themes in Julia Pascal’s witty and dynamic new play. This radical, multi-layered theatre work uses Brechtian cabaret and Greek stage techniques to explore 20th century Jewish exile from Europe. It reveals the effects of identity-crisis, the struggle for women’s freedom, intense family rivalry and the dilemma of marriage. This script is fuelled by a desire to show major recent historical events through the eyes of girls and women.

A Manchester Girlhood: written and directed by Julia Pascal, performed by Lesley Lightfoot,  Amanda Maud, Eoin O’Dubhghaill, Giselle Wolf and Rosie Yadid tours to the north and returns to London.

Showing in Blackpool and Manchester:

20 April 2023, 7pm at the Old Electric Theatre, Blackpool,

Textile workshops: Leading up to this performance, Julia Pascal will lead workshops discussing characters in the play and the importance of textiles in the characters’ lives –the group will be invited to develop some props for the performance.

9 March 2023 at 4.30pm on Zoom:

19 April 2023 at 4.30pm Face to face

23 April 2023, 7pm at Manchester Jewish Museum

Showing in London:

17th May 2023, 7.00pm at Burgh House, Hampstead

21-23 May 2023 at 7.30pm at JW3, West Hampstead

12:37 by Julia Pascal premieres at Finborough Theatre

Pascal Theatre in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre presents
The world premiere
Written and Directed by Julia Pascal
with
Alex Cartuson. Ruth Lass. Danann McAleer. Lisa O’Connor. Eoin O’Dubhghaill.

Tuesday, 29 November – Wednesday, 21 December 2022

– “Does Tommy know you’re Jewish?
– “Tommy knows I’m Irish.”

At 12.37pm on 22 July 1946, the King David Hotel in Jerusalem was bombed. 91 people were killed, 46 wounded.

The bombing was carried out by right wing Zionists, targeting the headquarters of the British in Palestine.

Two Irish Jewish brothers, Paul and Cecil Green, journey from their Dublin birthplace, to battling antisemitism on the streets of East London. Their Irish nationalism propels them towards Jewish nationalism as they struggle against British Imperialism to form a Jewish nation state.

As violence between British soldiers, and Jewish terrorists erupts, Paul and Cecil become involved in an act of terrorism that changes both their lives.

12:37 raises complex and controversial questions around Jewish violence, homeland and national identity in a stunning new play that is both a hard hitting historical epic and an intimate family drama.

The filming of 12-37 is now available on request for educational purposes.
Contact admin@pascal-theatre.com

Eleanor Marx: A Life in Movement: October 23rd

A dance-theatre community performance featuring moving tableaux from different aspects of Eleanor Marx’s life and work:

Students from The Place, London Contemporary Dance School, are exploring how they can use their voices and incorporate acting techniques into their skills. 

Actors and singers are learning how to collaborate with dancers and in an unconventional venue.

Assistant directors are learning interdisciplinary theatre techniques.

Written, directed, produced and choregraphed by Julia Pascal, the performance promises to entertain and inspire all who come.

The event, part of the Bloomsbury Festival, will take place at the Windsor Suite, Royal National Hotel on 23rd October. See details here: BLOOMSBURY FESTIVAL 2022 – Pascal Theatre Company (pascal-theatre.com)

It forms part of Women for Women: 19th Century Women in Bloomsbury.

The Day of the Girl Child

Today is the Day of the Girl Child. In so many countries, being born a girl is to be born as the Second Sex. Today we celebrate the empowering of girls worldwide as we support girls to achieve their full potential in education, creative freedom, and ambition.

Thank you to all  who came to Girls Talk on Saturday 8th, a workshop funded by the Mayor of London: London Unseen: Heritage Tours and Trails London City Hall, where girls were invited to share their thoughts on the opportunities they have as girls/young women, barriers in their way and how they can tackle these. They discussed trailblazers, past and present, who should be recognised and celebrated. We hope plaques, statues and more community activities will raise awareness of inspiring women.

Creative Writing Workshops Starting Monday 10 October

Creative Writing Workshops for 10-16 year-olds
Mondays 4-5pm
at St Pancras Community Association, Camden Town

The stories of two radical 19th century women will inspire discussion of barriers young women faced 200 years ago and comparisons with those faced nowadays. Participants will then experiment with writing scripts that explore issues raised in discussions.

