A Dybbuk is the soul of someone who has died too early. Julia Pascal's The Dybbuk is inspired by Solomon Anski's great Yiddish classic. Pascal's Dybbuk starts in Germany where Judith, a British atheist Jew, looks at today's Germany and feels that Hitler has won. Judith is haunted by thoughts of her lost family and this leads her in to a dream world haunted by ghosts, or dybbuks.
She imagines a ghetto somewhere in Eastern Europe where five non-religious Jews live their final day before transportation to Auschwitz. In this ghetto, the five Jews argue, discuss Kabbalah, love, sex and death, relate fragments of their lives, play out half remembered scenes from the myth of The Dybbuk (which inspired Anski) and dream of full bellies.
The actual Dybbuk myth is encapsulated in a play world which the Jews walk in and out of, where finally the possession of the young girl's body by the spirit of her dead lover, is evoked in a four minute Expressionist dance. The work poses the question about why we keep on telling our stories even on the eve of destruction. It has five performers and uses text, movement and music in an homage to a culture that was annihilated by the Nazis.