mon 23/10/2017

Jewish culture

Dough review - well-intentioned bread-based comedy doesn't rise

Oh dear, writing this review is a bit like being mean to a small cuddly animal. Dough has such very good intentions – characters separated by race, religion and age can find common ground in a bakery – it’s a shame that it doesn’t rise into a tasty...

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DVD/Blu-ray: German Concentration Camps Factual Survey

This is an impeccably restored presentation of the 1945 feature-length documentary that was intended to be shown in German cinemas in order to counter any remaining support for Nazism. Backed by the British Ministry of Information, it was overseen...

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A Dark Night in Dalston, Park Theatre

Michelle Collins, actor and TV presenter, is so strongly associated with her roles in EastEnders and Coronation Street that it is something of a shock to see her live on stage at the Park Theatre, and not behind a bar or in a snug. And although she...

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DVD: Marc Isaacs - Two Films

There’s a nice pairing to these two character-led documentary films, as reflections on concepts of partnership presented from different ends of the spectrum of innocence and experience. Treating innocence, Someday My Prince Will Come (2005) is the...

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The Mighty Walzer: ping-pong in the round

It’s a little over two years since I was approached to adapt The Mighty Walzer by Howard Jacobson for Manchester Royal Exchange. I was living in Liverpool at the time and had recently seen That Day We Sang by Victoria Wood at the Exchange. It was...

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Blood and Gold: The Making of Spain - Reconquest, BBC Four

The second instalment of this three-part series on the history of Spain (from the BBC in collaboration with the Open University) told a tale that is probably still relatively unfamiliar in the Anglophone world. That’s despite the fact that one of...

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Prom 11: Fiddler on the Roof, Grange Park Opera

Stop miking Bryn Terfel. Stop over-miking musicals; the show voices in a hybrid cast don’t need much. Too much ruined English National Opera’s recent Sweeney Todd, and in this Proms adaptation of Grange Park Opera’s summer crowd-pleaser it sent the...

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Out of Chaos: Ben Uri - 100 Years in London, Somerset House

The exhibition Out of Chaos is a powerful dose of specific human experience, here presented almost exclusively in the form of portraits and group scenes. The selection comes almost entirely from the more than 1,300 works of art owned by Ben Uri...

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Now This Is Not the End, Arcola Theatre

Few cities have been so central to the European imagination as Berlin in the 20th century. At the centre of imperial power, then of Weimar, next the hub of Nazi Germany, then for some 50 years a symbol of a divided Cold War world. In Rose Lewenstein...

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Fiddler on the Roof, Grange Park Opera

Many matches are made in Fiddler on the Roof but the matchmaking prize goes to Grange Park Opera for getting Bryn Terfel to take on the role of Tevye. Having only recently played Sweeney Todd, and indeed throughout a varied...

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Bad Jews, Arts Theatre

Joshua Harmon’s provocative 2012 piece is the Rocky of comedies. His evenly matched sparring partners, a pair of viscerally antagonistic cousins confined in close quarters after a familial loss, bruise, bludgeon and literally draw blood. The bonds...

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The 2,000 Year Old Man, JW3

Well, here’s an interesting endeavour. The 2,000 Year Old Man was a series of improvised sketches performed in the 1960s by Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner. Brooks played the old guy, talking about all the great names in history – Jesus, Joan of Arc...

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