Stage

Comedy theatre to be renamed after Harold Pinter

By Jennifer Lipman, September 9, 2011

The celebrated Jewish playwright Harold Pinter is to have a theatre named in his honour.

Mr Pinter, who died in 2008 at the age of 78, won a Nobel Prize for literature and was the author of 32 plays including The Birthday Party and The Caretaker.

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On this day: Clifford Odets dies

By Jennifer Lipman, August 18, 2011

The Philadelphia-born Odets gained world-wide fame in his career. When he died at the age of 57 he had authored almost 20 plays, writing on topics including the Nazis, the great depression and the trials of ordinary life.

His themes were not necessarily Jewish but, as the son of immigrants to America, his work often had a Jewish feel to it.

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Giles Coren v Steven Berkoff in epic stage battle

By Jennifer Lipman, July 21, 2011

Stage and film actor Steven Berkoff had responded to a claim by writer Giles Coren that theatre is "boring", a nightmare and attracts "dreary friends".

In a list of complaints Mr Coren – the son of Jewish humo u rist Alan Coren – referred to plays starting too late, audiences thinking of pizza and the "full tediousness of these old hams trying to inject life" into classic works.

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Wolff offers boost for new writing at Hampstead Theatre

By Jennifer Lipman, July 18, 2011

A one-time box office ticket-checker has donated £300,000 to secure the future of new writing at the Hampstead Theatre.

Businessman and passionate theatre-lover Peter Wolff has offered five years of crucial financial support for the Hampstead Downstairs programme, a scheme dedicated to exposing the work of emerging playwrights. The money will support six plays every year.

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A tale of two theatres

By Jennifer Lipman, July 7, 2011

One is a small but well-regarded theatre in a leafy London suburb. The other is an edgy venue in one of Tel Aviv's least salubrious neighbourhoods and wouldn't fit most people's definitions of a theatre at all.

This June marked the second collaborative event between Hampstead's New End theatre and the Karov theatre, located in a corner of Tel Aviv's New Central Bus station.

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On this day: Neil Simon is born

By Deborah Weitzmann, July 4, 2011

Born Marvin Neil Simon, the esteemed playwright and screenwriter, is now 84-years-old. He was born in the Bronx, New York City, in 1927 - just before the Great Depression hit the United States.

Growing up in Manhattan, Simon was the younger of two sons and his father sold cloth fabric to the dress manufacturers in Manhattan's garment district

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David Mamet: profound taint of antisemitism in UK

By Jennifer Lipman, June 13, 2011

A playwright celebrated for his observations of modern life has criticised the "ineradicable taint of antisemitism" in British society.

In an interview with the Financial Times, the Chicago-born Jewish writer David Mamet said that modern speakers were using the same antisemitic arguments that Charles Lindbergh and Oswald Mosley made in the 1930s.

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The Rag Trade star Miriam Karlin dies at 85

By Jennifer Lipman, June 6, 2011

The actress who starred as Golde in the original London production of Fiddler on the Roof has died of cancer at the age of 85.

Miriam Karlin, born Miriam Samuels to Orthodox Jewish parents in Hampstead, went on to appear in films including A Clockwork Orange and The Entertainer, the television series The Rag Trade and a long list of West End plays.

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After Israel controversy, Tony Kushner to accept honorary degree

By Jennifer Lipman, June 3, 2011

Tony Kushner will accept an honorary degree from New York's City University (CUNY) today, a month after one of its board members attempted to block him from the award because of his stance on Israel.

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Wesker and Rattigan: a secret friendship revealed

By Jennifer Lipman, May 26, 2011

Two celebrated playwrights who famously did not get along may have had more appreciation for each other' s work than previously known.

Terence Rattigan, whose centenary is currently being marked with several West End revivals, was known to dislike the "angry young men" playwrights who emerged in the 1950s, among them Jewish dramatists Harold Pinter and Arnold Wesker.

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