Life & Culture

Arts Agenda



Kirk's centenary

Kirk Douglas epitomised the Hollywood heart-throb in the 1940s and '50s, playing heroes and villains but never taking himself too seriously. In anticipation of his 100th birthday later this year, the BFI Southbank are featuring 20 of his greatest films this month, including Spartacus, Champion and 2,000 Leagues Under the Sea.


Anthropoid is a French-Czech production which tells the story of Operation Athropoid, the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi official who Hitler called "the man with the iron heart", the chair of the Wannsee conference that planned the deportation and genocide of Europe's Jews. Starring Jamie Dornan, Cillian Murphy and Sam Keeley, the film goes on general release on September 9.


Secrets on show

David Baddiel's My Family: Not The Sitcom transfers to the West End this month, following a sell-out run at the

Menier Chocolate Factory. It's a "massively disrespectful" celebration of the lives of David's late mother, Sarah, and dementia-ridden father, Colin, a show about memory, ageing, infidelity, dysfunctional relatives, moral policing on social media, and gay cats. JC theatre critic John Nathan gave it five stars, calling it "hair-raisingly honest."

Kindertransport dramas

Set in Vienna in 1938 and in London during the Blitz, The Pianist of Willesden Lane tells the true story of Lisa Jura, a young Jewish pianist who is dreaming about her concert debut at Vienna's storied Musikverein concert hall. But, with the issuing of new ordinances under the Nazi regime, everything for Lisa changes, as she is torn from her family and sent on the Kindertransport to London.

The play is at the St. James Theatre from September 7. On September 13, there will be a gala performance to raise funds for World Jewish Relief's Refugee fund, honouring WJR's role in organising the Kindertransport and supporting its work with refugees in Greece and Turkey fleeing Syria, Iran and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, youth theatre group Chickenshed are putting on a production of Diane Samuels' play Kindertransport, about a former refugee child confronting her memories. Starring Michelle Collins, the play starts on September 27 at Chickenshed's theatre in Southgate.

New romance

Kate's attracted to bad boys, but then she meets Steve, a feminist who believes marriage is a patriarchal institution. Can they ever find happiness? How to Date a Feminist is a new romantic comedy by playwright and author of How to be a Heroine Samantha Ellis, which opens at the Arcola Theatre on September 6.


OCD dance

Israeli dance stars Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, with their company L-E-V will perform for the first time in the UK on September 19 and 20 at Sadlers Wells.

Inspired by the poem OCD by Neil Hilborn, who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, OCD LOVE explore themes of the heart through the lens of obsessive-compulsive disorder, with live music from the company's third creative, sound artist Ori Lichtik

L-E-V launched in 2013 with a pledge to move and engage a diverse spectrum of new audiences and join together movement, music, lighting, fashion, art and technology. The work could equally be seen at a techno club or at an opera house.


Money on show

V Operation Bernhard was the codename for the Nazi plan to ruin the British economy by flooding it with fake banknotes, forged by 142 prisoners at Sachsenhausen and Auschwitz concentration camps. The Nazis planned to drop the notes from aircraft, reckoning that British people would find and use them, but were foiled when a spy informed the Bank of England and the Nazis then dumped most of the forged notes in an Austrian lake.

The story of Operation Bernhard is retold at the Bank of England's Banknote Gallery which is reopening after refurbishment on September 7. The exhibition also includes paper notes from Ming dynasty China

Time turning

South African artist William Kentridge is renowned for his animated expressionist drawings and films. In a major exhibition, opening at the Whitechapel Gallery on September 21, six large-scale installations by the artist use music and drama to explore themes of revolution, exile and scientific advancement.

The exhibition includes The Refusal of Time (2012), an immersive collaborative work featuring a shadow procession and a cacophony of clocks, bassoons and metronomes. It was created with composer Philip Miller, projection designer Catherine Meyburgh, choreographer Dada Masilo and scientist Peter Galison, alongside performers, machine-makers, costume designers and set designers from around the world.

Bomberg by the sea

Last chance to see the retrospective of David Bomberg's work at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne, which ends on September 11. Bomberg (1890 – 1957) was the seventh of 11 children of a Polish-Jewish leatherworker. He grew up in Whitechapel and later became one of the Whitechapel Group of painters. His work took him far away from east London, to Spain, Cyprus and Palestine. He is now recognised as a pioneer of modernism, and recognised particularly for his landscapes, but during his life he was not valued by the art establishment and was only recognised decades after his death with a major retrospective at the Tate Gallery in 1988.


Klezmer and Menuhin

The enduring legacy of violinist Yehudi Menuhin is celebrated at a concert at Kings Place on September 8, part of the Jewish Music Institute's festival of Jewish Arts and Music. The concert features Johan Dalene, a winner of the 2016 Menuhin award , and jazz legend John Etheridge.

Then on September 11, London's diverse communities are being celebrated at the Klezmer in the Park free festival in Regents' Park. Come along to hear music from India, Africa, Bulgaria and the Middle East, alongside some leading klezmer artists.

Three days later, the JMI's artistic director, Sophie Solomon, launches her new album Stop the Parade at the Jazz Café in Camden. Inspired by her experiences of Russia and the Balkans following the fall of communism, Solomon has created a quirky collection of songs with her trademark lush strings, Balkan brass and gypsy spirit.

The new album, "tells the stories of a faded world of satellite states, doctored photographs, long-lost lovers who will never meet again and a spy who leaves messages in a dropbox."

The London Klezmer Quartet also have a new album out this month, To the Tavern: "a dawn to dawn story about a klezmer band's arrival in a small town.

An evening with Maxim

Renowned Israeli violinist and conductor Maxim Vengerov is at Belsize Square Synagogue on September 25 for an evening of music and conversation.

The synagogue has developed a unique partnership with Vengerov, which has its origins in his long friendship with Rabbi Stuart Altshuler.

Both passionately believe in teaching and encouraging young talent.

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