It's Sunday night at JW3 on Finchley Road. On the makeshift beach in the piazza, football fans sit with caipirinhas in hand and eyes locked on the giant screen showing the World Cup Final. But inside the building's 250-seat theatre, events in Brazil are far from the minds of 40 people in costume as they launch into a noisy impromptu hora.
I was relieved to discover that another art critic had described 91-year-old sculptor Beverly Pepper as "the brilliant artist you've never heard of". Before our interview, I, too, was unfamiliar with her name, despite the fact that her monumental steel sculptures can be found all over the world, including two in Israel.
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 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.
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.
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?
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!!
'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.
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.
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.