Owing to the current Coronavirus emergency One Lost Stone will not be a public live event on 5 July at the Novo Cemetery.
Instead, One Lost Stone is becoming an interactive website within the Lost Jews site, offering an informative and inspiring artistic journey and multimedia response to the Novo Cemetery. The project will be still be launched on 5 July, sharing fascinating discoveries, performances, film, interviews and talks online.
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Pascal Theatre Company is staging One Lost Stone, a devised performance project as part of Discovering and Documenting England’s Lost Jews. Focusing on the experience of Sephardi Jews, this event is inspired by cultural, visual and architectural resources; historical information and personal narratives about Sephardi Jewish history.
Pascal Theatre Company presents One Lost Stone, a devised, multimedia experience as part of the larger National Heritage Lottery Heritage Fund project Discovering and Documenting England’s Lost Jews.
In 1290, King Edward I expelled Jews from England on pain of death. With the exception of occasional visitors, there were no Jews in England until the early 16th century, when tiny numbers, fleeing persecution in Spain and Portugal, started trickling in. They were Crypto-Jews or New Christians, who were outwardly Christian but practiced their Judaism in secret. These Jewish immigrants, landing on English shores, were Sephardi, which means ‘Spanish’ in Hebrew. They arrived speaking Spanish and Portuguese. Their culture reflected the Arabic, Christian and Jewish heritage of the Iberian peninsula, their cooking was Mediterranean.
By the time of the Cromwellian Commonwealth, a small number of Crypto-Jewish families, largely merchants, had settled, but were still not allowed to be openly Jewish. In 1655, Cromwell expressed his encouragement for Jewish readmission. At first, this was not formally sanctioned, but from 1656, there was tacit approval for readmission, as long as the Jewish presence remained discreet. The first London synagogue in Creechurch Lane opened in 1657, followed by the churchyard in Mile End later that year. And from then, the community gradually grew and became more visible, This little known element of immigration is the driving force behind the project.
Focusing on the experience of Sephardi Jews, One Lost Stone is inspired by cultural, visual and archival resources; historical information and personal narratives about Sephardi lives.
The experience will be an engagement with a little known English history. It will offer encounters with a wide variety of personalities who found a way of survival as initially secret immigrants.
One Lost Stone was originally planned to take place in the grounds of Queen Mary University, London and at the Novo Cemetery, to reveal aspects of the area’s fascinating, buried communities.
As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, One Lost Stone will now be an online event, sourced by the stimulating resources collected throughout Discovering and Documenting England’s Lost Jews. From 5 July the website will feature film, performance, poetry, research, exciting stories and music.
Supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund
DISCOVERING AND DOCUMENTING ENGLAND’S LOST JEWS
Pascal Theatre Company explores contemporary life through theatre, film, new writing and radical re-interpretations of the classics. The Company’s work features site-specific heritage events as well as drama workshops. We engage with diverse communities by reaching out to those marginalised in society through an Education Programme. The National Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting this major learning project where volunteers research archives and learn interviewing techniques to prepare a legacy for future generations.
Pascal Theatre Company is working with Bevis Marks Synagogue, Manchester University, Bath Spa University and Queen Mary University of London with an Educational Programme linked to the project continuing throughout 2020.
Participants will enjoy a guided, educational tour in the grounds of Queen Mary University of London and Novo Cemetery to reveal aspects of this fascinating, buried history. The experience will be an engagement with a partly concealed legacy, offering encounters with some flamboyant characters and others who found a way of survival as secret immigrants.
Produced by Julia Pascal & Susannah Kraft Levene
Director: Thomas Kampe
Assistant Director: Matthew Emeny
Sound & Music: Ronen Kozokaro
Production Manager & Technical Director: Jules Deering
Videography: Yaron Lapid and Mark Norfolk.
Any enquiries please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund