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Eshet (Wife of)

  • Duration: 55 min
  • Israel
  • Adult audience
  • 630 vues

A fascinating, organic interplay between object (puppet) and human (handler).

Yehud’s eldest son, Er, marries Tamar. Unfortunately, he dies before producing an heir. Invoking sacred law, Yehud compels Tamar to marry his second son, Onan, “bearing his seed” as a replacement for the departed brother. But Onan refuses and is struck down by God. So it falls to the youngest son, Shelah, to marry Tamar. But Shelah is still a child, so Tamar must stay with the family and wait until he grows up, since she is forbidden from marrying outside Yehud’s brood. It is her duty to remain a widow until Shelah is old enough to take his eldest brother’s place.


But time goes on, and in desperation Tamar disguises herself and seduces Yehud, falling pregnant by the only man with whom she is allowed to come into contact. The very same man who forced the status of perpetual widow upon her.

Inspired by the story from the Book of Genesis, Eshet decries the harshness of religious law and dogma, and the male oppression suffered by Jewish women. Elit Veber tells this story with the help of a man, a woman and five puppets. The puppets are life-size and their handlers are visible, making their lips move. It is not always clear who is controlling whom. This confusion between object (puppet) and human (handler) is as unnerving as it is poetic, offering a startlingly lucid look at the power dynamics within relationships: love, violence, dependency, independence.

Distribution and legal informations

Concept: Elit Veber
Adaptation: Elit Veber, Avital Dvori
Original music: Berry Sacharoff
Light design: Asi Gottesman
Performers: Renana Raz, Yuval Fingerman
Produced by: Etgar Theatre
Co-produced by: Acco Theatre Festival (Israel)
With support from: Israel Lottery Council for the Arts; the Israeli Embassy to France (Cultural Department of the Israeli Consulates in Paris and Marseille)

More informations

  • Place of capture : Le Palace
  • Collection : Mimos 2009

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