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A seminal work of Jewish culture or an act of traitorous libel?
Indecent explores the origins of the highly controversial play The God of Vengeance by Sholem Asch. We follow the path of the artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it in this deeply moving play accompanied by a small live Klezmer band.
Rebecca Taichman, who won the Tony Award for Best Direction for Indecent on Broadway, brings her stunning production to the Chocolate factory for its European Premiere.
Performers can risk their lives to star in a show. But what happens when the risk is equal both on and off-stage? In the early twentieth-century, conversations about Polish-Jewish playwright Sholem Asch’s The God of Vengeance were taking place everywhere you turned. Was Asch’s Yiddish drama celebrating Judaism? Or was it inherently anti-semitic? Discover what happened to those who appeared in The God of Vengeance in Paula Vogel’s Indecent at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
The God of Vengeance tells the story of a Jewish brothel owner who commissions a Torah school while marrying off his daughter to a yeshiva student. On the surface, finding contention with the storyline may seem difficult. But with many scenes of a sexual nature, many called it an immoral representation of the Jewish faith. To combat this, provocative scenes were omitted in future productions, but this still wasn’t enough. When The God of Vengeance opened on Broadway, the play was considered to be in violation of New York law, with a theatre owner convicted. Eventually, the play’s future, and indeed Sholem Asch’s career, would be decided in court, but could it be considered Indecent?
Over a century later, Paula Vogel’s Indecent shines a light on the Jewish drama through a contemporary lens. First staged at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 2015, Indecent eventually opened off-Broadway, and then found a Broadway home for four months. Unlike Sholem Asch though, this play’s storyline would put Vogel back on the Broadway map in a positive light. Even though Vogel had won a Pulitzer Prize for her play How I Learned to Drive, Indecent marked Vogel’s Broadway playwriting debut. The Indecent play is Vogel’s London debut too, which reopened the Menier Chocolate Factory.
September 3rd, 2021
November 27th, 2021
Menier Chocolate Factory
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