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Golda Meir to star in the West End

Broadway’s Tovah Feldshuh can’t wait to bring her portrayal of the Israeli leader to London

The award-winning American actress Tovah Feldshuh wants to make one thing clear. The London premiere of her performance in the one-woman-play Golda’s Balcony is not the same as her one-woman concert, Mining Golda, which she performed in London a few years ago.

“Anyone who has seen me sing and dance has not seen me in this play,” says Feldshuh who, away from her appearances in the television series Law and Order has almost cornered the market in portraying Jewish women. On stage, she was first to play Yentl. On screen, she was Jessica’s mother in the hit 2001 movie Kissing Jessica Stein.

Feldshuh has just got off the plane from New York. Still wearing her travelling clothes — a figure-hugging cat suit — she is in London to check out the Shaw Theatre where, in June, she will star as Israel’s iron lady.

William Gibson’s play is not only a portrait of Meir, but charts the dilemmas — both moral and military — with which the Israeli Prime Minister struggled during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It is a role that demands of its actor not only to play what was for many Israel’s greatest leader, but also the generals — like Dayan — and the politicians — like US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger — with whom Meir negotiated her country’s fate.

“I honestly hope this will be my best performance in the play,” says Feldshuh. As well as winning a clutch of awards, Golda’s Balcony became the longest running one-woman show in Broadway history. “That’s what happens when a role is allowed to marinade in your soul,” she says.

Golda’s Balcony is at the Shaw Theatre, London NW1 from June 7. Tel: 0870 033 2600

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