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‘IN POLAND THERE'S A LOT OF DENIAL AND RESISTANCE ABOUT OUR OWN ROLE
IN THE HOLOCAUST'
manifesting itself in football colours. political views and the observation of holidays. The very language we speak predates us. while the names we are given at birth speak of long—held traditions. This doesn‘t mean we take such tradition lying down. There is a constant conflict between accepting tradition and reacting to the repression it imposes. The embracing of consumerism — that most pervasive form of religious zeal — is only the latest of many quasi-spiritual quests the West has indulged in.
(‘ielecka. who plays the young bride in I)_vl)l)uk’s more traditional half and will stay on in lidinburgh to perform the lead role in Sarah Kane‘s 4.48 I’.s'_vt'/io.s'i'.s‘. is keenly aware of this clash between tradition and emotional experience. ‘Just by the presence of the dybbuk. my character sets about rebelling against the
forefathers.‘ says the actor. a major Poliin star
and darling of the gossip magazines who came to international prominence in the ()scar- winning Karyn. ‘Because of the dybbuk being inside her she gains the power to rebel against hundreds of years of Jewish tradition. against all these set ways. That is perceived as a blasphemy by other people taking part in the feast. Finally. there‘s love at the basis of it: the dybbuk is an illness because she can't be with the person she loves.‘
I‘or (‘ielecka. her confrontation with the rabbi is more than just an element in an eerie ghost story. ‘In many religions. including the Jewish tradition. the man is above the woman.‘ she
says. ‘lt‘s no coincidence that she‘s the hero of
the play. That‘s the way I understand it.‘
But if tradition is guilty of oppressing individual desire. it also serves as a collective memory and its benefits need to be weighed against its drawbacks. Dramaturge Andrch (‘hyra argues in favour of historical awareness. ‘The character in this part of the production.
while born alter the war. still can't free himself
from his nation‘s collective memories of the
llolocaust. ‘This can be a curse. but also a treasure.‘ says (‘hyra.
This version of The Dyhlmk makes for uncomfortable viewing for any culture with ghosts of the bigger. more historical kind. as (‘hyra affirms. ‘ln Poland there‘s a lot of denial and resistance about our own role in the Holocaust. so we found there was some difficulty with the subject matter.‘ he says.
Yet. there are other ghosts that haunt cultures — perhaps Israel‘s own relationship with her displaced population can be found within the subtext here. for example. Whatever ghosts you spot. the combination of brilliantly used animation. featuring symbols of the Kabbalah and other emblems of Jewish tradition. as well as an accumulation of allusions to that other kind of ghost. the personal and political history
that haunts us. make this a powerful night of
Dybbuk, King’s Theatre, 473 2000, 9—1 1 Aug, 7.30pm, 210-9225.
Kirstin lnnes gets behind the squidgy bodies of Vox Motus
Remember when you were a kid. and you would put on plays where one of you would put your arms behind your back and the other one would pretend to be their hands?
is an unlikely premise for a piece of theatre targeted at adults. but Glasgow based company Vox Motus. better known for its high tech digital multimedia works. thinks differently. Slick. premiering at the lraverse during the l ringe. follows the residents of an ordinary Scottish tenement as they go about their daily lives. So far. so soap opera; the only difference here is that all of those characters are realised through tiny. heawly cushioned ptippet bodies. with one actor playing the head and another being the arms.
Clearly. this is not a form suited to subtle drama or high tragedy. Slick embraces not only the puppets' potential for comedy. but also the inherent silliness of pretending to have someone else's hands. It's definitely not suitable for children. but there's some of that iesidual raw. childish glee left in i s sguidgy. corpulent. shrunken bodied characters.
'We started out wanting to make a show about people's hidden lives.‘ says co writer director JétllllU l larrison. ‘lhe ways people behave when we think we're completely alone. lo see them. we created a small boy. who's made to act as go between for all the frankly bi/arre occupants of this teneiiient.'
lhose occupants got increasingly bi/arre once costume designer Anna Scatola. who usually makes fat suits for teleVIsion. came on board. '/\ lot of the character emerged from Anna's designs] says l larnson.’
'/\lthough this is our least hi tech show_' chimes in Candice lfdiiiunds. the other half of Vox lvlotus. ‘it's definitely the most complicated thing we've ever done. Actually. watching how the actors fit together from behind is as interesting as watching it from the front.'
I Slick. lraverse NIGHT/(P. [’98 1404. 13 1’4 Aug (not I8). times vary. it! we (5‘10 5‘11). Preview Iii/lug, 5‘/() (5‘5).
i' 1-: Aug :‘tltih' THE LIST FESTIVAL MAGAZINE 63