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The Melting Pot by Israel Zangwill



The first London production in 80 years of the classic refugee drama.

The classic story of a young Russian immigrant fighting to uphold his dream of a new life in a new country.

After his family are massacred in a pogrom, Jewish composer David Quixano escapes to New York City, in search of a new life. There he falls in love with Vera, a beautiful Russian Christian.

Inspired by the multitude of ethnicities in his new home, David’s exuberance bursts forth in his composition – an “American Symphony”. But, as characters from his past begin to reappear, David is confronted with the terrifying realisation that his “melting pot” burns the good with the bad.


Can vicious divisions of race, religion and class ever really be left behind? Or is the idea of a cauldron of nations, free of ethnic divisions and hatred, an impossible dream?


Originally performed in Washington DC in 1908, The Melting Pot received its UK premiere at the Royal Court Theatre in 1914 and transferred to two West End theatres. Unseen in the UK since 1938, the play popularised the phrase “melting pot”, and remains a determined celebration of multiculturalism.

Press for The Melting Pot

The Guardian "Max Elton’s excellent production is alert to the play’s topicality and there are strong performances from Steffan Cennydd as the young idealist, Whoopie van Raam as his gentile lover and Peter Marinker doubling effectively as a Jewish patriarch and a Russian monster. You come out feeling you have seen a vibrant play by a dramatist who, like Clifford Odets and Arnold Wesker, has the capacity to feel domestically and think internationally."

★★★★ The Arts Desk "Elton's direction dollar production deserves a bigger stage"

British Theatre Guide "The Melting Pot is a wonderful discovery that has not been seen in London for 80 years and receives a gripping revival in the sure hands of Max Elton...the producers should be looking for a transfer"

★★★★ Broadway World


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