Reasons for attending: creeping into her poetry; only form of theatre free from antisemitism; love of Yiddish theatre, both teaching and consuming; often parent’s first language, so fell in love that way; Yiddish being wealth of culture new and past.

Identified a gap in Yiddish theatre and a resurgence. Do people want it? What is possible?
Currently: Yiddish Open Mic Café, 3 x per year at JW3, Pure Yiddish weekend coming up, Yiddish Theatre Project 3x workshops. At UCL, lead lecturer and Yiddish Café Trust.

Also mentioned, The Wardrobe Ensemble, Jewish Theatre Makers Retreat.

Modern attraction: people want to learn the language, easier with phonetics. Dramatic, operatic and serious content. Cited Vilna Troup with productions in Moscow and Tel Aviv. Huge cannon of Yiddish plays and poetry.

The use of surtitles is a draw and inclusive. Themes – universal accessible language. In a world of profitability and capitalist value where everything must have a use, there is an inherent value in Yiddish theatre for and of itself. An expression of the uncensored self, social-linguistic inner language. Not a dying or endangered language – over 1 million Charedim speak it daily. Some people agree and disagree on a ‘Yiddish Revival’.

New work is either good or not so good – way to widen audience with popularisation – cited recent example of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish which was hugely moving.

Issues a resource and funding. Currently coming from UCL research grant for outreach. Spoke about lack of physical space for it anywhere in UK now – lottery funding was mentioned. It was suggested a space might be good to find and then do outreach programmes around that. Others felt this would be hugely costly and draining and better to team up with venue that would hire space – Cable St, Theatre Deli, Empty Shops Network, Libraries, Pubs. The consensus was that it would find a physical home.

Audience is current mailing list for workshops and across 3 nights of recent performances there were up to 400 attendees.