04 June, 2019
University of Southampton Parkes Institute
The King of Lampedusa tells the incredible true story of an Italian garrison surrendering to a young Jewish pilot from the East End of London when he landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa during the Second World War. RAF Flight Sergeant Sydney Cohen became a hero back home and his story was turned into a hit musical.
This summer, the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations from the University of Southampton will present an evening celebrating the 75th anniversary of The King of Lampedusa (Der kenig fun lampeduse), London’s most famous Yiddish play. The play was performed to audiences for almost six months following its opening at the Grand Palais Folks Theatre in 1943, and it is one of few surviving examples of an original Yiddish play to emerge from London’s East End.
The performance consists of a rehearsed-reading of excerpts from the translated text, accompanied by recently re-discovered music from the original score, as well as talks from members of the Parkes Institute contextualising and exploring the significance of the play. Join us to celebrate the 75th anniversary of London’s most famous Yiddish play, and relive a piece of theatre history!
Play written by Samuel J Harendorf
Adapted and translated by Heather Valencia
University of Southampton Students & Staff: £1