Q&A: Julia Pascal – Producer

In the run up to One Lost Stone we undertook a series of Q&As with the team behind Discovering and Documenting England’s Lost Jews sharing their highlights, discoveries, personal journeys and more. Here we interview Julia Pascal, Producer of Discovering and Documenting England’s Lost Jews.

What is your role in the project?

My role in Discovering & Documenting England’s Lost Jews is that of the producer. The person who dreamed up this project. It was my idea to explore a secret English history that I had never learned in school and which I feel to be an enrichment to the immigrant experience.

What excites you about this project?

Making links between Jewish entry to England after 1066, their expulsion in 1290, their return secretly and with great fear and the many thrilling stories around these events.

What has surprised you in this project?

Learning about the cruelty of the Catholic Inquisition. Discovering little-known renegade Jews such as Emilia Bassano, thought to be Shakespeare’s Dark Lady and what we would call a feminist writer today. Her overturning of the Adam and Eve myth is political, witty and way ahead of its time.

What has been your highlight so far?

Extending the project and its elements to those British people who know nothing of this history.  Asking questions such as: Did you know the Jews came to England with the Normans? Did you know that Queen Elizabeth’s physician Doctor Lopez was a secret Jew and that he was hanged, drawn and quartered?

What are you looking forward to the most in One Lost Stone?

One Lost Stone was the performative element within the larger project. It was going to be in the grounds of Queen Mary, London University with the Sephardi Cemetery as the backdrop. Now we can’t enjoy live events because of the coronavirus, we are adapting the project for an online launch. I am looking forward to seeing how all the elements of film, images, workshop, research, narrative, oral histories interconnect.  It is a spider’s web and it will be a beautiful set of silky filaments.

See more about Producer Julia Pascal and the team here.

Find out about Pascal Theatre Company here

Find out more about One Lost Stone here, launching on Sunday 5th July online.