Tikkun Olam

Taking the story of a real-life Holocaust Memorial campaign, director Teunkie van der Sluijs’ first play, Tikkun Olam, starts with a single question. What is a nation other than the stories it tells itself? Filmed at Riverside Studios as a rehearsed reading, the actors appear on stage, scripts in hand. As a man and a woman begin talking – to each other, over each other – we piece together their conversation. Dan (played by Luke Thompson) is a political researcher, working for MP Steve Alexander (Jake Fairbrother). The woman, Leah (Debbie Korley), has been contacted by Dan because her online presence, chiefly on Twitter, garners attention. Her degree of influence and her background – feminist, Black, Jewish – has made her an important voice on social media. Alexander is fronting a proposal to build a Holocaust Memorial in the borough of Westminster. Local residents, including Mary (Diana Quick) are against the installation. The scale of the Memorial is too big, they say. Their park, their green space, will be greatly reduced. There will be an inquiry, and Dan is eager to recruit Leah as a consultant. Their initial meeting does not start well: he assumes she has arrived to attend a meeting on knife-crime.
Format: Reading
Notes:

Taken from the Jewish term for ‘repairing and improving the world’, Tikkun Olam looks at how Britain has mythologised itself; inconvenient truths excised from history. Its early rejection of Jewish refugees in 1939 is forgotten; we instead pride ourselves on the acceptance of orphaned Jewish children after the war. We only see the shiny side of the coin, and Tikkun Olam suggests that in looking at how we create narratives for ourselves, a more honest reckoning is not only required, it’s long overdue.

Snapshot

Original or Prominent Production:
Filmed at Riverside Studios
Original Source Material: Taken from the Jewish term for ‘repairing and improving the world’,
Original Language: English

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