Holocaust remembered in New Vic docu-drama

Published: 14 January 2022
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Creating a world which embraces tolerance”: Yizkor Credit: Andrew Billington

A documentary-drama which uses testimonies of Holocaust survivors is to be staged by the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme ahead of the United Nations Holocaust Memorial Day.

Yizkor will be presented by Borderlines, the New Vic’s “initiative using theatre in social contexts”. It follows the experiences of two teenagers, Ariella and Moshe, in an Eastern European shtetl—a small town with a large Ashkenazi Jewish population—between May 1939 and 1944.

The documentary-drama has been created using words written in letters and diaries, and witness and survivor testimonies of teenagers during the Holocaust. Audiences hear the voices of Ibi and Waldemar Ginsburg throughout, two Holocaust survivors who worked with New Vic Borderlines to develop the play.

Each performance will be introduced by UN translator and survivor of the Bosnian genocide Aida Haughton MBE. Every audience member will receive an empty Yizkor passport typical of the era to allow them to discover more about those affected by the Holocaust.

After the performance, audiences will be invited to take part in an interactive discussion with Haughton, New Vic Borderlines director and writer Susan Moffat and war crime investigator Howard Tucker CBE who spent more than eight years as head of mission of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia offices in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

New Vic Borderlines director Susan Moffat said, “the Yizkor play is part of an ongoing commitment for me personally and for New Vic Borderlines to play a part in creating a world which embraces tolerance and celebrates the richness of diversity.

“Wal and Ibi were great friends of mine and the theatre. The play continues in their absence: they were determined to remember those who were murdered and pledged to stand against intolerance and discrimination.

“We see how the erosion of humanity leads to both personal and communal devastation caused by hate and prejudice. Everyone has a role to play in making our world a place for everyone to thrive, create and contribute. We all have a moral duty to prevent crimes against humanity, which lead to genocide.”

Yizkor will be performed at the New Vic on Friday 21 and Monday 24 January.

Related listings

Yizkor (New Vic Borderlines)