Arts features

Ben Uri, and a hundred years

By David Glasser, July 2, 2015

Ben Uri celebrates its remarkable centenary this month. One hundred years of the Jewish community in London from July 1, 1915 seen through the eyes and art of principally émigré artists, predominantly Jewish. First, they were forced to flee from the Russian Pale and East Europe and then, 50 years later, from Nazi-occupied Central Europe to Britain.


Still digging around for hidden roots

By John Nathan, June 30, 2015

Playwright Rose Lewenstein is "sort of" Jewish. Unlike her grandparents, who were certainly Jewish. They came from Russia on her father's side and Germany on her mother's.


The Gentile Shylock

By John Nathan, May 28, 2015

The Green Room at the Royal Shakespeare Company's rehearsal studios in Stratford-upon-Avon was an interesting place last week. This is where actors hang out until they are needed in rehearsal. Some pore over their lines, lips moving as they read. Others chat, joke, eat, drink coffee and eat packed lunches.


Jackie Mason: Yes, I think I helped break down barriers

By Paul Lester, May 28, 2015

Jackie Mason, the legendary Jewish comedian, might be 83 years old, but he's still much in demand. Three years after undertaking his Farewell Tour on these shores, he is about to embark on a week-long residency at London's Adelphi Theatre, under the quaint title of Ready To Rumble, with brand new material and a familiar agenda: to prick our pretensions and expose our hypocrisies.


Is this a cure for 'illiterature'?

By Danny Scheinmann, May 14, 2015

I'm going to ask you to do something you've never done before and be part of a revolution in publishing, but first let me tell you a story.


Interview: Sir Ralph Kohn

By Sandy Rashty, May 14, 2015

Ralph Kohn still remembers the moment his ship docked at Liverpool - the moment he came to the UK as a child fleeing Nazi persecution with nothing but the clothes on his back.


In honour of real Dutch courage

By Nadine Wojakovski, April 23, 2015

My children Nathalie, Nicky and Alex, grew up with exciting stories about the fun-loving witches Molly and Bolly, who travelled from London to the Lake District sowing mischief wherever they worked. Blonde-haired Molly and black-haired Bolly were the creatures of my imagination. My husband, Oded, would even tiptoe into the children's bedroom and listen to the stories, spellbound.


Mel Brooks's 2,000 Year Old Man - is this the greatest comedy sketch ever?

By Brigit Grant, February 26, 2015

George Burns threatened to steal him. Edward G Robinson wanted to take him to Broadway, and if you went to the right Hollywood parties in the 1950s, you would have met him.


Bryn Terfel on singing Tevye: 'I've always felt the character is in my blood'

By Paul Lester, February 12, 2015

It is one of the quintessential Jewish roles of musical theatre — Tevye, in Fiddler On The Roof — and, this summer, for a season at the Grange Park Opera in Hampshire, the part of the impoverished milkman in pre-revolutionary Russia is being played by Bryn Terfel, the world-renowned opera singer, who is a) manifestly Welsh and b) not remotely Jewish.


It is life's greatest losses that most inspire creativity

By Dominic Bliss, December 4, 2014

Every new Stasha art exhibition includes among its works a paint-spattered pair of Timberland boots. She buys new ones each time she starts on a series of paintings and then, once the collection is complete, hangs them somewhere in the gallery alongside the art. They've become a sort of trademark.