The actress who's a real-life Hamlet

By Jessica Elgot, May 13, 2010

Brenda Adelman never had the typical Jewish Brooklyn family. Her mother was, she says, a "kooky and wild" bohemian photographer who dressed like Marilyn Monroe and smoked a pipe. Her father kept his 35-calibre handgun under his pillow when he slept, carried it with him wherever he went. Father and daughter bonded when he taught her how to shoot.

But her childhood was happy and the family was close-knit. "I was really close to both my parents. My mother was my best friend and I was daddy's little girl," says the 45-year-old New Yorker.


He wanted to be a rabbi, now he's playing King Lear

By Judi Herman, March 25, 2010

'I used to be a little bit disarmed when people said: 'Oh you're playing Lear - you're far too young.' But now I'm much more cavalier about it," declares Greg Hicks. "I'll give what I know about life and whatever abilities I have as an actor a whirl." Judging by the reviews he has had for his King Lear in the current Royal Shakespeare Company production in Stratford-upon-Avon, the strategy is paying dividends.

"Anyway, the part wasn't written for an old man," he continues. "It was written for a 38-year-old."


Review: The Gods Weep

By John Nathan, March 25, 2010

What do you get if you cross King Lear with Richard III and throw in a fistful of Macbeth too? The answer is running at the Hampstead Theatre in the form of the Dennis Kelly's epic, the latest in the RSC's London Season. And while for much of this three-hour play you may suspect you would be better off watching Shakespeare's originals, the sheer drive of Maria Aberg's production, and the utter bravura of Jeremy Irons's central performance as the Lear-like Colm, keeps the doubts at bay.


Review: Measure For Measure

February 25, 2010

"Why Measure for Measure?" asked a colleague as we walked into the theatre. It seems I was not the only one wondering why the Almeida, a venue that generally concentrates on mostly modern British and international plays, had turned to Shakespeare.

It is not as if there is a lack of Shakespeare around. But by the time Michael Attenborough's production had reached the interval, no excuse was needed. The reason was obvious. It was clear that Attenborough must have been burning to direct this problem play.


Airing the closet-kosher music loved by the Tudors

By Rodney Greenberg, September 12, 2008

Although they were officially banned, Jewish musicians were top of the charts in Elizabethan England. Now a modern group is replaying their hits.


The Tudors are in the news these days. BBC2 is unfurling its lavish, 10-part drama about Henry VIII and his coterie of minions and lovers, while the Royal Mint is striking a £5 coin commemorating the 450th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth I.