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Frank London talks to JR about composing for The Merchant in Venice at Venice Ghetto 500

In the next of our chats with members of the cast and creative team of the very first production of The Merchant of Venice to be staged in the Venice Ghetto itself, Judi Herman talks to Frank London, composer and musician. The Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer, founder of the Klezmatics and leader of bhangra/Yiddish group Sharabi (with Deep Singh), Shekhinah Big Band, and his Klezmer Brass Allstars is no stranger to large-scale collaborative projects, or of course to Jewish-themed work. Here he talks about the musicians who are working with him on this project and his inspirations for the music that will be heard in the Ghetto.

www.themerchantinvenice.org

See Alexandra & Nikole Stoica, the twin violin virtuosos from Romania that Frank talks about, who will play in the production: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmg-mPSAeCE

Hear music by Salomone Rossi (his beautiful Kaddish – the mourner’s prayer), the 17th-century, Italian-Jewish composer, who was one the inspirations that Frank mentions: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBBXYsdt8Jk

 

Jenni Lea-Jones talks to JR about her role in The Merchant in Venice at Venice Ghetto 500

In the next of our chats with members of the cast and creative team of the very first production of The Merchant of Venice to be staged in the Venice Ghetto itself, Judi Herman talks to Welsh actress Jenni Lea-Jones, who has relocated to Venice and is perhaps the most unusual of the five performers sharing the role of Shylock in the show they are calling The Merchant in Venice. Apologies for the quality of the line at the start of this conversation, which happily soon improves.

www.themerchantinvenice.org

 

Table tennis champ Jeff Ingber talks about travelling the world playing the beautiful game

Jeff Ingber, table tennis champion for decades from the mid-20th century and one of Howard Jacobsons heroes, met up with JR’s arts editor Judi Herman at the exhibition Chess in Shorts that accompanies the production of the Mighty Walzer at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre. Ingber told Judi about playing the other beautiful game in Manchester and how it was his passport to travel the world, from Israel to China.

Chess in Shorts, an exhibition by Howard Jacobson and Manchester Jewish Museum, runs until Saturday 30 July, FREE, at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, M2 7DH. www.royalexchange.co.uk

The Mighty Walzer runs until Saturday 30 July, 7.30pm & 2.30pm, £8-£16, at Royal Exchange Theatre.

Read our review of The Mighty Walzer and our interview with the show’s playwright and actor, Simon Bent and Elliot Levey.