For more information and to sign up, email:  sally@pascal-theatre.com

Objectified, derided, demeaned: sexism is still rampant on stage in the era of #MeToo Arifa Akbar

Objectified, derided, demeaned: sexism is still rampant on stage in the era of #MeToo | Theatre | The Guardian

This article, shows how little establishment attitudes have changed towards the representation of women in theatre. One step forward two steps back. Why is theatre programming mainly stuck in a 1950s mindset?     

Julia Pascal 

World Autism Awareness week 29 March-4 April

Everyone’s experience of having a family member or friend with autism is different but the common denominator in 2022 is that there are real opportunities and options for both neurotypical and non -neurotypical individuals. There are so many possibilities today as I know from personal experience. A young person with autism, who leaves school with few GCSE’s, can live independently. This could mean become a Teaching Assistant in a school for special needs, earning money and paying taxes. The importance of a diagnosis of autism can be unbelievably helpful to the individual for several reasons. It helps people with autism (and their families) understand why they may experience certain difficulties and what can be done about them.  It also – and this is really important – means that we can help others to understand and increase autism- awareness. We should share our stories, reach out to friends, and those we don’t know, to encourage and show others that together we can celebrate our differences and achievements.

Hear Oscar talking about living with a non-verbal disability. Spectrum – Pascal Theatre Company (pascal-theatre.com)

Susannah Kraft

World Theatre Day

Theatre and storytelling is in our DNA. We crave stories, we want to be excited, shocked, bewildered and stimulated.

Theatre is the thrill of the live performance, the buzz that cannot be found onscreen. And, we are told as writers that all drama must have conflict. 

Football is theatre. Monarchy is theatre. Bodies are cut in the operating theatre. Combat is a theatre of war. All these elements are part of our lives and, in the West, we say it is the Greeks who have formed the essence of theatre that is still our source.

Here is my take on a contemporary Medea, a Kurdish refugee on the London streets. It was produced at the Finborough Theatre in 2019.  

Continue reading “World Theatre Day”

Neurodivergent Awareness Week : Lennie Varvarides from Dyspla interviewed by Ronnie Krupa

Lennie Varvarides from Dyspla interviewed by Ronnie Krupa for Pascal Theatre Company for Neurodivergent Awareness Week

How did you first get involved with performing arts?

When you say first — how far back do you really want me to go? I can go back — way back to my first memory of being in front of people singing, ‘I’m A Little Teapot’, with all the other children in nursery school. It was my first theatrical experience — being in front of people and sharing something of myself. Our first memories inform us in profound ways. My 5-year-old self is not that different from this adult me. I still want to be part of a collective — a community of performers and makers and artists.

Continue reading “Neurodivergent Awareness Week : Lennie Varvarides from Dyspla interviewed by Ronnie Krupa”

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY – continuing the debate: WOMEN’S ACHIEVEMENTS

 In the dojo, when I had a man down on the mat, all I could feel was the kitchen chef’s burn-marked hands crawling all over me, his gold signet ring, cold against my neck. Now when I looked down at DCI Jones there was no ring pressing into my skin. The policeman slapped the mat. It was over. I had won. This was gold. Pure gold.      Clare

I train with other girls. The Turks are coming. We must be ready. The Turks take us. I go to prison for two weeks. I am 12. When I come home from prison my mother says I saw youWhat happened? I say nothing. I feed the bird. I kiss her new baby………..One year in Iran. Recruiting girls to the Kurdish side. I go to Armenia. Six months in Erevan. I am fighting for us Kurds. Iraq, Syria, Turkey.   Deniz 

Read stories of women’s achievements:  Giving Voice – Pascal Theatre Company (pascal-theatre.com)

Follow our questions and answers:  

Continue reading “INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY – continuing the debate: WOMEN’S ACHIEVEMENTS”

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY continuing the debate:

WOMEN WHO’VE INFLUENCED YOU 

Greta Thunberg.  It’s not just a woman, it’s also a very young woman, and she has inspired me so much, a very young individual that can teach the world to be better and to fight for the planet. E (f 11)

Martha Gellhorn was a big influence on me, as a literary figure, as a brave woman, she was a war journalist, American living in Britain. Loud mouth, spoken mind. J (f 70s)

