at 7.30pm, ex. Sundays
No public performance on
16 Jan 2023
Ticket sales from 11 Dec 2023
This profoundly touching and uplifting play by award-winning writer Jane Coyle was inspired by an exhibit at the Jewish Museum in Vienna. Intrigued by the story behind a small suitcase, she spun a poignant family drama moving between Belfast in the present day and Europe during its darkest times. The Suitcase won the Belfast Telegraph Audience Award at the 2015 Belfast International Arts Festival and was staged in 2023 by Open House Theatre in Vienna.
In 1938 Vienna, young Galina Stein dreams of becoming a ballet dancer. In Belfast, Holocaust survivor Leo Edelmann revisits his past, feeling the end of his long, fulfilled life approaching. And, a bereaved daughter and granddaughter unearth a long-hidden piece of history in the Edelmann’s family home.
Following Leo’s passing, his remaining family discover a battered suitcase amongst his belongings, marked: “Galina Stein, Vienna”. What is this old suitcase doing in the Edelmann’s house in Belfast and who was this woman? Leo had never mentioned her name yet had insisted that his only granddaughter be named Galina. This discovery provokes an exploration of the family’s hidden history and its echoes in the present. Incorporating live music, it is a story of hope, resilience and identity, and a hymn to the redemptive power of art.
“In a world which is increasingly consumed by prejudice, bitterness and division, I wanted to present a story which shows how human kindness, generosity of spirit and creativity can provide light and solace, even in the darkest of days.” –Jane Coyle