mon 24/06/2024

Jewish culture

A House in Jerusalem review - a haunted house and country

The Israel-Palestine conflict aptly infuses a haunted house in Muayad Alayan’s story of layered loss. The Shapiro family home in Jerusalem which grieving British-Jewish husband Michael (Johnny Harris) and daughter Rebecca (Rebecca Calder) retreat to...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Marco Bellocchio - the last maestro

The last of the old maestros is standing tall. Marco Bellocchio was a Marxist firebrand when he made his iconoclastic debut with Fists in the Pocket (1965). Now aged 84, he makes intellectually and emotionally muscular, hit epics about abused...

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Nachtland, Young Vic review - German black comedy brings uneasy humour and discomfiting relevance

If Mark Twain thought that a German joke was no laughing matter, what would he make of a German comedy? That quote came to mind more than once during Patrick Marber’s production of Marius von Mayenburg’s 2022 play, Nachtland. I know it’s...

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The Merchant of Venice 1936, Criterion Theatre review - radical revamp with a passionate agenda

It’s an unhappy time to be staging Shakespeare’s problematic play, given its antisemitic content, so hats off to adaptor-director Brigid Larmour and actor Tracy-Ann Oberman for persevering with this updated version, now in the West End. Their...

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Occupied City review - unquiet Nazi crimes

“I feel as if I am live reporting from a shipwreck,” Dutch-Jewish journalist Philip Mechanicus wrote en route to his concentration camp murder. Steve McQueen’s four-hour reverie on Amsterdam’s Nazi occupation teases out the scars of that arbitrary,...

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The Most Precious of Goods, Marylebone Theatre review - old-fashioned storytelling of an all-too relevant tale

As last week’s news evidenced, genocide never really goes out of fashion. So it’s only right and proper that art continues to address the hideous concept and, while nothing, not even Primo Levi’s shattering If This Is a Man, can capture the scale of...

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Don't Destroy Me, Arcola Theatre review - a theatre history curio

British Theatre abounds in forgotten writers. And in ones whose early work is too rarely revived. One such is Michael Hastings, best known for Tom & Viv, his 1984 biographical drama about TS Eliot and his wife Vivienne, so in theory it’s great...

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Song of Songs, Pam Tanowitz/David Lang, Barbican Theatre review - sublime music and intricate dance bring life to a 2,000-year-old love poem

On the whole the Bible is not big on sex and sensuality, with the exception of one very short book in the Old Testament. The Song of Solomon – aka Song of Songs – is a hymn to carnal pleasure, one whose vivid descriptions of perfect flesh and...

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A different angle on the Anne Frank story in 'A Small Light'

The Diary of Anne Frank became a Broadway play and has formed the basis of a lengthy catalogue of films and TV series, but the name of Miep Gies is rather less well-known. Yet without Gies the Anne Frank story might never have reached the wider...

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Fleishman Is in Trouble, Disney+ review - mid-life crises in Manhattan

As films and television series based in New York City tend to do, Fleishman Is in Trouble opens with an aerial shot of Manhattan – except, significantly, this sequence is presented upside down. To the celestial sound of tinkling arpeggios, the slim...

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Watch on the Rhine, Donmar Warehouse review - Lillian Hellman's 1940 play is still asking awkward questions

We’re reminded, in a grainy black and white video framing device, that, as late as the summer of 1941, the USA saw World War II as just another European war. As brilliantly illustrated in Phillip Roth’s The Plot Against America, not only was such...

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Three Minutes: A Lengthening review - superb portrait of a vanished world

We hear the projector whirr as the mute 16mm film flows through the sprockets and on to the screen. For three minutes and a little longer we watch children and adults spilling out of buildings, intrigued by the novelty of a camera on their streets....

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