My mum.  She was working from when she left university and she was in a mostly male-dominated field, and she did really well and she’s still doing really well. D (f 12)

Women who have had authority and I noticed their justice – being just rather than to take the side of one or another. Al (m 83)

Continue reading “INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY continuing the debate:”

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 8 MARCH 2022

But surely Adam cannot be excused,

Her fault though great, yet he was most to blame;

What Weakness offered, Strength might have refused,

Being Lord of all, the greater was his shame: 

Although the Serpent’s craft had her abused,

God’s holy word ought all his actions frame,

    For he was Lord and King of all the earth,

    Before poore Eve had either life or breath

Continue reading “INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 8 MARCH 2022”

Sephardi Iberian Heritage

After Brexit many British Jews discovered that they were entitled to Portuguese and Spanish citizenship as a result of the 15th century expulsions.

Losing EU citizenship awoke old fears of exile and dispossession. Consequently, they went in search of a culture and country where they had deep roots.

On 27 February 2015 Portugal allowed naturalization of descendants of Sephardi Jews.

On 24 June 2015 Spain allowed naturalization of descendents of Sephardi Jews.

Read more about Sephardi Iberian Heritage: Sephardi Iberian Heritage – One Lost Stone (lostjews.org.uk)

and their persecution, Inquisition & Expulsion: Persecution, Inquisition & Expulsion – One Lost Stone (lostjews.org.uk)

Zein oder nit Zein

Hitler killed thousands of Jews who spoke Yiddish.But the language refuses to die.This is Lesley Lightfoot, whose grandparents spoke Yiddish, making Shakespeare a Yiddishist!

Continue reading “Zein oder nit Zein”

INTERNATIONAL MOTHER TONGUE LANGUAGE DAY 21 FEBRUARY

LOST FOR WORDS: QUIZ

English is often said to have the largest vocabulary, but do you sometimes struggle to find the right word?  Can you find what you want to say in another language?  Perhaps we can help you fill some blanks in your English dictionary.  Take our quiz and find out how multi-lingual you are or add to your vocabulary.  We would like to mark International Mother Tongue Day recognising the richness of languages around us.

1) What do you think:

a)‘talkoot’  means  i) to talk a lot   ii) is an animal like an antelope iii) means people helping with spring cleaning?

‘talkoot’ is  i) a Finnish word   ii) a Scottish word  iii) an olde English word

2) What is your mood today – Is it positive or negative? Are you:

a) ‘Eho kefi’                    b) ‘Muterseelenallein’        c) fighting yourInnerer Schweinehund’

or do you have

d) a ‘hiraeth’ for something

e) or ‘Fernweh’

3) animals suffer from the way we treat them in language   

Which animal is used in the expression ‘Kurczę blade’ (Oh blimey)?

4) What language and the meaning?                                               

‘Mă duc ca să am de unde să mă intorc’

‘prinést modré nebe’

‘Boka cerrada no entran moskas’   

5) When we asked for contributions for our quiz, we are sure can guess the topic that was most popular!

Food, of course, but what ,when and where would you eat:    

  1. ‘En mad’
  2. ‘Natmad’

Answers here :

Hear more about Ladino:  https://www.lostjews.org.uk/oneloststone/history/strangers-at-home/

Licoricia of Winchester

An English history you never learned in school.

She was a successful businesswoman.

She lent money to the king of England.

She was murdered and nobody knows who did it.

Licoricia of Winchester, find out more.   Jews in Medieval England – One Lost Stone (lostjews.org.uk)

Today HRH The Prince of Wales will be unveiling the statue of Licoricia outside Winchester Arc, in Jewry Street.  Learn more about the Licoricia project: www.licoricia.org.uk

Pascal Theatre Company Newsletter January 2022

Read our latest newsletter

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Roma and Sinti People

“Europe’s Roma and Sinti people (often labelled as ‘Gypsies’ historically) were targeted by the Nazis for total destruction. The Porrajmos, or Porajmos, which translates to ‘the Devouring’, is the term used to describe the Nazi genocide of Europe’s Roma and Sinti population.”

Read more here

Holocaust Memorial Day 2022

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY 27 JANUARY – RECORDING FROM RUTH’S MEMORIES

Ruth Posner’s Memories

Ruth Posner’s memories of being ripped from a happy childhood and forced into the Warsaw Ghetto show where antisemitism leads.

