The story of Noah’s Ark has always captivated the minds of children. Many have walked animal miniatures two-by-two into toy boats, as they imagine the vessel that saved believers from 40 rainy days and nights of flood.
I walk into a Soho room where a new sweet-sounding musical about Phyllis Pearsall, who wrote the A-Z — the London street guide, not the alphabet — is being rehearsed. But then somebody says “filthy Jew”. Now I’m thinking maybe this musical is not so sweet.
London-domiciled Glaswegian Michael Mail wanted to do something to “recognise and celebrate the Scottish Jewish story”. Then he came across the work of award-winning photographer Judah Passow and knew he had found the answer.
German Jew Harry Ettlinger took part in one of the greatest treasure hunts in history during his wartime service with the US Army, helping to recover five million pieces of looted Nazi art. Now, the exploits of Ettlinger and his comrades from 13 Allied nations, dubbed The Monuments Men, are the subject of a new film starring and directed by George Clooney.
The New Yorker once described Maya Beiser as a “cello goddess”, delighting the Israeli-born player so much that she adopted the phrase as her Twitter name. Now living in New York, she has forged a distinctive career path, making it her mission to transform the nature, perception and audience of cutting-edge contemporary music.
Troy is being touted as the next big thing in magic. His tattoos, urban swag, gold watch and collection of bright snapback caps distinguish this Magic Circle member from the more traditional practitioners of his craft. He has even been known to pull a rabbit out of a snapback.
In the quarter of a century since Birds of a Feather first became a massive TV hit, Lesley Joseph has become well-known to viewers as Dorien Green. And whereas many actresses would rail against being typecast, Joseph has no problem with it. In fact, every now and then she even dresses up as her sitcom persona. “If I’m going to a function I might occasionally go as her,” Joseph reveals.
Highgate School pupil Amber Van Dam found it difficult to watch classmate Sophia Parvizi-Wayne battle against anorexia nervosa. But she helped her best friend on the road to recovery and now the 16-year-olds are fronting a campaign to promote mental health awareness within schools.
Josef Perl lived a charmed life on his family’s sawmill in Veliky Bochov, in what was then Czechoslovakia, in the 1930s. The only son in an Orthodox family of nine children, his father Laser gifted him a trusted guard dog, Vondi, and a loyal horse, Shori, to escort him to and from school every day. “Me, the horse and dog were like one,” he recalls.
Some 15 years have passed since the last episode of this hugely popular '90s sitcom and there has been a major change - the BBC turned down the opportunity of a new series and so Sharon, Tracey and Dorien have decamped to ITV.
That aside, all is much as you will remember - Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson are still the bickering sisters from Chigwell and Lesley Joseph plays "the slapper from nex