AS HAPPY AS GOD IN FRANCE is the ironic title which reveals a little known incident in the life of Hannah Arendt.
In May 1940, the French government arrested thousands of German Jews who had fled Hitler for the presumed safety of France. Among them were 8,000 women named Les Indésirables/The Undesirables. This new play looks at what happened to Hannah Arendt, Charlotte Salomon and Eva Daube as they faced imprisonment in the chaotic weeks between Armistice and Occupation. In Camp Gurs, they faced an ultimate life or death test as the Nazis moved south.
Using testimony from the family of Eva Daube, letters and archives from Hannah Arendt and the art of Charlotte Salomon, this drama explores an important French-German and American history that has been made invisible.
As Happy As God In France is an important war story which explores questions of identity, exile and escape. The text has been researched in France, Germany and the US.
Audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy an experimental, European piece of theatre and to respond to its first outing before it is staged as a fully realised production.
Supported by the Cockayne Foundation and the London Community Foundation.