In East Londonâ€™s last remaining bath house writer and performer Nick Cassenbaum finds what heâ€™s looking for, and heâ€™s touring the world to tell you all about it.
Bubbemeises is Yiddish for a grandmotherâ€™s story, a tall story, an old wivesâ€™ tale. A schvitz is a Jewish steam bath where old men go to wash, relax, complain and rejuvenate, to exchange jokes and gossip and to swap bubbemeisis.
Writer and street performer Nick Cassenbaum has been trying to make sense of his Jewish identity ever since he was a young boy. He tried everything - going to Spurs, summer camps, barbershops, religion even. All, alas, to no avail. It wasn't until his blind grandfather took him to the schvitz in Canning Town, East London that he found what he was looking for. Here men enact the ancient washing ritual of schmeissing, and, as he lay naked being schmeissed by his grandfather, he knew he had found what he was looking for, but above all, he knew he had to make a show about it.
In Bubble Schmeisis Nick and his accompanying klezmer musicians invite you to join them as they conjure the enveloping warmth of this last remaining authentic steam bath house in East London. Amongst the steam and ritual Nick will take you with him as he embarks on a journey schlepping through memories of the milestones in his life when he questioned but also celebrated aspects of his heritage to find the place where he belongs. Itâ€™s about Nick finding his identity and wanting to keep the spirit of the steam baths alive, giving an up-close insight into a community that is fading and a folk history of a once vibrant culture.
A hit with critics and audiences at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival, Bubble Schmeisis is full of intimate and personal true stories about identity, home and getting washed by old men. The show will strike a chord with anyone who looks to investigate their past to understand their present.
â€˜This is a big-hearted, appealing show about tradition and belonging. Cassenbaum is a gregarious performer and this is an accessible, generous, disarming production.â€™ The Stage ****
â€˜Cassenbaum is a disarmingly informal raconteur, talking to the audience as if we're old friends.â€™
The List ****
â€˜Effortlessly charming and infectiously funny, Bubble Schemisis is everything youâ€™d want from a
showâ€™ Three Weeks