THE TIMEKEEPERS

SYNOPSIS

THE TIMEKEEPERS is a dramatic tale of transcendence in the midst of a world gone mad.

1793 (Benjamin), an introverted  Jewish prisoner,  stays alive by fixing watches taken from Sachsenhausen’s inmates; he keeps himself alive by using his horologist’s skills.

9355 (Hans), arrested because he is gay, lies to his captors, telling them he can fix watches, and is brought into  Benjamin’s workroom by the Capo.  Hans,  an extroverted and “out” man,  is determined to use every opportunity to survive, and becomes a “dolly boy” for  the Capo, earning  bread and jam in exchange for sex.

To learn how to fix watches, Hans first tries to seduce Benjamin with his body, then with the jam and bread.  When both ploys fail, he promises to use his relationship with his Capo to gather information about Benjamin’s family.  Their relationship begins – each using the other to stay alive.

Their friendship grows through each man’s love of opera, and opera is the impetus which  allows each man’s worst prejudices to surface.  Those prejudices turn their hatred of the camp onto each other, almost destroying the common ground  they found.

At the end of the play, a shared sacrifice allows their humanity to triumph over evil,  even as it is clear that one, if not both of them will die.

 

CAST BREAKDOWN

1793 (Benjamin) – a Jewish prisoner, formerly “the best horologist in Berlin” in his 30’s

9355 (Hans) a gay man, imprisoned when a friend “named” him to the SS, in his late 20’s – mid 30’s

1706 (Capo) a criminal whom the Nazis put in charge of Hans’ and Benjamin’s work area.

 

REVIEWS of THE TIMEKEEPERS

New York:

“This three man show manages to get laughs while it packs an emotional punch.  In fact, the negative space created by humor only gives the Nazis’ almost unimaginable cruelty more room to inflict anguish to the conscience.”
The Village Voice, November 1, 2006

“A beautiful play.”
NY Theatre.com, October 13, 2006

“It’s Clancy’s willingness to show how prejudice can survive even under these conditions that ultimately makes THE TIMEKEEPERS not merely touching, but chilling.”
Backstage, October 25, 2006

“…the care and detail of its characterizations make it a lovely, engaging acting duet… a luminous production.”
NY Times, October 25, 2006


London

“THE TIMEKEEPERS is as quietly overpowering as the endless tick-tock just audible behind every scene.”
TIMEOUT LONDON, Nov. 2001

“Engrossing”
THE LONDON JEWISH CHRONICLE, Nov. 2001

“THE TIMEKEEPERS is an excellent play that is fast in pace yet sensitive in dialogue and delivery.  The pathos ensures the audiences’  emotions run as high as the prisoners’, sharing their laughter, sadness, anger and frustration….Four Stars.”
THE RAINBOW NETWORK, Nov. 2001

“This is a really beautiful, intense piece of theatre that manages to combine humor and poignancy with remarkable skill.”
THE BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE, 2004

Voted as one of the TOP FIVE SHOWS currently running in London by the British Theatre Guide, 2004


ISRAEL

“This is by far, one of the finest shows currently running on an Israeli stage.  Beautifully translated by Shila Ferber,  it deals with an intimate situation between two people in the Holocaust and attempts to provoke full identification with the audience, who will hopefully gain a taste of this inconceivable and overwhelming issue.  THE TIMEKEEPERS succeeds in doing just that.”
BAMAHANE MAGAZINE, Nov. 26, 2002

“The new production of American playwright Dan Clancy’s THE TIMEKEEPERS is an essential roller-coaster journey, which manages to strike and shock nearly at every turn.  Go and see for yourselves.  Satisfaction guaranteed.”
THE PINK TIMES, Nov. 26, 2002

THE TIMEKEEPERS by Dan Clancy, now playing at the Tmoona Theatre, is a beautiful and convincing show that succeeds, with the help of its excellent cast, to touch upon the human ability to survive and to establish impossible friendships even in the hardest conditions.”
YEDIOT ACHARONOT, January 6, 2003


SOUTH AFRICA

“…By presenting a view of three very different victims of the Nazis, and not the Nazis themselves, playwright Dan Clancy’s play is powerfully effective, leaving an enormous impression that requires days to digest.
SUNDAY INDEPENDENT, Johannesburg, July 18, 2010

“THE TIMEKEEPERS  tackles a delicate issue with wry wit that illuminates the piece’s canny human insights, making for a deeply engrossing, enriching and rewarding theatre outing.”
THE JEWISH REPORT, July 23, 2010

“THE TIMEKEEPERS is an engaging gem, brilliantly written and passionately acted.”
THE EVENING HERALD, May 7, 2010

“THE TIMEKEEPERS is a profound, groundbreaking piece of theatre that will perhaps be the most important production you see this year.”
Alan Levin, Grahamstown, July 2010


EDINBURGH THEATRE FESTIVAL

“A moving and intense piece of theatre that looks beyond the relationship between the main characters to question isolation and understanding in communities.
THE EDINBURGH GUIDE, August 10, 2009


IRELAND

“…not only a good night’s entertainment, but a great one.”
IRISH THEATRE MAGAZINE, Sept. 2005


CANADA

“Any play set during  the Holocaust that is also about private holocausts, and about the cumulative effect of small moral failings, is already doing something special.  If it makes you smile, too, well, it is to be prized.”
EDMONTON JOURNAL, August 2006

“This is a deeply humanist work, as much imbued with a spirit of optimism about the infinite human capacity for good as it is concerned with condemning mankind’s infinite brutality.”
EDMONTON SEE, August 2006

 

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