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Nathan the Wise in the Judith E. Wilson Drama Studio

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The Faculty of English presents Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s Nathan the Wise in a translation by William Taylor.

This free event is kindly supported by the British Academy and the Judith E. Wilson Society.

Judith E. Wilson Drama Studio, Faculty of English, 9 West Road. Wednesday, 5th March – Saturday, 8th March, 8 pm. Free. Contact Dr Eva Urban on for reservations.

This work in progress experimental production will set Lessing’s 1779 Enlightenment play, originally set in medieval Jerusalem during an armistice at the end of the Third Crusade, in a Berlin Café in the 1920’s. It seeks to renew Lessing’s appeal to intercultural understanding in the contemporary world by evoking the context of artistic innovation and internationalism in the Weimar Republic before its tragic demise. A group of 1920’s women intellectuals, poets, journalists, actors, and dancers will rehearse their own performance of Nathan the Wise, including multilingual songs and poems. In this play-within-the play, Nathan will be performed by the poet Mascha Kaléko, Saladin will be performed by the poet and painter Else Lasker-Schüler, Recha will be performed by the young actress Marlene Dietrich, Daja will be performed by actress Anna May Wong, the Dervish Al Hafi will be performed by poet Sarojini Naidu, Sittah will be performed by performance artist, dancer, and writer Anita Berber, and the Templar Knight will be performed by journalist Sylvia von Harden.

Creative Team:

Director: Eva Urban Producer: James Donovan Lighting Designer: Jeremy Hardingham Assistant Director: Sonja Käufeler Lighting Assistant: Barry Devereux Casting Assistant: Maïra A. Kaye Poster & Advertising: Jordan Holland

Mascha Kaléko as NATHAN , a Jewish merchant: Maïra A. Kaye Marlene Dietrich as RECHA , his adopted daughter: Sonja Käufeler Anita Berber as BONAFIDES , a Friar, and SITTAH , Saladin’s sister: Simona Hudoklin Anna May Wong as DAJA , Recha’s Christian nurse: Hope Chen Sylvia von Harden as CONRAD , a young Templar: Constanze Hammerle Sarojini Naidu as AL HAFI , a Dervish: Priyanka Joshi Else Lasker-Schüler as SALADIN , the Sultan, and ATHANASIOS , the Christian Patriarch: Esme Mahoney

This talk is part of the Nathan the Wise in the Judith E. Wilson Drama Studio series.

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