A new play exploring the life of holocaust survivor and revolutionary thinker, Primo Levi, will premiere at the Tristan Bates Theatre this November in an attempt to share Levi’s message of humanity, togetherness and perseverance. Written by Geoffrey Williams, it will plays at the Tristan Bates Theatre, 6 – 24 November 2018.
Primo Levi has become recognised around the world as one of the greatest, broadest thinkers of modern times. Born in Turin in 1919, Levi was an Italian Jew transported to Auschwitz in 1943, at the age of 24. Against all odds he survived the camp, but at what cost?
Drowned or Saved? depicts Levi as he reflects on having written some of the most significant documents the world has ever seen. The works which detail the horror of his survival are of substantial historical interest because of the composed neutrality of their author. The superhuman effort to maintain such a calm penmanship in spite of such inhumane horrors is brought to the stage through a cross-world journey that pulls from the memories which haunt Levi and unavoidably bring the characters from his past to life.
In this poignant, potent play peppered with cheeky Yiddish humour, RADA alumni and former Associate Director at the York Theatre, Geoffrey Williams, debuts this vital new script at a time rife with wild and extreme political debate.
Speaking about a rehearsed reading of the production earlier this year, acclaimed author of Primo Levi’s biography, Ian Thomson, said:
“Drowned or Saved? opens a window onto Primo Levi’s moral universe in a way that is respectful of both the man and his writing. Auschwitz happened once; Auschwitz can happen again. It is very difficult – even potentially indecent – to turn a life such as Levi’s into theatre. But this play is no mere entertainment; it makes you think, and think hard, and that is more than enough.
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