thu 23/05/2019

Iram: Shalom Aleichem's shtetl life comes to London | reviews, news & interviews

Iram: Shalom Aleichem's shtetl life comes to London

Iram: Shalom Aleichem's shtetl life comes to London

Pre-conflict, pre-Holocaust Jewish life movingly resurrected by Israel's Herzliya Ensemble

`Holy and not so holy; superstitious, avaricious, ambitious, loving and cruel': the vanished Jews of Iram
Tonight at the Barbican's Pit, kicking off a run of ten performances, a rather unusual piece of theatre opens. It's not a big play, it probably won't make great waves and it does involve reading surtitles. Called Iram, it's an Israeli adaptation, in Hebrew, of the stories of the Yiddish writer Shalom Aleichem. Outside Israel - excluding, at a pinch, bookish circles in transatlantic Jewish communities (Aleichem emigrated from the Ukraine to the US before the First World War) - this prolific chronicler of late 19th-century shtetl life will grace few home libraries.

For us, Aleichem is like a statement of anti-Zionism, a way of going back to real Jewish culture

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