In Scholem Aleichem’s Wandering Stars, the first novel in the Yiddish language, Reizel the cantor’s daughter and the wealthy Benje Rafalowitch’s son Leibel are mesmerized by a Yiddish theatre troupe: the characters’ first encounter with the theatre takes on a significance as overwhelming as falling in love for the first time.
In a new adaptation by the Jewish writing team Julie Paucker and Sam Hunter, an unconventional, politically-engaged street theatre troupe arrives (on rickshaws!) to tell this very Yiddish, very Jewish story with all the politically incorrect pitfalls that it entails. It’s the story of theatre artists in crisis, and the difficulty of finding their place in the world. As Leibel tells Reizel in the play: “Stars don’t fall, they wander.”
“Wandering Stars brings the world of Eastern-European Jews back to life . . . not in a nostalgic way however, but rather with the stylistic devices of contemporary street theatre. And the magnificent actors squabble their way through the endlessly complicated tale with virtuosity.”
– Ulrike Borowczyk, Berliner Morgenpost, 21.08.2021