En Route-Kaddish [2014]

Premiere on December, 15th 2014 at Théâtre de Vanves

Directed and performed by

David Geselson

Elios Noël

Collaboration

Jean-Pierre Baro

Stage design

Lisa Navarro

Lighting design

Jérémie Papin

Video design

Jérémie Scheidler

Sound design

Loïc Le Roux

Set construction 

Guillaume Lepert

Technical team on tour :
Stage and sound manager

Loïc Le Roux

Lighting manager

ArNo Seghiri

Video manager

Julien Reis, Jérémie Scheidler

Production manager

Noura Sairour

Tour manager and press relations

AlterMachine I Carole Willemot

 

Duration 1h40

My grandfather, died in July 2009 in Jerusalem, in the southwest sector of the city.
In 2010, with the help of archives and family stories, I began to document and to reinvent his life story. I wanted to bridge myth and history.

This is the story of a man whose life spanned the 20th century.

Leaving Lithuania in 1934 to move to Palestine, Yehouda witnessed the different stages of the construction of the state of Israel. He crossed post-Shoah Europe as a soldier in the Jewish Brigade of the British Army; from 1971, he founded and directed the Ben Zvi Institute in Jerusalem, which promotes research on the history of Israel. He was awarded a prize by the Israeli president for his work as a director of the Ben-Zvi institute, but the ideals he had been pursuing all his life were already beginning to shatter. His dream was nearly destroyed.
When he died in the summer of 2009, I was nearly 30 and had fled to Japan after separating from my wife.
It was there, in unknown Tokyo, that I would find my grandfather again and begin to re-conquer my own history.
There are two of us, Yehouda and David, telling this story: a man whose ideals are in tatters and a young man, heir to a history impossible to assume without reviving it, questioning it, doubting it, learning to understand it and to make it his own.
And then, there are their impossible love stories. The woman Yehouda loved all of his life, without ever being able to live with her, and the break-up that drove his grandson to unknown Japan.

First written as short stories, these tales now adapted to the theatre are presented by Elios Noël and myself.
They interrogate both the recent history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with its ethical, social, human, and political consequences, and our own personal histories.What sort of life do the burdens of past History allow us to choose?
How does one build an adult life surrounded by family ghosts and crushing facts?
How can we look at today’s Israeli-Palestinian conflict and see something beyond religious, national, or historic affiliations?
To what extent can the pursuit of an ideal justify our acts?

David Geselson

Produced by Compagnie Lieux-dits

Coproduced by Théâtre de Vanves, Théâtre de la Bastille

With the help of DRAC Île-de-France, Arcadi Île-de-France, Centre National du Théâtre and Fond de dotation Porosus

Thanks to Archives of the CNC, Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers, La Colline–théâtre national, Théâtre Paris-Villette, Lilas-en-Scène, Confluences and Fabrique MC11

The text En Route-Kaddish is laureate of the CNT (May 2014, creative help, Incentives category)

Residencies at Théâtre de la Colline, at Lilas en Scènes, at Confluences, at Théâtre Paris-Vilette, at La Fabrique MC11 at Montreuil in partership with the Plateaux Solidaires of l’Arcadi, at Théâtre de Vanves as part of the residence help from Drac Île‑de‑France, at Carreau du Temple as part of l’incubateur international, and at Théâtre de la Bastille

Company Lieux-dits is accredited by the ministère de la Culture – DRAC Île-de-France

The text En Route-Kaddish is published by Lieux-dits publishing

My grandfather, died in July 2009 in Jerusalem, in the southwest sector of the city.
In 2010, with the help of archives and family stories, I began to document and to reinvent his life story. I wanted to bridge myth and history.

This is the story of a man whose life spanned the 20th century.

Leaving Lithuania in 1934 to move to Palestine, Yehouda witnessed the different stages of the construction of the state of Israel. He crossed post-Shoah Europe as a soldier in the Jewish Brigade of the British Army; from 1971, he founded and directed the Ben Zvi Institute in Jerusalem, which promotes research on the history of Israel. He was awarded a prize by the Israeli president for his work as a director of the Ben-Zvi institute, but the ideals he had been pursuing all his life were already beginning to shatter. His dream was nearly destroyed.
When he died in the summer of 2009, I was nearly 30 and had fled to Japan after separating from my wife.
It was there, in unknown Tokyo, that I would find my grandfather again and begin to re-conquer my own history.
There are two of us, Yehouda and David, telling this story: a man whose ideals are in tatters and a young man, heir to a history impossible to assume without reviving it, questioning it, doubting it, learning to understand it and to make it his own.
And then, there are their impossible love stories. The woman Yehouda loved all of his life, without ever being able to live with her, and the break-up that drove his grandson to unknown Japan.

First written as short stories, these tales now adapted to the theatre are presented by Elios Noël and myself.
They interrogate both the recent history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with its ethical, social, human, and political consequences, and our own personal histories.What sort of life do the burdens of past History allow us to choose?
How does one build an adult life surrounded by family ghosts and crushing facts?
How can we look at today’s Israeli-Palestinian conflict and see something beyond religious, national, or historic affiliations?
To what extent can the pursuit of an ideal justify our acts?

