Arts features

Storyville Survivors: My Friend Sam - Living For the Moment

By Simon Round, January 20, 2012

In some respects, Sam Frears is very fortunate. Sam - the son of film director Stephen Frears - is popular, has a wide circle of friends, including the writer Alan Bennett, is bright, ambitious, has a sharp sense of humour and no money worries.


Interview: Jonathan Biss

By Jessica Duchen, January 12, 2012

How serious do classical musicians have to be? The young American pianist Jonathan Biss has been proving that sophisticated artistry and off-the-wall humour are in no way mutually exclusive. A glance at his website quickly shows that his tale has an unusual twist.


Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's the real-life superheroine

By Sarah Lightman, December 22, 2011

'I feel I have done a public service in portraying my horror of the Jewish burial grounds that ring the M25," says artist Corinne Pearlman. She is talking about of her comic, Losing the Plot, which, over two delicately drawn pages, highlights the jarring proximity of several Jewish cemeteries to one of Europe's busiest motorways.


TV review: Jerusalem on a Plate

By Simon Round, December 22, 2011

This may have been a food programme but you do not have to be long in Jerusalem before you taste the flavour of politics.

Falafel is, of course, the national dish of Israel - unless you happen to be a Palestinian vendor of the ubiquitous chickpea balls who feels he has a greater claim to the dish than Israeli upstarts.


Jerusalem: The Making of a Holy City

December 15, 2011

About halfway through last night's second episode of Simon Sebag-Montefiore's frantic journey through the history of Jerusalem, I began to feel both dizzy and nauseous.

Sebag-Montefiore - author of a best-selling history of the holy city - had argued that its bloody history was "the best argument against religion ever invented". But that was not what caused my momentary discomfort.


Interview: Anthony Horowitz

By Angela Kiverstein, December 9, 2011

The House of Silk, the new Sherlock Holmes novel by Anthony Horowitz, could be sub-titled "The Mystery of the Vanishing Novelist". For Horowitz's aim was "to be completely true to Arthur Conan Doyle - immerse myself in his world and be invisible in it."


Interview: Bernard Kops

By Anne Joseph, December 8, 2011

'I believe that energy has to be used to get more energy," says Bernard Kops. And his is a remarkable energy. He has written more than 40 plays for television, stage and radio, nine novels, seven volumes of poetry and two autobiographies.


How Eden became hell for Iraq's Jews

By Simon Round, December 2, 2011

The Last Jews of Iraq
Radio 4, ★★★★✩

On The Road With An Orthodox Rabbi
BBC News Channel, ★★★✩✩


The mystery of Josef Herman and the vanished paintings

By Julia Weiner, November 17, 2011

Josef Herman is probably best known for his paintings of Welsh miners, a subject he first painted when he visited the Welsh mining town of Ystradgynlais in 1944.


Imagine: Simon and Garfunkel

By chris, November 11, 2011

Simon and Garfunkel may have started, in the words of Alan Yentob, as two Jewish nebbishes from New York but by 1970 they were on top of their game.