Synagogue Scratch, Manchester Jewish Museum’s celebration of new Jewish works-in-progress returns this May with four special performances.

It follows the success of 2023’s inaugural edition, with next month’s programme spanning poetry and talks, theatre and vocal recitals.

This year also marks the 150th anniversary of the venue’s stunning Spanish and Portuguese synagogue — with that said, all performances are set to include an apt element of Sephardi flavour.

On Thu 9 May, the museum welcomes multi-genre vocalist Hannah Rachel as she explores the ancient tradition of cantillation – the art of vocalising the Torah – and its influences across jazz, popular and contemporary classical genres. Hannah will be joined by a small ensemble of instrumentalists from Klezmorim of Manchester, led by Dan Mawson, in new arrangements devised especially for this event.

Next up, on Sun 19 May, audiences are invited to experience Amy Lever’s work-in-progress play Lost Girl. The performance delves into Jewish-Arab heritage, the expectations of womanhood and found family through the story of Birdy, who determined to travel, digs into her estranged family’s Jewish heritage in the hopes of securing an EU passport.

An intimate evening of poetry and conversation with Aviva Dautch, Jill Abram and Kitty Martin arrives on Sun 26 May. According to orthodox Jewish law, a Minyan (quorum) of ten men is required to speak prayers in public. There are no rules for women speaking poems, so meet the Manchester Minyanaires as they examine why you can take a poet out of Jewish Manchester, but you can’t take Jewish Manchester out of the poet…

Drawing things to a close, on Thu 30 May, the synagogue hosts a screening of Into the Melting Pot, a concertplay developed by groundbreaking theatre and music company The Telling. Set in 1942 Seville, the production follows a Jewish woman who is forced to leave Spain and set sail for an uncertain future, a story crafted to echo the countless personal stories of those affected by politics and war today.

Synagogue Scratch has been developed to platform both established and breakthrough Jewish artists at various stages of their works-in-progress. Audiences will be amongst the first to see these pieces as they find their feet and before being released to the wider public.

For more information, or to book tickets to any of the upcoming shows, click the button below.

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Thu 9 May - Thu 30 May, Manchester Jewish Museum,
190 Cheetham Hill Rd, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M8 8LW
Wire Editor
Published on:
Fri 12 Apr 2024