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A Manchester Girlhood
20 April 2023 at 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
In Bucharest 1910, Esther Goldenberg has been forced to marry Emanuel Jacobs. He is her parents’ choice. The two young Romanian Jews go to Manchester and have three daughters, Isabel, Edith and Pearl. Isabel’s only ambition is to be a doctor’s wife. Edith becomes a soldier. Pearl marries a GI. These three sisters are at the heart of the drama.
This dream like – text explores the idea that each person relives intense moments from a whole life in the moment before death.
Characters are seen both as children, young, mature and elderly women. This is not a linear drama. It is a mosaic that collages intense experiences within the outer drama of world events including World War Two and racism in the US.
The play explores the importance of women’s education, marriage and unexplored, erotic desire. These unknown women’s experiences offer the audience a sense of the large political framework through the lives of the unheard. The total effect is to expose the boundless energy of women who have not been allowed the education to fulfil their brilliant potential.
Competition. Rivalry. War. Racism. Religion. Women’s Education. Passion. Women’s Rights. Arranged Marriage.
These are central themes in Julia Pascal’s witty and dynamic new play A Manchester Girlhood which premieres in Blackpool. This radical, multi-layered theatre work uses Brechtian cabaret and Greek stage techniques to explore 20th century Jewish exile from Europe. It reveals the effects of identity-crisis, the struggle for women’s freedom, intense family rivalry and the dilemma of marriage. Pascal was born in Manchester and grew up in Blackpool. This script is fuelled by a desire to show major recent historical events through the eyes of girls and women.
Watch a snippet here: