Manchester Jewish Museum marks Holocaust memorial Day 2020 with two new theatre premieres

Photos by Holly Revell

On Monday 27th January 2020, the Manchester Jewish Museum will mark Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD), the international day of remembrance and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the largest of the Nazi death-camps, with premieres of two new musical and theatrical performances.

These innovative and creative performances, based on the real-life experiences and testimonies of Manchester Jewry, refugees and Holocaust survivors will be staged for the first time at Manchester Central Library.

In the afternoon of 27th January, music by acclaimed Israeli composer Na’ama Zisser, the first to introduce cantorial music into opera, will be performed together with a premiere of brand-new songs in a free pop-up performance installation, entitled Songs of Arrival, from 4pm in the Music Library.

The Museum’s very own community song-writing group – who have been working with musician and composer Joe Steele to create original compositions – will also perform. These brand new songs will premiere at the Library, and bring to life the Museum’s oral history collection from where stories of arriving in Cheetham Hill in the 1930s and 40s originate.

Opera Singer Peter Braithwaite, who is also the Museum’s Artist in Residence, concludes this interactive musical installation and line-up with one of Na’ama Zisser’s song Love Sick – performed in Hebrew and based on the Song of Songs (Shir Hashirim) a book in the bible which explores love.

The moving stories behind the songs will be brought together by inviting audiences to listen to personal experiences from the archives and view some accompanying objects, now part of the Museum/s collection, which came to Manchester in the 1930s with the refugees.

In the evening of 27th January, the Museum’s commemoration continues with the Northern Premiere of Holocaust Brunch by London based, Canadian theatre maker and performer, Tamara Micner.

Fusing and using comedy with beigels, this funny and brave solo show brings to life the true stories of two Holocaust survivors connected to Tamara, and pries open an intergenerational wound to explore why we remember the Holocaust and what it is like to live in the shadows of genocide and displacement.

Holocaust Brunch tells a remarkable true Holocaust survival story. Micner reflects on her experience of growing up as a descendent of survivors, and explores how communities can heal from ancestral trauma. Holocaust Brunch is a dark comedy, recounting a story not typically told, and Tamara Micner serves up beigels and cream cheese as she pries open an
intergenerational wound and asks why we remember, and what it might look like to forget.

Created with a team of Jewish and non-Jewish artists, Micner’s moving, funny and thoughtful solo performance invites audiences to reflect how, as the next generation, we can keep memories alive.

As part of the creation of Holocaust Brunch, Tamara Micner has collaborated with London-based printmaker Yael Roberts, who has made a series of original prints, The Trauma Documents, which respond to parts of the story and appear throughout the show as video projections.

These will be on display at Manchester Central Library alongside the performance of Holocaust Brunch.

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