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Blind Summit's

The Table

October 17

October 27, 2013

Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare

A World's Stage production from England
Devised and Directed by
Blind Summit Theatre

Director’s Note

by Mark Down

The puppet in this show was originally made for another show - our adaptation of George Orwell's 1984 - in which he was going to play the leader of the secret underground resistance, "Emmanuel Goldstein." He was based on a Nazi anti-semitic propaganda posters. We didn't use him in this show in the end, partly because he seemed too cute.

Six months later we were commissioned by the Jewish Community Centre in London to make a show for something called The Other Seder. The Seder is part of Passover, a meal shared with family, friends, strangers, in which Jews remember their faith by re-enacting the story of the Exodus guided by a book called the Haggadah. This is the meal that Jesus is celebrating as the Last Supper in Christianity.

One of the strange aspects of this retelling is that they leave Moses out of the story to emphasize that God is the rescuer of the Jews. 

As we studied Moses we became more and more fascinated by his absolute mortality, his lack of divinity. He is a prophet, a mouthpiece for God, but in no way is he more than human. This is most clear in the story of his death which God himself undertakes, burying him in an unmarked grave. The whole story is about asserting God's divinity and Moses's humanity. 

This existential inquiry into the nature of man and of God seemed to be a very suitable one for exploring with a puppet and three puppeteers. 

Along the way we also referred of course to Beckett, Sartre, Yves Klein and lots of stand up comedians.

Our idea was to put Moses back on the table in puppet form. Audiences loved our puppet Moses immediately and in so doing rehabilitated a hateful propaganda image.

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