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Gesher Theater's "Yakish & Poopche"

"Yakish & Poopche"

By famed Israeli playwright, Hanoch Levin (with English subtitles)

Including post-show talk with Gesher Theater's General Director and wine l'chaims with members of the cast.

" A brilliant play and a brilliant interesting production... a grotesque comical aspect... very beautiful..."

About the show: Yakish & Poopche

This phenomenal Israeli classic gloomy comedy is a story about two lonely people, Yakish and Poopche. Both are poor and hideously ugly and although they burn with desire to find a mate, yet no one wants them. Eventually, with the help of a dubious matchmaker, the two come to the realization that life is not a beauty parlor; one has no choice but to give up one's dreams and aspiretions and take whatever life offers, even if it is only a rag. And so the two, as a last resort, join in matrimony, but Yakish is so repelled by his wife's ugliness that he is unable to rise to the occasion and consummate the marriage... Finally, after hard labor, Yakish manages somehow to perform his duties and the couple can thus life unhappily ever after.

The world that Levin creates is cruel, grim and devoid of illusion. In a way it is like hell where those who enter must abandon all hope.

The director, Yevgeny Arie explores this "gloomy comedy" with panache. People are pathetically funny just as clowns who disguise their faces with heavy make-up and tror upon the stage of life making us laugh when we should cry. The world is as absurd as acircus but also as colorful.

The play is in Hebrew, but with English subtitles.

About the General Director: Lena Kreindlin

Lena was born in Moscow, where she received an M.A in Theatre Management and in Stage Directing from the Moscow Theatre Academy, and worked in leading theaters. In 1991 Lena Kreindlin left Russia and came to Israel.

She became Assistant Director to Gesher's Artistic Director, Yevgeny Arye and directed: Medea (2005),Design for Living (2006), The Elder Son (2007) and Office Romance with the collaboration of Yevgeny Arye (2009).

Lena Kreindlin has served as Gesher Theatre's General Director since 2007.

About the Venue: The Gesher Theater

In 1991, during the first Gulf War, a group of Russian actors under the leadership of Yevgeny Arye, a prominent stage director from Moscow, immigrated to Israel and in a bold move, founded a theatre symbolically named Gesher: 'a bridge' in Hebrew. It all started like a scene from the theatre of the absurd. A group of actors crowded in a small cellar in Tel-Aviv, rehearsing Hebrew texts transcribed into Cyrillic alphabet, running in their costumes and gas-masks to the nearest shelter each time the sirens started wailing to warn of an Iraqi missile attack. Yet against all odds, from its first production of Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, (April 1991), Gesher was hailed as “The Russian Miracle of the Israeli Theatre” (D'var Hashavua, August 1991). And indeed it was a miracle. What started as an impossible dream has become a huge artistic success story. Gesher is the only theatre of immigrants in the world that has thrived for so long. It is probably the only theatre where rehearsals are conducted simultaneously in three languages and where the same actors perform alternately in Hebrew and Russian.

Over the years Gesher theatre has lived up to its symbolic name and has become a bridge between Russian and Israeli cultures. The theatre has incorporated many Israeli actors into its ranks, its productions are currently mostly in Hebrew, it has moved into a permanent home in Jaffa; it has staged over 60 productions, represented Israel in more than 17 international festivals, won numerous awards and was praised by The Times as “one of the greatest and most important troupes in the world”.

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