CROSSING JERUSALEM AND OTHER PLAYS published 2003.
Plays Crossing Jerusalem, The Golem, St Joan, Year Zero.
Crossing Jerusalem describes twenty four hours in the life of an Israeli family in March 2002 as they cross Jerusalem at the beginning of the latest Intifada. During a single day, personal and political history burst into the present. A complex family drama explodes in the most politically-tense city in the world.
The play was a Tricycle Theatre commission and production. It premiered in March 2003 and was also performed in German at the Karlsruhe Staatstheater as Mittendurch Jerusalem in Thomas Huber’s translation.
This play won the Moondance Columbine Award in 2004
20 March 2003
Julia Pascal’s seething and passionate new play comes as a salutary reminder that, just because the anxious eyes of the world are turned to Iraq at the moment, it doesn’t mean that other global troublespots have miraculously gone away. Pascal cleverly puts before us something that is sadly missing from the mental picture whenever this country is mentioned: a portrait of ordinary Israelis going about their (albeit somewhat circumscribed) daily lives during the current intifada.
The Golem is inspired by the medieval Yiddish legend. This story set in Prague explores what happens when a monster is constructed to defend his community. This version is written for children and teenagers.
In 2000 it toured London schools and in 2003 was staged with music by Kyla Greenbaum at The Purcell Room.
Time Out November 20-27 2002
Produced at the British Library.
Staged in a spare, uncomplicated way, this is an intriguing if unsettling story for the young, underpinned by the sobering weight of history.
Year Zero is a bitter-sweet satire on Vichy France using the popular music of the period to lampoon many of the attitudes of the Pétainist French. Year Zero is inspired by interviews conducted in the north of France, where communists, Gaulists, collaborators and witnesses to head shaving ceremonies provided the original source material.
Year Zero is directly inspired by those whose youth was touched by the Nazi occupation. The play exposes the day to day experiences of the men and women who suffered or profited from those zero years. It was written after researching lives in the town of Maubeuge, France and uses text, cabaret, music and dance to explore collaboration and resistance. Originally performed in French.
Valerie Grosvenor Myer
17 August 1994
Among my earliest memories are news pictures of shaven-headed French girls, disgraced for collaborating with the Germans.
Fifty years on, as part of the anniversary victory celebrations, a brilliant French company performs the history of the war in France as cabaret, with song, dance and mime, in a production reminiscent of the original Oh! What a Lovely War.
Like Joan Little wood’s show, this bought tears to the cheek, while entertaining, with no ‘Allo ‘Allo vulgarity.
France’s shameful capitulation was represented by rival Marriannes, Marrianne of Paris and Marrianne of Vichy. Symbols were graphic and powerful. The show does not conceal the seamy side of the Resistance, either.
The company perform with immense verve and minimal props, used with dazzling versatility. The first night was performed in French, but rantings against gypsies, homosexuals, Jews, Communists, the unemployed and anarchists sent chills down the spine.So strong is the ensemble that to mention any one performer seems unfair, but Laure Smajda is a dancer who can sing, mime and act. The writer and director is Julia Pascal. Bravo!
Nationalist? Heroine? Witch? Catholic martyr? Feminist? Bisexual? Schizophrenic? Joan of Arc has over the five centuries proved an irresistible and enduring icon for an extremely diverse group of people both within and without France.
Joan Rabinowitz, a Black Jewish Londoner dreams she is Joan of Arc and time travels back to medieveal Europe to try and change the course of history. The play lampoons Joan of Arc’s recent transformation into a heroine for the French National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen. It reclaims Joan as a modern woman who is keen to change the course of modern French history as well as challenging the historical events which led to the slave trade and the Holocaust.
The play opened at the New End Theatre in 1995 and was performed in Lille and Paris in 1996 in a French translation by Jean-Pierre Simard.
Pascal’s play ST JOAN was one of the few modern plays chosen to be workshopped and presented at New York’s The Lincoln Center’s Directors’ Lab. This happens June 20-25. The Lab’s theme is religious plays and there will be a post-presentation discussion.
“Barely 90 minutes in length, the play exerts a powerful grip using the simplest of means”
Available from Oberon Books