sat 01/10/2022

Jewish culture

Jews. In Their Own Words, Royal Court review - calling out ancient prejudice

What is the Royal Court theatre for? Is it a space that stages innovative new writing, or does it prefer to do documentary theatre? Is it concerned with reaching out beyond its regular audiences, or is it more focused on its own internal problems?...

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Ride, Charing Cross Theatre review - A true story of female empowerment

Who tells your story? Something of a theme in new musicals since Hamilton posed the question in those long ago pre-Covid, pre-inflation days. In Ride, the once famous cyclist who had hardly ever ridden a bike, Annie Londonderry, circumvents the...

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The Merchant of Venice, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - enormous empathy

The Merchant of Venice is a comedy, you say? Shakespeare, as ever, refuses to be confined to convenient boxes, his best plays’ extraordinary pliability and longevity a testament to the piercing eye he cast towards the slings and arrows that assail...

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Antony Sher: 'I discovered I could be other people'

The energy of Antony Sher, who has died at the age of 72, was prodigious. He not only acted like a fizzing firecracker. He wrote books about his most celebrated roles, and several novels set in his native South Africa. He also wrote plays, and he...

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Remembering Henry Woolf, Harold Pinter's oldest friend

Henry Woolf's place in theatre history is small but significant, a bit like Woolf was himself. Until his death on November 11, at the age of 91, he was the last survivor of a gang who made friends at Hackney Down grammar school in the 1930s. The...

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Love and Other Acts of Violence, Donmar Warehouse review - snappy and tightly intelligent but flawed

This is simultaneously a love story and an archaeology of hate, a sparky, spiky encounter between two individuals whose chemistry proves as destructive as it is explosive.Love and Other Acts of Violence opens with a comedic encounter on a dance...

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Ridley Road, BBC One review - Jewish community fights Nazi nightmare in 1960s London

Neo-Nazis held a Trafalgar Square rally under the banner "Free Britain from Jewish Control" in the year of my birth; I had no idea until I watched Ridley Road. Most of us know about the Battle of Cable Street in 1936, but, until now, next to nothing...

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Marcin Wicha: Things I Didn’t Throw Out review - the stories told by stacks of stuff

Marcin Wicha’s mother Joanna never talked about her death. A Jewish counsellor based in an office built on top of the rubble of the Warsaw Ghetto, her days were consumed by work and her passion for shopping. Only once did she refer to her passing,...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Mr Klein

Joseph Losey’s career covered a great deal of ground, and several continents. From The Boy with the Green Hair, a noirish sci-fi film from 1948, through to his richly psychological collaborations with Harold Pinter, The Servant (1963), Accident (...

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Misha and the Wolves review - tricksy documentary about a child survivor

It has become so hard to find funding for non-fiction films that many documentary makers now feel compelled to sell their stories as racy detective yarns, larded with dramatic scores and sneakily obfuscating narratives. There’s a piece of deception...

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Shiva Baby review - sex, lies and rugelach

Comedian Rachel Sennott stars as Danielle, a conflicted, bisexual twenty-something college student who's taking money she doesn't really need from a sugar daddy who isn't who she thinks he is. Emma Seligman’s debut feature, which began as a short in...

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Persian Lessons review - confusing Holocaust drama

This is an odd film, made even odder by a caption near the beginning, which claims it is "inspired by true events" but doesn’t elaborate. Produced in Belarus, it’s a Holocaust drama based on a novella by the veteran East German screenwriter/director...

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