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In Praise of Diasporas

Simon McBurney, Adam Thirlwell, Rachel Lasserson

02/03/2008 10:45 am
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The history of Jewish novelists has been a history of emigration: of exile and translation. From Kafka to Italo Svevo, from Isaac Bashevis Singer to Saul Bellow, Jewish novelists have often been marked by a cultural and linguistic cosmopolitanism. But what is the value of displacement? of memory? The director of Complicite who adapted Bruno Schulz’s Street of Crocodiles to the stage discussed these themes with Adam Thirlwell.

Simon McBurney

Simon McBurney studied at Cambridge and trained in Paris. Co-founder and Artistic Director of Complicite with whom he has devised, directed and acted in over 30 Complicite productions and has collaborated on diverse projects including The Vertical Line for Artangel with John Berger in the Aldwych Tube, French and Saunders Live in 2000, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui in New York with Al Pacino in the title role, and Lenny Henry\'s West End debut, So Much Things To Say. For Complicite he most recently directed A Disappearing Number at the Barbican, Measure for Measure and A Minute Too Late at the National Theatre, Strange Poetry (created for the Los Angeles Philarmonic Orchestra in LA), and The Elephant Vanishes (co-produced with Setagaya Public Theatre, Tokyo). As an actor Simon has performed extensively for theatre, radio, film and TV. Feature films include Sleepy Hollow, Kafka, Tom and Viv, Being Human, Cousin Bette, Onegin, Morality Play, Bright Young Things, The Human Touch, The Reckoning, and most recently The Manchurian Candidate, Friends with Money and The Last King of Scotland.

Adam Thirlwell

Adam Thirlwell is the author of three novels, Politics, The Escape and Lurid & Cute; a novella, Kapow!; and a project with international novels that includes an essay-book – which won a Somerset Maugham Award – and a compendium of translations edited for McSweeney’s. His work is translated into 30 languages. He has twice been selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists.

Rachel Lasserson

Rachel Lasserson founded the Anglo-Brazilian Shakespeare Forum, directed plays and taught physical theatre in England and Brazil. From 2007 to 2013 she was editor of The Jewish Quarterly.