Lu-Lu: An Auschwitz Fairy Tale
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Dresdener Neueste Nachrichten
October 30/31 2010
by: Carina Reinhardt

A Piece of Magic
One can find way over 40 pieces in the 14th Yiddish Music and Theater Week Festival program. By glancing through it one would run into "Lulu - An Auschwitz Fairytale". A clown in Auschwitz? Impossible! "Some voices were clearly against having it performed in Dresden", confirms the Festival’s artistic director Michael Rockstroh. Luckily they did let Karine Koret go on stage, because if not Dresden would have been deprived of a piece of magic.

Karine Koret was 17 when her Grandmother started to share her story with her. She told her granddaughter what she could not tell her daughter: about the deportation, Auschwitz, and losing her family. Karine Koret took secret notes and wrote a play. The main character: a young Jewish clown girl who plays, sings and dreams through life in the camp. She fights with humor to survive. She does not give up. The piece is accompanied by live music performed by Trio Carpion, who paint moments in the play even darker, while making the lighter, luckier moments even richer.

Are we allowed to laugh when its about Auschwitz? Karine Koret made the audience in the Societaets Theater do so when she played piano with her black and white inmate uniform, with her caricature of the tough Nazi guard with funny faces that made the crowd cry from laughter. One almost forgot the fear, the darkness.

And then there were moments which took the breath away, which made the public shiver down to its bones. When the clown asks the Camp manager about her family. An answer does not have to be spoken. "Why?" she asks, again and again. One single word and the sadness, compassion and guilt are back



NANA 10 -Israel

Holocaust Humor

by: Nir Neve

In "Lulu, An Auschwitz Fairytale". Karine Koret displays her grandmother's story with great talent. The freedom to laugh may be a release of some sort, however it also raises some questions.

Although in our day Holocaust humor pops up here and there, it is still considered somewhat untouchable in our midst, and the essence of the jokes themselves is based on acknowledging the inconceivable force of the Holocaust. The humoristic option for dealing with the Holocaust is no longer a new one and has come up more than once in various works and genres, the most famous of these being of course Roberto Benini's film almost a decade old "Life is Beautiful". Still, each time the Holocaust is expressed in a way that contains humor - something uncomfortable is nudged inside of us, and the work in question is examined scrupulously under a magnifying glass to ensure that we haven't crossed the thin, unclear line of talking about it in every which way without disrespecting it.

The solo show "Lulu, An Auschwitz Fairytale" which was performed in the Teatronetto Festival is also a piece of work warranting this examination. Under any other circumstances it would appear that something here is not right, but knowing that a true story was being told, that is based on the actress' grandmother's life encourages one to loosen up and reduces the need to rigorously examine every iota.

The play reveals the story of a 16 year old clown who finds herself in Auschwitz and manages to survive due to her beauty and sense of humor that never abandons her. Karine Koret turns out to be an extremely talented comedian who succeeds in conveying a world of emotions and situations with the help of a lot of gibberish, a bit of basic English and some Yiddish expressions, as are appropriate in light of the relevant era and location. Koret's abilities are recognized in each and every scene, together with the three musicians who do an excellent job, she succeeds in creating an almost pleasant experience, one that allows for laughter unrestrained by concern.

Although this may be the problematic issue, the sense that one is watching Julian Chagrin in "Garden Party" raises some question marks. Still, it is the Holocaust, and we are faced with the question of would the freedom to laugh along with this heroin seem right even if we weren't aware that it was a representation of a true story?

By: Shlomi Golan and Karine Koret
Acting: Karine Koret
Director: Shlomi Golan
Musical director and violinist: Daniel Hoffman
Accordionist: Boris Malkoveski
Wind and percussion instruments: Gershon Waiserfirer


a new play by karine koret and shlomi golan




photos by Sebastian Löder

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