Arts features

Reflections on leading Israel tour

By Rosa Doherty, May 1, 2014

What could possibly go wrong for the young leaders tasked with the responsibility of looking after the 1,200 16-year-olds taking UJIA Israel Experience tours in Israel this summer. For Mancunian Lindsay Weisberg, 21, “the worst thing that could ever happen to me as a tour leader would be, God forbid, if I lose a child. Can you imagine?”

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Eurovision memories inspire film hit from Israel

By Simon Round, April 29, 2014

Eytan Fox is one of Israel’s best-known and most critically acclaimed filmmakers with a body of work which has addressed social, political and, particularly, gay issues. So which element of Israeli society gets the treatment in his new movie? Actually none of them. Fox has gone out on a limb to make the funny, affectionate Cupcakes, about the Eurovision Song Contest.

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Director is happy to be all at sea with stellar cast

By Simon Round, April 28, 2014

Directing your debut feature film is always a major achievement. But this having come relatively late in his life, Stephen Brown is probably enjoying it more than most. The fiftysomething is relishing the round of premieres, festivals and award nominations that have followed his assembling of a remarkable cast for an adaptation of John Banville’s Booker Prize-winning novel, The Sea.

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Meet the 85-year-old getting animated about his TV debut

By Simon Round, April 25, 2014

Bill Freedman really cannot see what all the fuss is about. He is, after all, a distinguished theatrical producer, a cinema boss and a former owner of West End theatres. He has staged productions in the West End, on Broadway and in plenty of other countries around the world. So why would anyone be surprised that he is now producing his first television series on national TV?

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Liad Shoham: The polite lawyer who enjoys his thrilling alter ego

By Jenni Frazer, April 25, 2014

Somewhere at the back of my mind, I am rather hoping that Liad Shoham is an international spy with a murderous CV to draw upon as he writes his best-selling thrillers. But unless Shoham is a very good actor — and it’s hard to tell on the phone — I am stuck with the conclusion that he is what says he is, a self-confessed geek.

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A life in pictures with the background fully explained

By Charlotte Oliver, April 24, 2014

Photographer Gemma Levine has a word for getting what she wants — chutzpah. For 40 years she has applied that chutzpah to gain unprecedented access to some of the world’s most famous faces, resulting in some memorable encounters and iconic images.

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Blondie mainstay gets to focus on the negatives as 10th album comes out

By Paul Lester, April 17, 2014

When a prominent member of a legendary American pop-rock-disco-rap band inquires as to your well-being, you’d better make sure your reply is more interesting than “Fine, thanks”.

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Pop art queen’s quiet fame

By Simon Round, March 27, 2014

Deborah Azzopardi’s paintings are sold in poster, print and greeting card form globally. And if you do not know her name, you will almost certainly recognise examples of her work, sold worldwide by Ikea and retailers in 50 countries. But what is perhaps more eye-opening is how she became an artist in the first place.

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Seeing Wizo take care of business

By Charlotte Oliver, March 27, 2014

Take five socially-conscious movers and shakers, place them under the wing of an international women’s movement at the forefront of social action in Israel and show them its work at first hand.

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Jon Robin Baitz: Playwright’s split personality does not disguise singular vision

By John Nathan, March 24, 2014

The harshest critic of Jon Robin Baitz — author of the Pulitzer-nominated Broadway hit Other Desert Cities, which is about to make its UK debut at the Old Vic — is a bespectacled mild-mannered American I encounter sipping an Americano in a posh London hotel. “I dislike him intensely,” he says. But to clarify, Baitz and his critic are the same person.

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