As Joshua Harmon's dangerous, yet funny debut play, Bad Jews, enjoys its third successful run – the second in London – at the Arts Theatre, Judi Herman caught up with cast members Jenna Augen (Daphna) and Ilan Goodman (Liam) to talk about battling it out live on stage.
Bad Jews runs until Saturday 30 May. 7.30pm & 2.30pm (Thu/Sat ony). £20-£49.50. Arts Theatre, Great Newport St, WC2H 7JB; 020 7836 8463. www.artstheatrewestend.co.uk
Read our review of Bad Jews.
Mahogany Opera Group’s critically-acclaimed production of Hans Krása’s Brundibár – the 1938 short children’s opera famously performed in the World War II concentration camp Terezin (German Theresienstadt) – heads to Watford Palace Theatre this weekend. So Judi Herman sat in on a rehearsal and met with the director Frederic Wake-Walker, conductor Alice Farnham and two of the 40-odd talented children recruited for these performances; nine-year-old Erin Daniels, who plays Aninku and 14-year-old Ethan George, who plays her brother Pepíček. Brundibár the evil organ grinder thwarts them in their attempt to raise money by busking to buy milk for their sick mother – until some clever animals come to their aid, enlisting the help of the town’s children. It’s a story of the triumph of the poor and powerless over the big, strong and ruthless that resonated throughout the camp – which is just as powerful today.
Brundibár runs Saturday 18 – Sunday 19 April in Watford and Sunday 28 June in Norwich. 7pm (Sat), 3pm (Sun). £10, £8 children.
Watford Palace Theatre, 20 Clarendon Rd, WD17 1JZ; 019 2323 5455. www.watfordpalacetheatre.co.uk 2pm. £10, £6 concs.
Nowich Playhouse, NR3 1AB; 016 0359 8598. norwichplayhouse.co.uk
For more on Brundibár, read Judi Herman’s interview with Holocaust survivor Ela Weissberger, who created the role of the Cat in the original production in Terezin.
As flagged up in the January 2015 issue of Jewish Renaissance, you can now listen to more of Kerry Shale talking to Judi Herman about performing his live stage recreation of Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner’s legendary double act, from the albums on which an interviewer questions a man who has seen the entire history of civilisation – and gives his replies in a thick Yiddish accent! You’ll also hear from Chris Neill, who will be ‘channelling’ interviewer Carl Reiner to Kerry’s Mel Brooks as the 2000 Year Old Man himself. We've also got a sneak preview of the show for you, with Kerry and Chris listening on cleverly concealed earbuds to Brooks and Reiner to reproduce their personas.
The 2000 Year Old Man runs from Monday 9 – Sunday 22 March. 8pm. £6.50-£12.50. JW3, 341-351 Finchley Rd, NW3 6ET; 020 7433 8988. www.jw3.org.uk