sat 17/08/2019

Jewish culture

The Lehman Trilogy, Piccadilly Theatre review - stunning chronicle of determination and dollars

Mammon and Yahweh are the presiding deities over an epic enterprise that tells the story not just of three brothers who founded a bank but of modern America. Virgil asked his Muse to sing of ‘arms and the man’, yet here the theme becomes that of ‘...

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CBSO, Volkov, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - Mahler goes Bauhaus

Just over a decade ago it was predicted by those supposedly in the know that Ilan Volkov would succeed Sakari Oramo as music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In the event, the gig went to Andris Nelsons, and it was probably for...

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Fiddler on the Roof, Playhouse Theatre, review – energetic production whips up an emotional storm

In an age where political, social, and gender norms seem to be in perpetual meltdown, it should be pretty much impossible for a musical that begins with a song celebrating ‘Tradition’ to strike a chord. Yet from the moment that the cast of Trevor...

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The Rubenstein Kiss, Southwark Playhouse review - slick spy drama doesn't quite come together

It's an ideal time to revive James Phillips's debut The Rubenstein Kiss. Since it won the John Whiting Award for new writing in 2005 its story, of ideological differences tearing a family apart, has only become more relevant. Joe Harmston directs a...

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Foxtrot review – controversial movie dances to an ugly tune

Israeli filmmaker Samuel Maoz’s Foxtrot uses irony and visual poetry to condemn his nation’s militarism. Twenty months after the movie won the Grand Jury Prize at Venice, it opens in the UK trailing a divisive history. When it first emerged in 2017...

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The Last Survivors, BBC Two review - living on

When they were children the interviewees in this film – the last survivors – were taken away in incomprehensible circumstances, on their way to be murdered for who they were, in Germany and places further east. A handful of the few thousands who...

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Rosenbaum's Rescue, Park Theatre review - curiously solid Jewish drama

Theatrical alchemy is eternally slippery. On paper Rosenbaum’s Rescue at the Park Theatre looks like an excellent proposition – a play that switches between 1943, when seven and a half thousand Jews were rescued from the German occupation of Denmark...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Music is the Most Beautiful Language in the World

The title comes from a slogan used in a 1920s newspaper ad for Weinberg’s, a gramophone, record and sheet music shop in Brick Lane. Readers saw the words in Yiddish though. Brick Lane was central to London’s Jewish East End and those who lived in...

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Best of 2018: Classical CDs

Record shops may be thin on the ground, but CDs are still very much with us. No sensible soul would ever rate listening to a recording over experiencing music live. But if, like me, time, money and geography limit one’s opportunities to nip out to...

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Fiddler on the Roof, Menier Chocolate Factory review - family matters in this sensitive musical revival

There’s a welcome alternative to panto hijinks in this gem of a Trevor Nunn musical revival – more attuned to the biting hardships of winter, and to the elegiac aspect of change, than to festive jollies. Which is not to say that there isn’t rousing...

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Classical CDs Weekly: A Walk with Ivor Gurney, Yiddish Glory, For the Fallen

 A Walk with Ivor Gurney Tenebrae, Aurora Orchestra, Sarah Connolly, Simon Callow, Nigel Short (conductor) (Signum Classics)Ivor Gurney was a genuine polymath, a talented composer and poet whose career was disrupted by serving with the...

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1945 review - Hungarian holocaust drama

Ferenc Török is firmly aiming at the festival and art house circuit with his slow-paced recreation of one summer day in rural Hungary. A steam train stops at a rural siding, two Orthodox Jewish men descend and with minimal speech, oversee the...

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