Arts features

The man behind the masks

By Charlotte Oliver, July 21, 2016

Friedrich Nagler was a man of many faces, all hidden behind an unassuming mask.

To the outside world, he was a low-key, blue-collar worker, who toiled through a series of menial jobs throughout his life to provide for his wife and two children.

But delve deeper, and you find a child publicly shamed as illegitimate, a bitter reminder to his father of his mother's extra-marital affair.


Making up her own YouTube success

By Lianne Kolirin, July 7, 2016

Write off Ashley Waxman Bakshi as just a pretty face at your own peril.

She has a degree in business and economics and a masters in counter-terrorism. She worked for Israel's Ministry of Defence, trading weapons with other nations. But she has found fame and fortune for something quite different.


The power of humour and how to spot a Jew

By Ashley Blaker, May 19, 2016

So my tour is pretty much at an end and, as I approach the final show at JW3, I can't help but look back and wonder what I've discovered about Jewish Britain. After all, in the past few months I've visited 40 different communities and performed in front of well over 5,000 people so I reckon I've seen a pretty good cross-section of Anglo-Jewry.


You didn't always have to be Jewish

By Michael Freedland, May 19, 2016

The sound coming from the radio was distinctive - the opening bars of the theme from Fiddler on the Roof. And then a voice: "You don't have to be listen for the next 20 minutes or so."

The voice was mine. The month was May and the year was 1971. Forty five years ago.


Me? Well, I am a good Jewish joker

By Mark Maier, May 12, 2016

The Jewish Chronicle asked me: "What makes a good Jewish joke?" I do. At least I think I do. When I say, "I think I do", what I actually mean is, going on past evidence, I'm quietly confident, when it comes to making a good Jewish joke, I'm the person you'd want to listen to.


You don't have to be Jewish to play Fanny

By John Nathan, April 27, 2016

Michael Mayer and I are sitting perhaps a tad too close to each other. We are in a tiny hospitality room behind the royal box at the Savoy Theatre where the Menier Production of Funny Girl has transferred. The walls are gilded with gold paint and the wallpaper is pure art deco opulence. And then the walls start closing in.


Shandling: the outsiders' outsider

By Michael Goldfarb, March 31, 2016

The tributes to the comic writer and performer Garry Shandling, who died suddenly last week at the age of 66, have been fulsome. The creator of the legendary Larry Sanders Show was acclaimed as one the most influential comedians of the past three decades, and an inspiration and mentor, by Ricky Gervais, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Hollywood's current king of comedy, Judd Apatow.


A poignant voice in a changing world

By Stuart Olesker, March 31, 2016

There's a mischievous glint in the eye of Bernard Kops. This is a playwright, poet, novelist, actor and screenwriter, still very much in production in his 90th year.


Argue all you like, JBW's a literary jewel

By Gerald Jacobs, March 3, 2016

Orthodox, Reform, Liberal, Conservative - we are "all one family". A benign but unremarkable sentiment, you might think. Until you realise it was Emeritus Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks who, freed from the chains of office, issued this comforting message on Sunday. He may well have added "secular" or "atheist" under his breath, but I was too stunned to notice.


Discordant masterpiece of a dentist

By Philip Hyman, January 4, 2016

First, a simple question: do you remember that wonderfully spooky and haunting music which introduced the classic BBC TV drama series I Claudius, starring Derek Jacobi?

In fact, it was written by the prolific composer Wilfred Josephs, born in 1927 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.