Mark Levy’s new play, Meet Me at Cantor’s, highlights the importance of oral histories in the Jewish community.
Milim is one of 10 organisations benefiting from support from Leeds City Council’s Leeds 2023 – a year of culture programme. A range of creative works under the theme of “Letting Culture Loose” partly funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund will unearth individual and community-based stories, bringing them to life in original and engaging ways to reach new audiences.
Meet Me At Cantors is a play being written by author and journalist Anthony Clavane and historian Mike Levy based on oral histories from Jewish residents recalling their young adult days in and around Chapeltown in the late 1940s and 1950s, when Cantor’s Fish and Chip shop was the focal point
Anthony and Mike have used the true story of Anthony’s father Emile Clavane as one of the threads in the narrative. Emile met his future wife in Blackpool, danced with her at the Winter Gardens, lost touch but accidentally found each other again on a Leeds tram. Also included is a story about the often-neglected Leeds Jewish artist Jacob Kramer who used to sketch portraits at the fish and chip shop.
Recognising the importance of capturing oral histories, the funding will enable the development of oral history database providing a long-term legacy for the community. Alan Benstock, one of Milim’s directors explained that “the support we are receiving is not just financial as Leeds 2023 are providing us with a professional producer whose experience will be valuable in ensuring the final performance is a success.”