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A Holocaust Cabaret

Re-making Theatre from a Jewish Ghetto

A unique exploration of a 1943 play adapted by an Australian and a South African production teams in 2017.

A Holocaust Cabaret presents two scripts that were created in 2017 from the same source materials: preserved song lyrics from a performance titled Prince Bettliegend that was created in 1943 in the Terezín (Theresienstadt) Ghetto. The materials were complemented by the popular 1930s jazz melodies to which those lyrics were set, and by fragments of testimony by survivors who performed in or witnessed that production. Lisa Peschel synthesized the existing materials into a rough plot outline, then collaborated with local production teams at the University of Sydney and Stellenbosch University to reimagine the play. A Holocaust Cabaret presents the final scripts alongside a series of essays by her collaborators about the process of their creation and production and an exploration of the original Terezín production.

230 pages | 6 3/4 x 9 1/2

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Table of Contents


List of Figures



Joseph Toltz and Petrus du Preez


Part I

Introduction to A Holocaust Cabaret: Remaking Theatre from a Jewish Ghetto

Lisa Peschel

‘There must be some way to protect this young man’: Remaking Prince Bettliegend

Ian Maxwell

Student Ethnographers in the Rehearsal Room: Witnessing Prinz Bettliegend

Laura Ginters

Singing Up the Past and Stompin’ with the Prinz: Jaroslav Ježek and the Music of Prinz Bettliegend

Joseph Toltz and Kevin Hunt

Conversation I: Prinz Bettliegend in Australia and Bearing the Gift Forward

Amelda Brand, Ian Maxwell and Lisa Peschel (Edited by Lisa Peschel)

Prinz Bettliegend in the Western Cape, South Africa: Permission to Play

Amelda Brand

Out of the Shadows: Notions of Memory and Remembrance

Leonore Bredekamp

Race, Power … and Clowning: The Stellenbosch Cast Reflects

Amelda Brand and the Stellenbosch cast (Edited by Lisa Peschel)

Conversation II: The Prinz and Pedagogy, Identity and Cultural Appropriation

Amelda Brand, Ian Maxwell and Lisa Peschel (Edited by Lisa Peschel)


Part II

Prince Bettliegend Performance Script: Australia, August 2017
Prinz Bettliegend Performance Script: Western Cape, South Africa, March 2018



Lisa Peschel

Appendix 1: Plot outline and songs

Notes on Contributors


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