‘From treif to kosher,” observes Sue Kelvin. She is looking back on — to use a David Mamet phrase — a life in the theatre. It started with Flying Pig, the company Kelvin co-founded after leaving drama school, and grew into a career which has placed the 50-year-old actress at the top of the list for any director looking to cast a Jewish matriarch.
You have to admit it was an odd piece of casting. Having come to terms with Mr Bean (aka Rowan Atkinson) playing Fagin in the West End production of Oliver!, we have had to adjust to a British-Iranian comedian in the role.
Omid Djalili stepping out as Fagin the Jew is up there with David Bowie playing Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ. Only Jackie Mason being cast as Osama bin Laden could be as controversial.
Think of an artist’s studio and two images come to mind — the humble garret cluttered with canvases and the large, serene space filled with light. Anish Kappor’s studio is like neither of these. The 55-year-old Indian-born sculptor, who is considered one of the world’s greatest living artists, works in five huge industrial units in London, alongside a team of 20 or so assistants.
Over the past week, the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War have been hard to ignore.
Among all the discussion of Germany’s invasion of Poland, the Phoney War and the Battle of Britain, there is one operation which has been recalled with extra poignancy — one that did not involve military action but rather the movement of hundreds of thousands of children.
It is four months since Nicholas de Jongh wrote his swansong article for the Evening Standard as the paper’s theatre critic. His final duty was a lunch held in his honour by the Critics’ Circle a few weeks ago. After the lunch fellow critic Charles Spencer spoke about how he used to dislike De Jongh when he first knew him, but is very fond of him now. And that’s the thing about Nicholas de Jongh. The better you know him the more you like him.
He is the fake-tanned, cigar smoking, jewellery wearing, spoof supper club entertainer, played by comedian Steve Furst. Here, Lenny Beige gives an exclusive interview to the JC, lifting the lid on his greatest influences, his leisure time and his dark family secrets, ahead of his monthly residency at the Pigalle Club.
One day in 1986, Chloe Aridjis was wandering through the food section of the grand KaDeWe department store in Berlin when she was overcome by a wave of disgust. “There were huge fish and lobster tanks; all kinds of meats and animal parts dangling from the walls,” the writer now recalls. “The previous year in Seville my sister and I passed a restaurant with a suckling pig in the window, an apple in its mouth. My sister became a vegetarian that night. I’m ashamed to say it took me a year to follow.”
It feels as if mothers can never get it right. They are branded either over-protective or too liberal by online forums and mothering websites like mumsnet. They are criticised for allowing their babies to eat and sleep “on demand”, or for implementing too rigorous a schedule. They are considered monsters for advocating “controlled crying” or regarded as too lax for cuddling their baby the minute the little mite starts to whimper.
‘I’d had enough sex without love, maybe it was time to look for love without sex?” These words come near the beginning of Hephzibah Anderson’s first book, Chastened: No More Sex in the City, as Anderson makes a vow: a year of chastity, in order to rediscover romance and, she hopes, to find love. And if he is Jew-ish, so much the better.
Twelve months see her moving between London and New York; changing the way she thinks, dresses and interacts with the men in her life. Along the way, she reflects upon her hopes and fears and describes her romantic adventures with candid humour.