The rise of antisemitism in our society must be challenged.

We must not allow the blood libel or conspiracy theories rooted in English Literature to permeate our culture.

One woman’s voice says it all.

Continue reading “HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY 27 JANUARY – RECORDING FROM RUTH’S MEMORIES”

THE CORRIDOR OF LIGHT

Holocaust Memorial Day 2022

Here are the final moments of our production of The Dybbuk

You can kill a people but you can never kill their culture.

The ghosts remain to haunt the next generations.

I know it sounds strange but I am haunted by faces, different accents, different bodies, all the lost cousins and aunts and uncles who I want to have known. I see a blonde woman, a dark man, a curly redhead, a fair boy. I don’t know who they are but they often come to me in dreams. They say that a person can be filled with the soul of another and that soul, which has died too early, is a dybbuk, but I, I, I, have so many dybbuks.

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Where was the Joan of Arc to stop the Holocaust of Black and Jew?

Reader: Samantha Pearl 

I am a saint because I saved France from the English. But a real saint, a saint worthy of the name, would have stood at the ramp as the trains arrived, as the orchestra played Strauss.

A real saint would have shouted ‘get away, take their guns and kill them because they are already digging the pits for your bodies.’

A real saint would have stood on the African shore and sunk the boats waiting to steal the people from their land.

Where was the Joan of Arc to stop the Holocaust of Black and Jew?

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How can theatre bear testimony to the annihilation of a people?

Holocaust Memorial Day 27th January 2022

Pascal Theatre Company has produced plays sourced by living testimony to commemorate a vibrant culture, language and history that was mostly destroyed in the Shoah.

Our refusal to remain silent has constructed a legacy of testimony from survivors and their children.

Continue reading “How can theatre bear testimony to the annihilation of a people?”

Congratulations to our long term team member, actor-dancer Ruth Posner for her British Empire Medal in the 2022 New Year’s Honours List.

Ruth’s  services to the Holocaust Memorial Trust are recognised by the government.
We honour her for her courage, her curiosity, intelligence and huge contribution to Pascal Theatre Company. 
As a performer with our ensemble, she has delighted audiences in Britain, Germany, Austria and France.
Most recently she has been talking to children in schools about her childhood escape from the Warsaw Ghetto.Testimony is a powerful weapon against hatred.We are proud that she is a Board member and offer mazel tov!

Continue reading “Congratulations to our long term team member, actor-dancer Ruth Posner for her British Empire Medal in the 2022 New Year’s Honours List.”

The Whitehall Conference

Julia Pascal

Jews returned to England in 1656 after the Whitehall Conference-right?

This cancelled the royal expulsion of Jews from England in 1290-right?

Wrong on both counts.

In December 1656, Oliver Cromwell called The Whitehall Conference to request Jewish return but few parliamentarians or merchants in Christian England wanted the Jews back.

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Kate Barazetti

d 28 September 2021

It is with great sadness that we report the death of  Pascal Theatre Company’s former Financial Director Kate Barazetti. Kate served the company for many years, using her phenomenal skill with numbers to help an enterprise she supported – something she also did for City Limits magazine, the Africa Centre, International PEN, Space Studios and many others.

More than simply an accountant, she was a great humanitarian whose gift for friendship and hospitality spanned generational and social divides. She was fearless, forthright and funny, always finding ways to play the system and fight for the rights of those excluded or badly served by it. 

Having left school at 16, Kate learnt book-keeping at an early age. She finally completed her education by doing a degree and master’s in gender studies at London’s Birkbeck University in her fifties. She went on to set up the feminist news website Aviva from her front room. She later found her métier as a teacher, first teaching English to newly arrived refugees and then working on access to social science courses. She continued teaching – and working as an accountant – well into her seventies.

She is survived by two children, four grandchildren, her brother Nick, sister Annie, countless friends, former colleagues and grateful students. See more at: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/nov/01/kate-barazetti-obituary

Kate Barazetti, 8 September 1942-20 September 2021

By Alix Lee

Mayowa Olowoselu interviewed by Ronnie Krupa for Black History Month

What does Black History Month mean for you? Is it tokenism? 

