Tag Archives: london

Review: The Toxic Avenger the Musical ★★★★ – This grungy green giant is on message loud and clear

Producer Katy Lipson (Aria Entertainment) has a sure eye – and ear – for a hit musical. Between a summer of new musical theatre at The Other Palace, including Some Lovers, Burt Bacharach’s first for years, and the imminent autumn transfer of a sell-out immersive version of tribal rock musical Hair arriving at London’s Vaults from Manchester’s Hope Mills Theatre, comes this West End transfer of a musical that had a hugely successful first outing at Southwark Playhouse.

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Review: The Homecoming ★★★★ – Judi Herman is drawn in by the vile power of Pinter

Homecoming-John Simm © Marc Brenner

John Simm © Marc Brenner

I saw the original production of Harold Pinter’s dark, multi-award-winning comedy as a precocious, theatre-mad teenager. I wouldn’t have been allowed near it if it had been a film, it would have been x-rated in those days for sure! The homecoming of the title is the return to the flinty bosom of his East End family of Teddy, a college lecturer Stateside with a murky past in this all-male household ruled over by retired butcher Max. Teddy brings home the, er, “bacon” in the alluring shape of Ruth, his wife of five years. The power play between the brothers, their father and above all between Ruth and her in-laws is the meat of the play. I particularly remember Ian Holm, sinister and dangerous as Lenny the pimp; and Vivien Merchant, Pinter’s first wife, who created the role of Ruth, and the way she crossed her legs causing shock waves to ripple through the theatre – and I don’t mean because of the static in her nylons…

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Jewish sculptor Simone Krok found inspiration in Old Testament and Kaballah for exhibition based on Paradise Lost

Simone Krok - Paradise Lost, press 2015: The Sequence of Many Levels of Deception

Acclaimed sculptor Simone Krok’s latest exhibition, Paradise Lost, is named after John Milton’s 17th-century epic poem and explores the crucial themes of Milton’s work: creation, the fall of man, the loss of innocence and of free will. Milton’s work was heavily influenced by the Old Testament and the story of Adam and Eve, and Krok also takes inspiration from the Old Testament, as well as other religious traditions. Many of the pieces in Paradise Lost are inspired by the Jewish spiritual practice of Kabbalah.

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Interview: Ela Weissberger – One of the stars of the original Terezin production of Brundibár

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As a brand new Mahogany Opera Group production of Hans Krása’s Brundibár, the 1938 short children’s opera famously performed in World War II concentration camp Terezin (German Theresienstadt), comes to the Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival this February,  Ela Weissberger (pictured), who created the role of the Cat spoke to Judi Herman before she left her New York home to address the Scottish Parliament for Holocaust Memorial Day.

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Review: Mark Hayhurst’s debut Taken at Midnight plays a timely reminder

Taken at Midnight © Alastair Muir, Jan  2015

Penelope Wilton as Irmgard Litten, John Light as Dr Conrad © Alastair Muir

Jews have long lived with the idea that the Holocaust is incomprehensible in large numbers and that examination of individual stories provides greater understanding of the whole. Now there’s a trend for understanding what happened in Germany through stories of individuals who supported or opposed the events at the time; think of Zone of Influence by Martin Amis, for example, a love story set in the German officers’ quarters at an extermination camp.
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Salon success! Find out how Howard Jacobson and more dazzled at the first ever JR reception

Howard Johnson and Janet Suzman at JR Salon, Jan 2015 © Charlotte Mayhew

We enjoyed our first Jewish Renaissance salon on Sunday 18 January as much as we hope all of you did. This exclusive event for our subscribers was held at Lord and Lady Lipworth’s house in St John’s Wood and featured Howard Jacobson in conversation with Janet Suzman (pictured above), with a performance by virtuoso violinist Irmina Trynkos.

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Review: Jerry Herman’s Grand Tour is a breathless, though tuneful chase across war-torn Europe

The Grand Tour – Zoë Doano (Marianne), Alastair Brookshaw (Jacobowsky), Nic Kyle (The Colonel) - Jan 2015 © Annabel Vere

© Annabel Vere

There’s usually a good reason why largely forgotten material from the oeuvre of a master such as Jerry Herman remains forgotten. The Grand Tour had the shortest run of all Herman’s shows and has not even achieved some form of cult status among the cognoscenti, despite US actor Joel Grey starring as the original Jackobowsky.

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Interview: Kerry Shale talks about taking classic romcom When Harry Met Sally to the live stage

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On Tuesday 2 December, JW3 brings Rob Reiner’s effortless romcom When Harry Met Sally to the live on stage as part of the Jewish Comedy Festival. Canadian-born actor Kerry Shale plays Harry and tells Judi Herman all about playing the famous role.

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