On 28 May 2021, co-curators Issy and Hannah had the honour of interviewing actor Emil Wolk, who played the role of Samuel Freiberg in Jack Gold's 1987 film, Escape from Sobibor. Having formerly published an interview with Hartmut Becker, who portrayed the sadistic SS deputy commander Gustav Wagner, Sara Sugarman, who played Naomi, and Ellis van Maarseveen, who played Selma, we have been very keen to discuss this film with the cast of the production. Please click on the link below to watch the interview on our YouTube channel:
Emil Wolk was born in Brooklyn, and moved from his home in New York City to London, England at a young age, when his father took up the position of Principal Baritone at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Wolk's early career involved participation with various pioneer theatre companies, including the Freehold Theatre Group, the Pip Simmons Theatre Group and People Show, all of which contributed toward his passion for experimental theatre. Trained in theatre and specialising in physical performance, Wolk has worked as a performer on screen and as a director and performer on stage, working with, among others, The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal National Theatre and The Royal Exchange, Manchester.
Emil Wolk's screen appearances include, among others: Escape from Sobibor (1987) with Alan Arkin, The Tall Guy (1989) with Jeff Goldblum and Emma Thompson, and Stalin (1992) with Robert Duvall. In 2014, Wolk was featured in series three of the popular ABC TV series Rake as Justice Kieran Webster. In addition to Wolk’s career on stage and screen, he has also appeared as an actor in a number of opera productions, working predominantly with Robert Carsen as Puck in Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, most recently at La Scala, Milan in 2009. After relocating to Australia, Emil Wolk's background in physical performance led him to work as a guest director on Circus Oz's 30th anniversary in 2008. His keen interest and experience in human movement and vaudeville fuelled his work with The Metropolitan Opera as Vaudeville Consultant for their production of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci.