Talk about a delayed thrill: Paula Vogel’s lauded play Indecent was primed for its British debut at the Menier Chocolate Factory back in March 2020, when the curtains came down across theatreland. So here it finally is, directed as in New York by Tony winner Rebecca Taichman but even more immediately powerful and moving than I remember from its Vineyard Theatre iteration. (The subsequent Broadway transfer won an additional Tony for Christopher Akerlind’s lighting, which is... Read more
Rather than being a play-in-a-play, Indecent dramatises the stories that surrounded a play’s opening over a century ago. Opinions have changed and viewpoints have shifted, but was Indecent an immoral take on society, or just ahead of its time. Don’t miss the London premiere of Paula Vogel’s Indecent at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Indecent tickets are available on London Theatre now.
In 1906, Polish-Jewish playwright Sholem Asch began writing The God of Vengeance, a Jewish drama about a brothel owner who wanted to marry off his daughter. During the play, scenes of a sordid nature take place, which had early twentieth-century audiences up in arms. Could The God of Vengeance be a work of religious defamation? Even though the play had its critics, it was Broadway-bound, making its US premiere in 1923. But when a theatre owner was convicted, the future of The God of Vengeance and indeed what could be told on stage became a court matter.
This is where the Indecent play steps in to continue the narrative. Debating whether The God of Vengeance is a piece of Jewish culture or traitorous libel, Paula Vogel’s drama tells the lives of those who risked their careers for the performing arts.
Rebecca Taichmann will direct Indecent in London. Taichmann directed Indecent on Broadway, and won a Tony Award for her direction. A small klezmer band, playing traditional music of the Ashkenazi Jews, will play live music during Indecent. Original music in Indecent is by Lisa Gutkin and Aaron Halva.
Indecent was on Broadway in 2017, and was subsequently nominated for three Tonys. In an Indecent review for New York Theatre Guide, Michael Hillyer said: “Proudly Jewish and self-consciously theatrical… Mss. Vogel and Taichman work their transporting magic in plain sight… Indecent is pretty much just three boards, two actors, and one magnificent, transcendent passion.”
It’s coincidental that a play about a play which was argued about could have been stopped in London. But that’s what happened to Indecent. Indecent in London was due to open at the Menier Chocolate Factory in March 2020. However it was forced to suspend performances for 18 months due to the pandemic. Now, Indecent will be the first show back at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
Tickets to Indecent are available now. Book your Indecent tickets on London Theatre today.