Share |

Rediscovery of a Yiddish Theatre Classic at the Finborough Theatre

Published by: Carolin Kopplin on 9th Oct 2015 | View all blogs by Carolin Kopplin

by David Pinski.

In a production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre, this is the opportunity to see a classic of Yiddish theatre for the first time in the UK – Treasure by David Pinski opens at the Finborough Theatre for a four week limited season on Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Tille is the poor gravedigger’s daughter, with nothing in the world except a head full of dreams. Things look set to stay that way, until the day her brother returns from the graveyard with a pile of gold coins– and Tille is faced with a choice. She can hand in the money and go back to a life of drudgery, or she can use it to turn the world upside down.

As the village community descends on the cemetery in search of gold, Tille and her family must use their wits to stay one step ahead of those who want their share of the treasure. 

A timeless fable of folly and greed that celebrates one woman’s ingenuity in the midst of chaos.

Treasure, or Der Oytser, is a comic masterpiece of Yiddish theatre. Written in 1906 and first performed in 1912, it remained popular in the Yiddish repertoire until the 1940s: most notably, Max Reinhardt’s production in Germany in 1919, an English-language version on Broadway in 1920, as well as a production staged in the Vilna Ghetto in 1943.

Playwright David Pinski (1872-1959) was a Russian-born playwright and novelist. He was one of Yiddish theatre’s most notable dramatists, as well as one of its most prolific. During the course of his lifetime, he wrote over sixty plays including The Last Jew, or The Zvi Family, and The Eternal Jew

The first professional production in Yiddish theatre occurred in a wine garden in Romania in 1876, and there followed an explosion of playwriting, with a roster of famous actors performing in the Yiddish theatres that were established all over Eastern Europe, as well as in America and the UK, especially in London, Manchester and Glasgow. Well known works first written in Yiddish include The DybbukThe Golem and the works of Sholem Aleichem, later immortalised in the Broadway musicalFiddler on the Roof. The influence of Yiddish theatre in 20th century arts was far reaching including such varied names as Stella Adler, Lee Strasberg, Paul Muni, Danny Kaye, Mel Brooks, Clifford Odets, Harold Clurman, Sidney Lumet, Franz Kafka, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Leonard Nimoy.

Book online at



Please login or sign up to post on this network.
Click here to sign up now.