In conversation: James Phillips

Get a behind-the-scenes look at The Rubenstein Kiss courtesy of the playwright

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Playwright James Phillips talks to Judi Herman about the award-winning Rubenstein Kiss. Inspired by the haunting true story of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, who were executed in 1953 for allegedly providing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, Phillips tells their story. The Rubensteins are a deeply devoted Jewish couple, whose Communist idealism leads to their world being torn apart by suspicion and treachery, which then echoes through the generations.

The Rubenstein Kiss runs until Saturday 13 April. 7.30pm, 3pm (Sat & Tue only). £22, £18 concs. Southwark Playhouse, SE1 6BD. 020 7407 0234.

Read our review of The Rubenstein Kiss on the JR blog.

In conversation: Rabbi Leivi Sudak

Discover the extraordinary real life story behind the Tony Award-winning musical Come From Away

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From the Canadian Jewish writing team Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away tells the incredible true story of how the residents of Gander, Newfoundland, welcomed the passengers of planes from around the world grounded by the 9/11 attacks, including a stranded rabbi from London. As the show arrives in London via Dublin this January, the real life rabbi – Leivi Sudak of Edgware Lubavitch – tells Judi Herman the full story of the welcome with which he was blessed in Gander, and the support he in turn was able to bring to other passengers and to a Holocaust survivor who had made his home in Gander.

His story is in two parts and both share wonderful instances of the kindness of Gander’s residents. The first ends on a bit of a cliff hanger, while in the second listeners will find out how a fellow passenger, an Israeli Jewish Buddhist, ended up peeling potatoes with Rabbi Sudak to help prepare a Shabbat meal. Discover kosher wine in a Gander supermarket, hear the remarkable story of that Holocaust survivor, and the nail-biting story of how Rabbi Sudak made New York in time for Rosh Hashanah thanks to a 500-mile dash by an extraordinary Gander couple.

Come From Away runs Wednesday 30 January – Saturday 14 September. 7.30pm, 2.30pm (Wed & Sat only). From £19.50. Phoenix Theatre, WC2H 0JP.

Read our review of Come From Away on the JR blog.

In conversation: Alexander Bodin Saphir

The writer and filmmaker talks about his debut play Rosenbaum’s Rescue

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The grandparents of Alexander Bodin Saphir were among 7,000 Danish Jews who were saved from the Nazis in October 1943 and this daring episode is the subject of his new play, Rosenbaum’s Rescue. Ahead of its premiere at London’s Park Theatre, and our article about the play and its very personal story in the January issue of JR, Alexander met up with Judi Herman during Chanukah, when he told her more about his own background and how the story of the play – part of which takes place during Chanukah – is relevant to the festival’s message of defiance and freedom.

Rosenbaum’s Rescue runs Wednesday 9 January to Saturday 9 February 7.30pm, 3pm (Thu & Sat only). £18.50-£32.50, £16.50- £23.50 concs. Park Theatre, N4 3JP. 020 7870 6876.

Read our four-star review of Rosenbaum’s Rescue on the JR blog.

In conversation: Robert Neumark Jones

The London actor talks about his role in Stephen Laughton’s One Jewish Boy

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“With the shadow of hatred festering at its very core,” writes Stephen Laughton of his latest play, “[One Jewish Boy] is a bittersweet comedy fuelled by antisemitism.” To discuss this and more, Judi Herman caught up with actor Robert Neumark Jones, who plays Jesse, the title role in this two-hander. The pair delve into Laughton’s story of one Jewish boy and how his his life, love, family and marriage are affected by antisemitism.

One Jewish Boy* runs Tuesday 11 December – Saturday 5 January. 7.30pm, 3pm (phone for matinee dates). £18.50, £15.50 concs. Old Red Lion, EC1V 4NJ. 033 3012 4963.

*Play contains strong language

Read our review of One Jewish Boy on the JR blog.