Katsha’nes breathes irresistible life into the golden age of the London Yiddish Music Hall. In the height of the music-hall era, Jewish immigrant songwriters described their experiences in humorous, moving, feisty, irreverent and sexy Yiddish songs last sung at the turn of the Twentieth Century in the York Minster and Wonderland music halls in Whitechapel. The songs give us glimpses of an impoverished, energetic and conflicted community in a state of flux, trying to acculturate to their new home with a new culture without losing their identity.
This concert launches the debut album Don’t Ask Silly Questions with songs that tell of religious tension, pressures of sweatshop work and sexual dalliance with the lodger. Updated with extra words, new music and topical references, the parallels are all too clear and the edgy humour still pertinent today.
This theatrical multimedia performance does not require any knowledge of Yiddish – though you can expect to retain a few words to hum to the catchy melodies on your way out. Expect to cry, laugh, sing and heckle.