Manchester Jewish Museum

By Julia Pascal
A ManchesterGirlhood



Manchester Jewish Museum's former synagogue


£14 (includes the show, post-performance conversation with the artist and a drink from the museum's cafe)

Three daughters of Romanian Jews grow up in Manchester during the 20th century and experience war, love, loss and rivalry. Part of Synagogue Scratch season.

Julia Pascal grew up in the north of England. She trained as an actor and was also a journalist before starting her career as a playwright and theatre director. She was the first woman director at the National Theatre on the South Bank with her stage adaptation of Dorothy Parker’s prose and poetry. She is the granddaughter of Manchester Jews and a playwright who has focused her work on exploring untold Jewish stories, particularly those of women. She’s interested in sharing neglected Jewish histories which counter stereotypes and add complexity to the Jewish experience.

‘A Manchester Girlhood’ is a play rooted in Julia’s family’s history. It is based on the lives of three Manchester Jewish women and their Romanian immigrant mother.

In Bucharest 1910, Esther Goldenberg has been forced to marry Emanuel Jacobs. He is her parents’ choice. The two young Romanian Jews go to Manchester and have three daughters, Isabel, Edith and Pearl. Isabel’s only ambition is to be a doctor’s wife. Edith becomes a soldier. Pearl marries a GI.

Sourced by interviews with the three sisters, who grew up as the Jewish Mancunian daughters of  those who fled Romanian antisemitism, the play gives a moving vision of what it was like to struggle for a good education, love and identity as Jews who wanted free lives as women.

Writer-director: Julia Pascal.
Lesley Lightfoot,
Amanda Maud,
Eon O’Callaghan,
Saria Stayl



The recommended age for this performance is 16+.  The play contains some adult themes and topics of antisemitism.

The doors will be open from 6PM on the day of the performance. The museum Cafe will be selling food as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Please note, that food and drinks cannot be taken into the synagogue space, so if you’d like to use the Café before the show, please allow yourself additional time.

The performance will begin at 7pm and last for 1 hour. The performance will be followed by an evening of conversation with the artist, lasting 30 minutes. As part of the ticket price, you will receive one drink (white or red wine, beer or tea/coffee) for after the show.

Please note, that this event takes place at our historic synagogue with on-side seating. The synagogue will have seating areas for those with accessibility needs to enjoy the performance. Please e-mail ahead of the event to arrange for any additional accessibility needs.

How to get here

We are located on Cheetham Hill Road, just 15 minutes’ walk from Manchester’s Victoria train station and 30 minutes’ walk from Manchester City Centre. We encourage you to use public transport when travelling to the museum. You can get here by bus (135 or 41), Metrolink or train. Click HERE to see all of your travel options.

Access information

There is step free access to the museum entrance via a ramp, a lift to the first floor, level access throughout the ground floor and two accessible gender-neutral toilets. Click HERE for more access information.

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