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5 - 20 July 2003

Phoenix Theatre

Elwood

Written by

JASON SHERMAN

Directed by

GRED ULFAN

Produced by

DANNY GESUNDHEIT

Cast

DAVID DEMANT

JEREMY LEVI

EVA PARKIN

DAVID WHITELY

Stage Manager

Jon Moss

 

Assistant Stage Manager

Nicole Rechtmann

 

Set Design

Scott Shaw

Lighting Design

Nick Merrylees

Lighting Operator

Jo Bransby

Sound Design

Mik La Vage

Publicist

Isadora Van Camp

In The Retreat, Rachel's script focuses on the story of Shabbatai Z'vi, who was one of the most supported false Messiahs in Jewish history.  In the mid 17th century Z'vi, a Turkish Jew, started to make claims that he was a Messiah which followed a wave of persecution and disaster that threatened many large pockets of European Jewry.  The need for salvation in times of hardship, together with the popularity of the Kabbalah in those days, which predicted that redemption was just around the corner, meant that Z'vi received overwhelming support from Jews throughout the world.  The support Z'vi received led to the growth of Shabbateanism, a large Messianic movement, which violated many Jewish laws.  For example, Jewish holidays were celebrated at different times of the years and the Ten Commandments were abolished.  In 1666 he was arrested and sent to jail in Constantinople and given the choice between death or conversion to Islam.  After this many of his followers lost faith in Z'vi and declared him a false Messiah.

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