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The Dybbuk

By S. Ansky, In A Translation by Golda Werman, Directed by Audrey Sheffield

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19 May 2021

This semi-staged reading will take place at the Almeida, as part of Six Artists in Search of a Play.

On the day of her wedding, Leah is possessed by a dybbuk – the spirit of her former lover who died after learning of her engagement to another man.

Set in the vanished, mystically religious world of 19th-century Eastern European Hasidism, S. Ansky’s The Dybbuk is a complex and meticulously crafted tragedy in which two lovers, betrothed before birth and denied earthly communion, are ultimately bound together for all eternity.

Audrey Sheffield on why she chose this play: “There’s a view that through Yiddish theatre Jewish culture entered into dialogue with the outside world – both by putting itself on display and by importing theatrical pieces from other cultures. And The  Dybbuk was a revolutionary drama in its time and became a canonical work of both Hebrew and Yiddish Theatre. It stands out for its rich universality and as one of the most original and powerful plays in the genre. I’ve always been fascinated by its evocation and exploration of the spiritual and mystical world of shtetl Hasidism coexisting with – and ultimately transcending – the world of the physical and the material. It’s also a beautiful and poignant love story.”


Direction Audrey Sheffield
By S. Ansky
Translation Golda Werman
Composer and Musical Director Osnat Schmool
Lighting Designer Fraser Craig

Ilan Goodman
Joshua Higgott
David Horovitch
Sara Kestelman
Lilit Lesser
Elliot Levey
Andy Nyman
Jos Slovick
Esther Smith
Eleanor Wyld