Holocaust-themed play by Polish writer causes stir in Los Angeles

Right Left With Heels, a surrealistic play by Sebastian Majewski, tracks a pair of high-heeled shoes made from the skin of a Jewish prisoner murdered in Auschwitz.

By TOM TUGEND
June 25, 2016 23:19
1 minute read.
Auschwitz-Birkenau

Auschwitz-Birkenau. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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LOS ANGELES – A new play by a Polish writer, with an unusual Holocaust theme, is at the center of a dispute between the Polish Consulate in Los Angeles and an experimental theater company in adjacent Santa Monica.

Right Left With Heels, a surrealistic play by Sebastian Majewski, tracks a pair of high-heeled shoes made from the skin of a Jewish prisoner murdered in Auschwitz.

The shoes are first worn by Magda Goebbels, wife of German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, and are then passed on through a series of owners up to the present.

In the play, the durable shoes are put on trial at Nuremberg and later testify on major events in Poland’s turbulent post-war history.

The theater company City Garage, set to open the play in its US premiere on July 8, has now said that the Polish Consulate has withdrawn its earlier promise of financial support for the drama’s run, the Los Angeles Times reported.


Charles Duncombe, producing director of City Garage, said that Ignacy Zarski, cultural attaché at the consulate, initially offered to pay for the drama’s opening night reception, as well as for promotional activities.

Later, Duncombe said, Zarski backed out, citing concerns about the reaction of his country’s current rightist government, which is unflatteringly portrayed in the play.

Zarski, for his part, said that no financial support had been promised and that a request for support had been denied for budgetary, not political, reasons.

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