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Title: How contemporary UK Jewish theatre lost its carnival and how a return to the tradition of the purim-shpil could bring it back
Author: Messik, Robert Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 9346 8429
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2019
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Petrified is a contemporary purim-shpil about a man turning into a Golem - a clay creature from Jewish folklore. It draws on traditions from the original form of Jewish theatre, sanctioned once a year at the Purim festival, as well as on the work of Leone de’ Sommi (1525 – 1590), and his five act structure captured in the Four Dialogues of 1556. The accompanying critical work will use Mikhail Bakhtin’s examination of Francoise Rabelais’s work to gain an understanding of the crucial role carnival played in the lives of the people, whilst making connections with the unique position Purim holds within Judaism. I will attempt to offer a definition of Jewish theatre, whilst exploring its tendency to veer towards a conservative realism that belies its origins; the UK perceptions of Judaism, its perceived association with Israel and the challenges in using the purim-shpil as a starting point to create a piece of contemporary theatre that can appeal to a secular audience. I will then document how I have attempted to address these issues through the development of Petrified and how it might be possible to create a richer and more varied theatrical culture within Judaism in the contemporary UK.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater