Caroline Westbrook

New Jewish play Shalom Baby tackles mixed-race romance

Written by Caroline Westbrook. Posted in Theatre

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Published on October 19, 2011 with No Comments

A new play which takes a bittersweet look at the issue of interracial romance is set to charm audiences when it opens in East London.

Shalom Baby, which is set against the backdrop of 1930s Berlin during the Nazis’ rise to power, follows the fortunes of a wealthy young woman who falls for her family’s black Shabbas Goy – the assistant employed by the family to help them with tasks on the Sabbath.

As events unfold in the 1930s, a parallel modern day storyline sees a mixed-race couple in Brooklyn having to cope with all that life throws at them.

Playwright Rikki Beadle-Blair has said he was inspired to write the script after noticing a lack of information about black survivors of the Holocaust – but had other reasons for setting the play in Berlin and New York.

“I went for Berlin because it was the most liberal city in the world” he said in a recent interview., “until it suddenly became the epicentre of the build-up to the Holocaust” – a demonstration of the power of narrow thinking.  “New York was for similar reasons. It’s America’s largest and most liberal city.”

Shalom Baby opens at the Theatre Royal Stratford East on October 20 and runs until November 19.


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