Arts features

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.


How the humble beigel became the great leveller

By Jonathan Goldberg, November 12, 2015

As a Jew living in north-west London, I love spending time in the city's creative epicentre, which, for years, has been located over in the East End.

The area is awash with the latest fashion trends worn by hipsters sporting the bushiest beards and skinniest of jeans. It's been that way since cheap rents enticed a large artist community to colonise large studio space.


Frank Auerbach: Paintings thick with emotions

By Anthea Gerrie, October 16, 2015

An obsessive whose ceaseless overworking has made paint merchants rich, or Britain's greatest living artist? Frank Auerbach's star has risen sharply since seven decades of his work opened to acclaim at the Tate last week.


Daniel Cainer: being a Jewishly-branded performer is laden with uncertainty

By Lee Levitt, August 25, 2015

"Israel is trying to protect itself, and it doesn't seem too bothered about being liked, but I am. I don't like it if people don't like me. And people don't like me if they feel Israel is being disproportionate."


Seriously, we are playing it for laughs in Edinburgh

By Lee Levitt, August 23, 2015

The Talmud and Jewish comedy are not often spoken about in the same breath. But for Alex Edelman, one of the hottest tickets at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, it has been a key component in his comedic development.


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.