Guardian Journalist David Jays discusses the British Jewish voice on stage, including Julia Pascal’s new play Blueprint Medea.
The world premiere
Tuesday, 21 May – Saturday, 8 June 2019. Finborough Theatre
“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.
Written and Directed by Julia Pascal
Designed by Kati Hind
Presented by Pascal Theatre Company in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre.
“A hard-hitting but compelling evening.” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Robert Jackman, Spectator Life 2019
“The play, written and directed by Julia Pascal – and enjoying its world premiere at the Finborough Theatre – is powerful fare.” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture 2019
“[Blueprint Medea] successfully spans vastly different worlds and cultural expectations all within the tiny intimate space that is the stage of the Finborough Theatre. Blueprint Medea is a multifaceted and complex drama, and is capable of making a connection with audiences wherever they may be.” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Dominica Plummer, The Spy in the Stalls 2019
“[Blueprint Medea] provides a powerful and hard-hitting female tale inspired by direct interviews with Kurdish freedom fighters, perfect for the intimacy and simplicity of fringe theatre.”BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Francis Nash, The Upcoming 2019
“In Julia Pascal’s modern reconception of the ancient Greek tragedy, she is reborn as a former fighter for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)…It is an inspired transposition, and the themes of exile and female agency resonate in the modern day.” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Arifa Akbar, The Guardian 2019
“An engaging and dynamic production, admirable for its risk-taking and originality of vision.” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Arifa Akbar, The Guardian 2019
“A modern adaptation of Euripides’s devastating Greek tragedy, in which a scorned wife exacts bloody and heartbreaking revenge. Julia Pascal’s new version draws heavily on interviews with Kurds living in the UK and explores issues around immigration, cultural identity and female autonomy” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Arifa Akbar, The Guardian 2019
“The script becomes beautifully laced with Lorcaesque poetry.” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Dominica Plummer, The Spy in the Stalls 2019
“To have such a profound effect highlights the power and importance of fringe theatre and writers like Pascal providing a voice for these voiceless females onstage.” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Dominica Plummer, The Spy in the Stalls 2019
“The undeniable richness and power of the storytelling and performances.”BLUEPRINT MEDEA, David Guest, The Reviews Hub 2019
“Pascal’s writing style skilfully combines the demotic with the poetic.” BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Judi Herman, Jewish Renaissance 2019
“Strong individual performances and moments of beautiful storytelling.”BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Emma Lamond, London Pub Theatres 2019
The world premiere
★★★★ BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Close-Up Culture 2019
★★★★ BLUEPRINT MEDEA, The Upcoming 2019
★★★★ BLUEPRINT MEDEA, Jewish Renaissance 2019
I am currently researching a new play about Hannah Arendt, Charlotte Salomon and Eva Daube who were all arrested in France in 1940. The research is fascinating. This is a part of French history which is hardly known except to historians. Salomon and Arendt make fleeting references to their incarceration in this detention camp. I discovered that the majority of prisoners were female from babies to 90 year olds. Today nothing exists of the camp only placards which reveal some of the history. Vichy’s past is still partly hidden.
Author Nina Mansfield has invited Julia Pascal to write a guest blog post for her website. Julia is asked to answer a question that every writer gets asked.
See her answer at: http://ninamansfield.com/blog1/2016/02/05/where-do-you-get-your-ideas/
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
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 :
“Old Newland by Julia Pascal is a standout play performed by the charismatic Stephen Fewell. With brilliant subtlety Julia Pascal weaves a vivid metaphor through Jewish teaching involving the substitution of Rachel for Leah in marriage to Jacob. She channels a comparison to the displacement of peoples across Palestine, Holocaust camps and Ireland through Old Newland as he dies not a Jew, an Irishman, a husband or a soldier-but a human being alone in a hospital. Soaked in memory and conflict but equalized in vulnerability”
Walking The Tightrope:The Tension Between Art & Politics at Theatre Delicatessen, Metropolist 28/01/2015
Until Sunday 1st February Theatre Delicatessen, Farringdon
Offstage Theatre in association with Theatre Uncut
Broadway Baby described St Joan by Pascal Theatre as “Challenging, erudite and above all, captivating” Read the full review here >
St Joan is at the Bedlam Theatre, Venue 49, 11b Bristo Place Edinburgh EH1 1EZ at 16:30pm until 24th August 2014
Tickets: www.edfringe.com or from the venue box office 0131 629 0430.
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.
The Secret Listeners, edited by Julia Pascal and Thomas Kampe, published by the Pascal Theatre Company and is available now. Please email email@example.com for details
Sex and violence in Stockholm, Tel Aviv and Paris. Political murder in suburban London. Death, love and homicide in New York. War in the belly of a whale. These are the themes in Julia Pascal’s latest collection which takes place in Europe in 1982, in London in 1946 and in a whale at any time.
Julia Pascal latest collection of plays will be available in paperback from Oberon Books in December 2013
Rehearsed reading of Broken English at The Print Room, April 29 at 3pm.
The Print Room, 34 Hereford Rd, London W2 5AJ
An exploration of a secret history that happened in London just after the end of the war. Why was there a plot to assassinate Ernest Bevin, the Foreign Secretary by right-wing Jewish activists? When does loyalty to nation state conflict with loyalty to nation?
Dr. Julia Pascal taught a seminar and creative writing workshop on the topic of “Writing War” at Universität Bamberg.
Directed by Ludovica Villar-Hauser
Thursday 10th October 2013
Black Box Theatre,
Rubin Hall, 35 Fifth Avenue, New York
Between 5th Avenue and West 10th Street
Monday 14th October 2013
Theatre for the New City,
155 1st Avenue
Between East 9th / East 10th Street