Drama productions with Blah Blah Blah

Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah are a Leeds-based youth theatre group, working with young people to explore stories and narratives, bringing them to life through performances. Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah have a history of engaging with the Holocaust in partnership with the University of Leeds, the Transnational Holocaust Memory research cluster, and Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) in Leeds. The Blah’s performed a production based on a book of pictures and poems by the children of the Terezin ghetto and concentration camp for Holocaust Memorial Day 2010, responding to the official HMD theme of The Legacy of Hope.

In 2013-14 Blah’s director Anthony Haddon collaborated with Dr Helen Finch over three months to develop a drama production based in part on letters and documents of Holocaust survivors from the University of Leeds’ Liddle Collection, on a volume of poems from the Dachau concentration camps edited by Stuart Taberner and Dorothea Heiser, and on research insights from staff within the Holocaust memory research cluster.  The performance, Millions of Kisses, was performed at the University of Leeds and in the city on and around Holocaust Memorial Day 2014.

The Blahs then brought a new performance to the University in January 2015 as partners in the project ‘Germany’s Confrontation with the Holocaust in a Global Context’. The project’s main output, a travelling exhibition, considers how the Holocaust is confronted by Germany from 1945 to the present day, with sideways glances to other contexts and countries, exploring how nations and individuals come to terms with dark pasts. The Blahs took inspiration from the exhibition to devise a short performance responding to the themes and questions raised in the exhibition, working with directors Anthony Haddon and Escape Contemporary Youth Theatre’s Simon Brewis, along with a student intern from the University, Laura Beacall. The 15-minute piece, entitled Falling to our Knees, a reference to Willy Brandt’s famous kniefall before the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising memorial in 1970, was performed at Leeds City Council’s Holocaust Memorial Day event in the Town Hall and the Transnational Holocaust Memory conference at the University. You can find out more about the development of the play on this blog written by our student intern, Laura Beacall.