I’m very interested in black history. I had a lot of questions. I’m Nigerian so everything I knew about being black was related to being Nigerian. The older I got the more people I was meeting who had similar stories but in different contexts. Black history month is the chance to learn all of these stories and how they connect and also I just love history and I just like to know how things developed, how we got here. So, I don’t think black history month is tokenism. It’s significant to look at how things change and where we are now. 

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Elizabeth Pearl from South Sudan Women’s Association interviewed by Mayowa Olowoselu for Black History Month

My interview with EA was really insightful. It was wonderful to learn about how her charity has positively impacted her community for years. I learned so much about the South Sudan Women’s Association and I look forward to hearing about their future projects.

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PASCAL THEATRE COMPANY is proud to announce a £43,500 award from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

PRESS RELEASE

PASCAL THEATRE COMPANY is among 925 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund.

We are pleased that the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund permits us to sustain our activities as we extend multidisciplinary arts projects  to new communities and audiences in London and North West England.

Director Julia Pascal says  

We are delighted with the grant. It acknowledges our recent work which includes new communities within imaginative arts projects in unusual spaces. We gather stories from the marginalised and reveal them through text, film, drama and dance.

Continue reading “PASCAL THEATRE COMPANY is proud to announce a £43,500 award from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund”

Samantha Pearl interviewed by Mayowa Olowoselu for Black History Month

I had a great conversation with actress Samantha Pearl, on a grey afternoon over the phone. The conversation flowed easily and was a wonderful chance to hear about the perspective of a black woman in the film and tv industry. I learned so much from her and I hope you enjoy our conversation. Thank you so much to Samantha for speaking to me, make sure you check out her latest appearance on Ghosts by BBC. 

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DANCING, TALKING, TABOO – Review

In 2020, Pascal Theatre Company (PTC) put a call out to women whose lives, and mental and physical health had been disrupted by Covid and the enforced isolation of lockdown. Respondents were offered a platform to express their feelings, plus the opportunity to work with expert theatre and literary practitioners to explore and develop their ideas.

The result was the Giving Voice project (www.pascal-theatre.com/project/giving-voice), a digital archive featuring work by 38 women in written and recorded form.

Forward a year and the ever-resourceful Creative Director of PTC, Julia Pascal, found a way to extend the reach of the project – by collaborating with students from The London Contemporary Dance School at The Place Theatre and professional performers to create a promenade performance piece for the 2021 Bloomsbury Festival based on several of the Giving Voice submissions.

An immersive improvisation/rehearsal process explored the imaginative connections between dance, speech and memory, interweaving song, bodywork and cabaret-style performance to share the hidden stories brought to light by the project.

Continue reading “DANCING, TALKING, TABOO – Review”

Charlotte Salomon

by HANNAH ARNAUD

Murdered 10 October 1943 at the age of 26.

Charlotte Salomon, born in 1917 Berlin to a Jewish family, is best known for Leben? Oder Theater?: Ein Singspiel (Life? Or Theatre?: A Song-Play). An early example of the graphic novel form, it is a series of images accompanied by text and music cues that tells a semi-fictionalised account of Salomon’s life. 

When Salomon was nine, her mother committed suicide. Charlotte was told that she had died from influenza. It wasn’t until 1938, when Salomon had been sent from Nazi Germany to live with her grandparents in the South of France, that her grandfather told her the truth.  She was also told about multiple other female members of the family who had killed themselves.

Continue reading “Charlotte Salomon”

One Lost Stone A Refection

by Hannah Arnaud

Click onto the One Lost Stone website, a ‘digital travel guide’ to the history of Sephardi Jews in England, and you are brought to a collage of photographs suggesting a face.  Although the fragments share a colour palette, the image fractures. Its refusal to meld into one coherent picture is why collage is a particularly apt medium for the website’s aesthetic. It militates against the ‘melting pot’ philosophy which requires the immigrant to adopt the cultural norms of the host society. 

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AGS IRWIN 26 April 1949 to 6 May 2021

AGS IRWIN

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

Pascal Theatre Company at The Bloomsbury Festival

On 16 October 2021, Pascal Theatre Company, in collaboration with The Place Dance Theatre students, will be presenting new  performances inside and outside of St Pancras Church.
Watch this space!

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