Full casting is announced today for OLD STOCK: A REFUGEE LOVE STORY, a dizzying 80 minute, genre bending, darkly funny gig-meets-live theatre experience based on a true story of two Jewish Romanian refugees fleeing Romania for Canada in 1908. Covering sex, religion, tragedy and triumph, the show follows Chaim and Chaya as they make a fresh start in the New World. Joining previously announced Ben Caplan and Mary Fay Coady are Eric Da Costa, Jeff Kingsbury and Kelsey McNulty.
This ingenious Klezmer / folk music theatrical hybrid received rave reviews at its premiere in Halifax, Canada and has since been performed to great critical acclaim throughout Canada, in New York (where it garnered six Drama Desk Award Nominations) and Edinburgh, across the UK, in Australia and Holland. 2b theatre company bring Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story to Wilton’s Music Hall from September 18th – 28th, for its London premiere.
Marking the UN’s World Refugee Day, writer Hannah Moscovitch says “The play gained a dark relevance over the time that we’ve worked on it. With the Syrian conflict continuing to decimate a nation, and Trump trying to turn his racism into policy, the plight of refugees is far from a story of the past.”
“The urgency to write the play was really crystalized by one of the most famous photographs of the last decade: the image of three year old Alan Kurdi, whose lifeless body washed up on a beach in Turkey after his family tried to escape Syria in a tiny rubber raft. Before I had a kid, children were largely symbolic to me. But as a mother, the reaction I had to that photograph was amplified. Now I can imagine what it would be like to lose a child. You would never recover from that”.
“Anyone who came into Canada by boat would have come through Halifax and Pier 21, as my great grandparents did in 1908. Pier 21 is a little bit like Ellis Island. It had never occurred to me before but this was the moment that they were safe. Before that they were in peril. It was a question of life or death.
“I take my lead from a hero of mine, Primo Levi, who survived the Holocaust. He talks about history as identity, and that you cannot know yourself without knowing your history. And genocide is an attempt to wipe out history. The alternative history of my family was death – as with Alan Kurdi. It was impossible for me, knowing my family came in through Pier 21 fleeing pogroms, not to see a parallel. All of that came together to make Old Stock.”
Hailed as “Canada’s Hottest Young Playwright” by The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and Now Magazine, Hannah Moscovitch has written Other People’s Children, This Is War, What a Young Wife Ought to Know. She has won many awards, including the prestigious international Windham-Campbell Prize administered by the Beinecke Library at Yale University and the Trillium Book Award (she is the only playwright to win in the award’s thirty-year history).
OLD STOCK: A REFUGEE LOVE STORY is at Wilton’s Music Hall 18th – 28th September 2019.