mon 09/12/2019

Jewish culture

Blu-ray: The Golem

A lumbering, barrel-chested hulk with a weirdly Ancient Egyptian wedge of hair, the eponymous clay monster of Paul Wegener and Carl Boese’s The Golem: How He Came Into the World compensates for his limited intelligence with brute strength and a...

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Charlotte Salomon: Life? or Theatre?, Jewish Museum London review - rallying against death

For a loved one to die by suicide provokes both pain and hurt. Pain, because they are gone. Hurt, because it can feel like an indictment or a betrayal. For Charlotte Salomon, the suicides that ripped holes in her family were also foreshadowings...

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Amsterdam, Orange Tree Theatre review - suffocatingly mannered

An excellent director makes a rare misstep with Amsterdam, in which a compelling if tricksy play is given an arch and mannered production that only distances the audience further. Not to be confused with either Rotterdam or Europe, two similarly...

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First Person: Matthew Xia on why his production of 'Amsterdam' feels especially pertinent and vital now

I’m currently opening Amsterdam, my first production for Actors Touring Company since being appointed Artistic Director last year, at the Orange Tree theatre in Richmond and then in Plymouth early in 2020. And what better time to premiere a...

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Falsettos, The Other Palace review - affecting search for the new normal

William Finn and James Lapine’s musical – which combines two linked one-acts, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, set in late 1970s/early 1980s New York – picked up Tony Awards in 1992 for its book and score, and was nominated again in...

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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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