This December, Tanya Truman and Deli Segal will bring their hilarious comedy show, Pickle, to MJM as part of Synagogue Nights, a season of intimate evening events in our synagogue. We’ve recently spoken to them both about this darkly comic piece.
Here’s the shtick: Ari is caught between two worlds. Still living at her family home in North-West London, she has her life dominated by overbearing parents, religious traditions, and high expectations. Then there’s her day-to-day life; the job, the pub and the *sigh* love life.
Written and performed by Deli Segal and produced by Tanya Truman, Pickle is a darkly comic one-woman show about reconciling belief and tradition with change. It explores the complex, yet all-too-familiar experience of trying to find balance between two conflicting worlds. What does it mean to be a young Jewish woman in North-West London today? We talked about it with Deli and Tanya!
Hello both, can you tell us a bit more about yourselves and the work that you do?
Deli: Hi, I’m Deli and I’m an actor and writer from North London. I originally trained as an actor at East 15 Acting
School and recently started writing my own work. Pickle is my first full-length play.
Tanya: And I’m Tanya. I’m an actor and producer, also from North London. I trained in musical theatre initially at LSMT and then went on to do an MA in Creative Producing at Mountview over the pandemic. I have a particular love for developing new writing with contemporary Jewish themes, often female led.
What is Pickle about and where did the idea for this show come from?
D: Pickle is a one-woman show which follows Ari, a young Jewish woman from North-West London as she navigates life between her traditional family home and her non-Jewish life outside it. It was inspired by growing up in the North-West London Jewish community and the vibrant characters I saw around me. I wanted to celebrate the young Jewish female experience in a play that was joyful and comic, rather than focus on suffering.
What do you like most about Ari?
D: Ari never misses an opportunity to crack a joke. She’s often her authentic self in situations where others might try to put on an act, for instance, in the workplace. I think a lot of people can relate to Ari’s desire to find what makes her happy and her honesty in sharing that throughout the play.
T: Ari is the Jewish best friend I never had! I think she speaks to so many of us who sort of sit in the middle of living a Jewish and secular life. She’s honest, loveable, and hilarious.
What can the audiences expect from this show? What do you hope they will take away from it?
D: Warmth, heart and humour! I hope they take away a little bit of the joy that Ari discovers herself.
T: I hope people come away from the show feeling seen. Being able to relate closely to a role you see presented on stage is so powerful and inspiring. This has certainly been the experience for many of our London audience so far!
What excites you most about performing at Manchester Jewish Museum and in our restored synagogue?
D: I’m so excited to share the piece with audience in Manchester and perform in the beautiful surroundings of the building. It truly is stunning. I hope that the setting will bring a lot to the atmosphere of the show. I can’t wait for that.
T: I’m so excited to meet our Manchester audience and see how the piece lands in another city. I think they’re going to love it!
What’s next – what should we look out from you in the future?
D: Keep your eyes peeled for more Pickle adventures in the future. We’re also performing in Radlett on 18th January 2023, so if you miss us in Manchester, come along.
T: Watch this space…