David Geselson

Premiere on December, 15th 2014 at Théâtre de Vanves Directed and performed by David Geselson Elios Noël Collaboration Jean-Pierre Baro Stage design Lisa Navarro Lighting design Jérémie Papin Video design Jérémie Scheidler Sound design Loïc Le Roux Set construction  Guillaume Lepert   Technical team on tour : Stage and sound manager Loïc Le Roux Lighting manager ArNo Seghiri Video manager Julien Reis, Jérémie Scheidler Production manager Noura Sairour Tour manager and press relations AlterMachine I Carole Willemot Duration 1h40

Produced by Compagnie Lieux-dits

Coproduced by Théâtre de Vanves, Théâtre de la Bastille

With the help of DRAC Île-de-France, Arcadi Île-de-France, Centre National du Théâtre and Fond de dotation Porosus

Thanks to Archives of the CNC, Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers, La Colline–théâtre national, Théâtre Paris-Villette, Lilas-en-Scène, Confluences and Fabrique MC11

The text En Route-Kaddish is laureate of the CNT (May 2014, creative help, Incentives category)

Residencies at Théâtre de la Colline, at Lilas en Scènes, at Confluences, at Théâtre Paris-Vilette, at La Fabrique MC11 at Montreuil in partership with the Plateaux Solidaires of l’Arcadi, at Théâtre de Vanves as part of the residence help from Drac Île‑de‑France, at Carreau du Temple as part of l’incubateur international, and at Théâtre de la Bastille

Company Lieux-dits is accredited by the ministère de la Culture – DRAC Île-de-France

The text En Route-Kaddish is published by Lieux-dits publishing

Videos

Bibliography and references

Works
Ivan Jablonka, L’histoire est une littérature contemporaine, manifeste pour les sciences sociales, Edition du Seuil, 2014
Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Zakhor, Histoire juive et mémoire juive, Paris, Gallimard, 1984
Haruki Murakami, La fin des temps, Edition du Seuil, 2005
L’éléphant s’évapore, Editions Belfond, 2008
Daniel Mendelsohn, Les Disparus, trad. Pierre Guglielmina, Edition Flammarion, 2007

Films, documentaries
Israël – Palestine : l’emprise des images,
documentary by Jérôme Bourdon realised by Antonio Wagner. INA – 2008
The Gatekeepers, documentary by Dror Moreh in 2012

“In En Route-Kaddish two stories mingle : Yehouda Ben Porat story played by Elios Noël and David’s story played by himself.
The two stories cross the paths of these two men with different seeking for themselves at different periods, but in fact with the same desire overhelming them, a desire they cannot cope with. A desire reaching the heart of every spectator : Is there somewhere a land for us on this earth ?”

Brigitte Salino, Le Monde

“Both interpreters are fine and sensitive. We listen and consider them with kindness. (…) a very special moment”

Armelle Héliot, Le Figaro

“With three removable screens, some images of archive and the beautiful complicity of the comedian Elios Noël, (…) Geselson has a dialogue with his ghosts, confronts different periods and different opinions. He reveals with his high sensibility the complexity of the story told, deeply inscribed in the flesh of the two protagonists.”

Emmanuelle Bouchez, Télérama

“There is no murder in his splendid play  En Route-Kaddish, but more than one wound and many questions.
At the end there is no answer but rather a bag full of sensations, a knot attached  to the history of this area passing through the word Palestine.”

Jean-Pierre Thibaudat, Médiapart

“In En Route-Kaddish two stories mingle : Yehouda Ben Porat story played by Elios Noël and David’s story played by himself.
The two stories cross the paths of these two men with different seeking for themselves at different periods, but in fact with the same desire overhelming them, a desire they cannot cope with. A desire reaching the heart of every spectator : Is there somewhere a land for us on this earth ?”

Brigitte Salino, Le Monde

“Both interpreters are fine and sensitive. We listen and consider them with kindness. (…) a very special moment”

Armelle Héliot, Le Figaro

“With three removable screens, some images of archive and the beautiful complicity of the comedian Elios Noël, (…) Geselson has a dialogue with his ghosts, confronts different periods and different opinions. He reveals with his high sensibility the complexity of the story told, deeply inscribed in the flesh of the two protagonists.”

Emmanuelle Bouchez, Télérama

“There is no murder in his splendid play  En Route-Kaddish, but more than one wound and many questions.
At the end there is no answer but rather a bag full of sensations, a knot attached  to the history of this area passing through the word Palestine.”

Jean-Pierre Thibaudat, Médiapart

Théâtre de Vanves (France)

15.12.2014 — 18.12.2014

Théâtre de Jarny (France)

14.10.2015

Les Bancs Publics, Marseille (France)

20.11.2015 — 21.11.2015

Théâtre d’Arles (France)

19.01.2016 — 20.01.2016

L’Aire Libre, Rennes (France)

27.01.2016

Théâtre Liberté, Toulon (France)

02.03.2016 — 03.03.2016

Nouveau Théâtre de Montreuil (France)

17.03.2016 — 03.04.2016

Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne (Switzerland) 

28.05.2016 — 29.05.2016

L’Apostrophe – Scène nationale de Cergy-Pontoise et du Val-d’Oise (France)

23.05.2017 — 24.05.2017

Festival Théâtre en mai, Théâtre Dijon-Bourgogne – CDN (France)

26.05.2018 — 27.05.2018

L’empreinte – Scène nationale de Brive-Tulle (France) 

29.03.2019

Le Rayon Vert, Saint-Valery-en-Caux (France) [rescheduled]

12.02.2021
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