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


Trevor Leonard says that Shakespeare didn't write

By Candice Krieger, September 21, 2010

William Shakespeare was not the real writer of his works - it was Elizabeth I.

This is the belief of political poet Trevor Leonard, who will be appearing at Speaker's Corner in London next Sunday, October 3 at 1pm.


Richard Benn is translating Shakespeare's plays into Somali

By Candice Krieger, September 7, 2010

Know how to say "To be or not to be" in Somali? Teacher Richard Benn does. The 40-year-old, who is head of English at Silver-dale comprehensive school in Sheffield, has teamed
up with his colleagues - and pupils - to translate William Shakespeare's works into the Somali

They have founded the The Somali Shakespeare Company - a community-based group established to promote Somali-language theatre and culture. Around 16 per cent of students at Silverdale are Somali. Glasgow-born Mr Benn tells People: "My colleague was out for


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.