ABOUT THE SHOW
‘Should our murderers be victorious, should they write the history of this war... they may wipe out our memory altogether, as if we had never existed, as if there had never been a Polish Jewry, a ghetto in Warsaw, a Maidanek. Not even the dogs will howl for us.’
We want to create and devise an hour-long piece of theatre to take to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for a month this summer! Not Even the Dogs will tell a compelling, inspiring and brutal true story about the power of the written word, history and stories. It will ask the audience to look back to the lowest point of human history in order to reflect on the now.
In the midst of the Warsaw Ghetto, Jewish historian and relief worker, Emmanuel Ringelblum, decides to fight Nazi oppression using the power of the written word. He recruits a team of academics, writers, artists and poets to document and hide Jewish history in archives which they bury underneath the ruins of Warsaw, so if the Nazis were ever victorious in their plan to wipe out Europe’s Jews, their voice and identity would survive. In doing so, Ringleblum risks his own, his family’s and many other peoples’ lives in order to make sure the Jews are not forgotten.
Not Even the Dogs will tell this story of incredible resilience against the worst humanity has to offer. This is not the story of how the Jews died during the Holocaust. This is the story of how they lived.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Rabbit’s Head is a new theatre company from the University of Warwick founded in March 2019. The company has used both published texts and devising to tackle socio-political issues. Its productions have dealt with themes such as the wider effects of terrorism in BU21, mental health and suicide in Every Brilliant Thing, drugs and the effect of loss in Wasted, political radicalisation in original piece Underneath, I am and love and isolation in warfare in the devised piece, The Kiss.
Many of the shows have raised money for a relevant charity, which we will do again here by collecting for the Holocaust Education Trust after every performance.
WHY IS THIS STORY IMPORTANT?
Antisemitism is very much on the rise in Europe. Whether that be antisemitic graffiti in Belsize Park or the defaming of hundreds of Jewish tombs in a French cemetery with swastikas, there is a need to give a voice to Jewish people in order to combat antisemitism. Ringelblum’s original intention with his archive was to demonstrate how Jews really lived in order to combat the Nazis’ propaganda. This play has this same aim; showing an accurate depiction of Jewish life. Antisemitism often comes from a lack of dialogue or lack of exposure to Jewish culture and by attempting to portray an accurate depiction of Jewish life, even in horrific circumstances, we hope that more dialogue will be created, enabling a greater understanding of the contemporary Jewish perspective and helping to reduce antisemitic attitudes.
We also believe that this story of persecution is extremely relevant to all people and to the now. We do not intend to hold back from portraying the barbarity of life in the Warsaw Ghetto and we believe this brutality will be made even more shocking by the fact that such acts occur in contemporary society. The attempt to systematically execute a group of people based on their race or ideology is something that is happening on a mass scale today whether that be Chinese ‘reeducation’ centres or North Korean gulags. Thus, telling a story of such barbarism has never been of more relevance.
The majority of Holocaust stories portray Jews as passive victims of great suffering whose pain is only alleviated by the intervention of ‘Good Germans’. Two of the most famous Holocaust films follow this narrative with Schindler’s List featuring the intervention of a ‘Good Nazi’ to save many thousands of helpless Jews and The Pianist featuring the aid of many kind Germans who help the eponymous hero to survive. The story of Emmanuel Ringelblum is anything but passive – he is active in organising the Oyneg Shabbes movement and refuses to accept his suffering as part of his daily routine. This is something new that previous Holocaust narratives have not featured and why we think this project is unique.
WHERE YOU COME IN
Taking a show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is expensive, very expensive. And while we've generously received funding support through our university, any money you can spare, anything at all, would be hugely beneficial in making the show better and guaranteeing we can get ourselves and a cast to Edinburgh on the smallest costs possible. Thank you for reading our Crowdfunder and please consider making a contribution, however big or small, to help us tell this hugely important story!