Arts features

Matisyahu: He's lost his locks and wife but found a new voice

By Paul Lester, July 10, 2014

In 2011, American Chasidic reggae-rapper Matisyahu (aka Matthew Paul Miller) shaved off his beard and announced that he was "reclaiming" himself. "At a certain point I felt the need to submit to a higher level of religiosity… to move away from my intuition and to accept an ultimate truth," he told fans via his website.


Max Weber: An American Cubist in Paris and London 1905-15

By Julia Weiner, July 3, 2014

Max Weber is credited with introducing Cubism to the USA with works inspired by what he had learnt in Paris in the early 1900s. He is of particular interest to Jewish audiences as from 1919 onwards, he did a number of paintings of Williamsburg's Chasidic community.


A day at the races? No, we’re filming a BBC thriller about the Middle East

By Sandy Rashty, June 30, 2014

I’m on set with the stars of the BBC’s latest political thriller, The Honourable Woman, which deals with the Israel-Palestinian conflict through the lives of the Stein family. As the story goes, the Steins once ran a lucrative Zionist arms procurement company under the watch of patriarch Eli Stein, who came to Britain as a Holocaust refugee in 1939.


TV review: Friday Night Dinner

By Jennifer Lipman, June 19, 2014

There were high hopes for Friday Night Dinner when it began in 2011. After all, here was subject matter rife with comic potential, a talented ensemble including the always excellent Tamsin Greig and, in Robert Popper, a writer who was working off his own experiences of Shabbat meal mayhem in Edgware. What was not to like?


Interview: Danny Braverman

By John Nathan, June 19, 2014

Danny Braverman is drawing his family tree. Above the branches supporting his sister and beyond that his parents and grandparents, the tree veers sharply to the left to include the two people who are central to his one man show Wot? No Fish!!


It's hold the Front page as actress gets Curious

By Gerald Jacobs, June 19, 2014

'I've been writing - for the Guardian, Independent, Observer - almost as long as I've been acting," says Rebecca Front, recalling the genesis of Curious, her newly published collection of gently candid, personal essays.


Interview: Howie B

By Paul Lester, June 6, 2014

There are two Howard Bernsteins who are regularly in the news. One - a Sir no less - is chief executive of Manchester City Council. Perhaps to distinguish himself from his civic namesake, the other operates as Howie B and is famous for producing U2, Björk, Tricky, Massive Attack, Goldie and Soul II Soul, and for remixing everyone from Annie Lennox to Steve Reich and Simply Red.


Latex doll images inflate the appeal of V&A photographer

By Charlotte Oliver, May 29, 2014

Laurie Simmons has an impressive doll collection, albeit one that might unsettle your average Barbie fan. Miniature figurines, ventriloquist dummies, mannequins — and one uncannily realistic Japanese sex doll — populate the photographer’s Brooklyn studio, all having once come to life in front of her camera lens.


Interview: Adam Guettel

By John Nathan, May 16, 2014

If you don't know Adam Guettel's name, that's not too surprising. His work has not been performed on a major stage in London. But among those who love their musical theatre in New York, there is no one whose talent is held in higher regard. Except that of the greatest living composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim. And even he counts himself as one of Guettel's admirers.


Israeli Arab brings her musical fusion to JW3

By Rosa Doherty, May 16, 2014

Mira Aawd, the first Israeli Arab to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest, gave a London concert at JW3 this week.

"My multicultural background really influences my music," she says. “Languages are fascinating to me in music. I write in Arabic, English and Hebrew. When you are multilingual and you come to write a song , you choose the language with the audience in mind.”