Tracy-Ann Oberman

Forgotten, but not by everybody

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, August 6, 2012

One of the problems of getting older is short-term memory loss versus the clarity of long-term memory gain. Of course, being only 39-ish and fully intending to be that age for the next decade - as Dorothy Parker said, 39 is the best 10 years of a woman's life - my niggle with memory failure is only just starting.

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Flying the flag for chutzpah

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, July 2, 2012

What is the most Chutzpahdik thing you've ever done? Indulge me.

What's prompted the chutzpah talk? Maybe the summer that has steadfastly refused to arrive, or maybe the inevitability that England will never win at penalties.

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A stadium full of my dreams

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, May 24, 2012

Maybe my expectations were too high. The dream too unrealistic. Maybe when I put pen to paper for my last column I imagined the floodgates opening and a grass-roots uprising.

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Twits like Galloway are spot on

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, April 19, 2012

A boy band called One Direction recently broke all records by becoming the first British group to have an album go straight into the US charts at number one. Never mind that this group of sweet young things were cobbled together out of the rejects from the X Factor by Simon Cowell.

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Yes, things really have got better

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, February 27, 2012

Nostalgia. The sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time. My life at the moment is giving me pause for nostalgic thought but, as in the words of American writer Peter de Vries, "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be."

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Don't tour with your eyes shut

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, January 20, 2012

There is a wonderful talmudic story that goes something like this: a father and son go for a walk, get lost and find themselves in a terrible area where the sick and dying and impoverished languish on the streets.

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One day to change the world

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, November 11, 2011

We Jews need to get the message across that we want to make the world a better place, not just for ourselves but for everyone. Luckily, the wonderful Mitzvah Day is coming round again as the perfect opportunity to do just that. The brother of a non-Jewish friend of my daughter was talking about it today as if it was part of the national calendar.

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I would be mad not to do it all

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, October 7, 2011

I am currently on tour with the National Theatre in an exciting piece of writing by Mike Bartlett. The play, Earthquakes in London, is the sort that I wish I'd seen as a young teenager.

Its breakneck speed, dazzling set, modern language and audacious use of music and dance would have blown away my perceptions of what a theatrical experience could and should be.

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Nowadays I act like a mother

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, September 5, 2011

Rosh Hashanah is looming again and as ever I find that the shift in temperature and the new smell in the air are my cue to take stock - to look back on the year, at who I once was, who I hoped to be and who I have now become. I'm currently working with much younger cast members.

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Now I get how they knew it all

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, August 1, 2011

When I first joined the cast of a well known soap opera, one of the first things that happened, before the ink had dried on the contract, was a long and serious briefing by the press office. This two hour session was to prep me for the life changing experience ahead.

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Mummy, please stop it!

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, June 27, 2011

Maison Oberman has resembled the X Factor HQ these past two weeks. I kid you not. Mr O works in the music industry and is not quiet about vocalising his opinions. On the occasions that X Factor has graced our screens, he can be heard passing damning judgement on the delusionals who take part.

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Signs and wonders on the M1

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, May 20, 2011

I am currently appearing in a play out of town. This is something I have not felt able to do since the birth of the beloved daughter as, like Chicken Likken, fearing the sky will cave in at any moment, I have fretted that taking a prolonged working leave of absence from Maison Oberman will result in untold catastrophes.

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The love that we make

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, April 15, 2011

I have had an almost rabbinical epiphany this week. I started rehearsals on a play by Alan Ayckbourn, aka the modern-day Chekhov. Like Chekhov, Ayckbourn understands the human condition in all its glorious frailty. He sees the flaws and hypocricies and ridiculousness that makes human relationships function or dysfunction.

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My record-breaking noise fest

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, March 18, 2011

This week I had a very strange experience. I found myself backstage in the performers' Green Room of the Royal Albert Hall alongside 90 other celebrities, actors, stand-up comics, presenters, journalists and musicians - what seemed like every household name in the country. We were all clutching a musical instrument, about to go on stage in front of a capacity crowd; 3,910 to be exact.

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Awards aren't all a big yawn

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, February 17, 2011

The award season is upon us. There's been the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTAs and soon good old Oscar Night. Undoubtedly the best way to watch these events is sitting at home with the tea brewing, a loo nearby and some snacks to hand. And even then only the highlights. Because award nights are dull.

To watch is hard; to attend even worse. I've been to comedy awards, theatre awards, soap awards, fragrance awards and TV awards. I once accompanied Mr O to DJ Mag's technology awards, where categories included Best Amplifier and Best Turntable.

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Our colour blind slave traders

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, January 6, 2011

I was recently invited to hear the writer Andrea Levy give a small informal talk about her Booker Prize nominated The Long Song, which follows the life of July, a slave girl on a sugar plantation in Jamaica during the uncertain last years of slavery and the process of freedom that had to be negotiated after abolition.

As her inspiration, Ms Levy very movingly described a conference she attended when a young girl stood up and admitted she felt shame at coming from a lineage of slaves and how could she reclaim some pride in her humble ancestry.

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Kosher television takeover

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, December 10, 2010

The end of the year is upon us. The secular year that is. Now is a time to sit back with a glass of sherry, look into the fire and reflect upon the eternal question: "How was it for the Jews?"

We know that there has been a rise in antisemitic attacks and that university campuses are rife with hostility to all things Israeli and that some people confuse their virulent loathing of Israel with a seeming dislike of Jews in general. We know all that. It's the same every year.

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Girl Guiding suddenly grew up

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, October 14, 2010

When I was just a young schoolgirl, seven years of age,I signed up for the Brownies. In fact, I was not only a Brownie - I was a Sixer of the Leprechauns (which Brownie aficionados will know is akin to being the gansa macher on the shul board). My responsibility as a Brownie Sixer was to lead my pack in all the set duties to claim the much-coveted badges that were earned and then sewn onto the unforgiving yellow and brown uniform, and displayed with pride.

The more badges worn, the more seriously that Brownie had taken her oath of "good conduct and good deeds".

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The two New Years are miles apart

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, September 16, 2010

Happy New Year, Dear Reader.

I hope it was a good one with mountains of honey cake and not too many family broiguses.

Yes, it's that time of "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" again.

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Finally, we're no longer a niche

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, August 19, 2010

For those of you who have become familiar with me through these columns, or indeed are related to me and only get a chance to catch up with me via this hallowed newspaper because I don't answer the phone very often (sorry mum), then you'll know that I do take my charitable and civic responsibilities seriously.

I do try to do my bit, however small that bit may be. I've done a number of luncheon talks recently and been a host of charitable award

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