In Bubble Schmeisis, performed at Manchester Jewish Museum, writer and street performer Nick Cassenbaum welcomes you into the tradition of the Canning Town Schvitz, East London’s last authentic bath house.
Amongst the steam and tradition, Nick will take you on a journey to find the place he belongs. A schvitz is a traditional Jewish steambath; for playwright and performer Nick Cassenbaum it is also a motif of a disappearing world – the last emblem of the Jewish East End. In Bubble Schmesis, Cassenbaum recounts a trip to the schvitz with his grandfather.
An autobiographical performance, Bubble Schmeisis explores experiences and personal true stories about identity, home and belonging.
Like many Jewish people living in London, Cassenbaum’s family left the shtetl and shtiebels of Poland and Russia to flee persecution. After years of his family adjusting to British life, Cassenbaum went looking for a link to the world that his family left behind. Schlaping through summer camps, barber shops and Spurs games. Will he find what he was looking for?
Perhaps most appealingly, there is an interactive element – the show can alter depending on who is in the audience and how they respond – leaving no performance the same.
The autobiographical performance is followed by live klezmer music, performed by Bubble Schmeisis’ musicians, all wearing bathrobes and pool-shoes. With wit, joy, and sadness in equal measure, they will take their audience on an odyssey through the Dobridens, Terkishers, Freylekhs, and Zhoks at the very core of the Klezmer repertoire.
Bubble Schmeisis is being performed as part of the Festival of Leaving at the Manchester Jewish Museum.