Jessica Duchen’s interesting feature on the pianist Danny Driver ( JC, August 12) makes reference to the Hoffnung Festival in 1956, which first offered ‘comedy in music’. In fact, it was Victor Borge who coined that phrase three years earlier when he opened on Broadway, purveying an innovatory blend of classical music interleaved with related comedy routines. This broke all records for a one-man show, running to 849 performances — yet another Jewish entertainer for us to claim and one with whom I’m sure Danny Driver is familiar. Barry Borman Edgwarebury Lane Edgware Middlesex
FROM TIME to time I’m accused of ignoring ‘good news.’ ‘ You’re preoccupied with dirty linen,’ a caller recently bawled at me down the telephone line. ‘There’s so much that’s good about British Jewry; but all you’re interested in are its shortcomings.’ Well, it so happens that over the past fortnight a number of good news stories have come my way. I propose now to share three of them with you. The first concerns the part played by British Jews in the rioting, looting and arson to which English cities were subjected at the beginning of the month.
The good news? As perpetrators, Jews played virtually no part at all. No doubt if one searched hard enough one might come across one or two of the thousands of arsonists, rioters and looters who turn out to be halachically Jewish. The fact is — as one correspondent (Mr Stephen HughJones) was generous enough to point out in The Times on 13 August — that the Jewish contribution to the mayhem was practically non-existent.
For once I have to agree with the comments of chief rabbi Lord Sacks (writing also in The Times, 12 August) that what the country needs is a ‘remoralisation,’ to counter especially the