Shakespeare for the shtetl

February 26, 2015

Wolf Hall star Mark Rylance revealed that he has sometimes cut antisemitic lines from Shakespeare but maybe there are other ways to bowdlerise the Bard. What should the witches in Macbeth cast into their cauldron instead of "liver of blaspheming Jew"? "Liver chopped and Sabbath stew"?


Rylance censors Bard

By Charlotte Oliver, February 26, 2015

Actor Mark Rylance has revealed he cuts out parts of Shakespeare's plays because they are antisemitic.

The star of the BBC's Wolf Hall series said he had to decide whether to edit lines when characters said "unfortunate things".

Speaking on Monday at London's Globe theatre, where he was unveiling a recently discovered copy of the playwright's First Folio, he said: "The pressures I feel are m


Romeo, Romeo, vus is nocht?

By Sue Fishkoff, January 4, 2014

There have been numerous retellings of Shakespeare’s most famous love story, but few — nay, none — are as weirdly wonderful, in my opinion, as Eve Annenberg’s Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish.


Howard Jacobson to rewrite Shakespeare

By Josh Jackman, September 9, 2013

Award-winning author Howard Jacobson has been commissioned to rewrite The Merchant of Venice.

Publisher Penguin Random House asked Mr Jacobson to write an updated prose “retelling” of the play as part of a series marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.


Review: Othello

By John Nathan, May 6, 2013

The two productions that have bookended Nicholas Hytner’s decade as artistic director of the National Theatre, Henry V and Othello, have much in common. There’s Shakespeare, Adrian Lester in the title roles and an ability to do that thing which Hytner has said National Theatre productions should strive for — holding up a mirror to the nation.


Review: Jonathan Pryce's King Lear

By John Nathan, September 13, 2012

Did Lear sexually abuse his daughters? In Michael Attenborough’s austere new Shakespeare production, with a splendidly bearded Jonathan Pryce in the title role, there is more than a hint of something dark and inappropriate in Lear’s family history.


How Elizabethan society responded to Jews and prejudice

By Simon Rocker, July 12, 2012

Shakespeare’s Shylock is probably the most famous of all Jewish characters, but we are less familiar with how Jews lived when The Merchant of Venice was written in the 1590s.


Jacobson and Ades hit out at theatre boycotters

By Jennifer Lipman, April 11, 2012

The call to stop Israel's Habima theatre company from performing in the Globe's Shakespeare festival for political reasons has been labelled "an act of self-harm" by an award-winning British novelist.

Howard Jacobson was among those who added his voice to the condemnations of the 37 artists who urged the Globe Theatre to withdraw Israel's invitation to the Cultural Olympiad event, which begins


Freedom’s varieties

April 5, 2012

Over the next eight days, we celebrate freedom. For some, the invocation "next year in Jerusalem" has a very real meaning. This will, for example, be the first Seder in five years that Gilad Shalit has been free to celebrate in his homeland.


Israelis fear protests at Globe Shakespeare festival

By Jennifer Lipman, October 6, 2011

The producer bringing an Israeli theatre company to perform for the first time at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre has described it as "a dream come true".

But Rut Tonn of the Habima Theatre also expressed concern that the production would be targeted by protesters.

Habima's version of The Merchant of Venice will be one of 37 plays staged in 37 different languages at the Globe next April as part