The Jewish Chronicle - - JC SPECIAL -

PAR­ENTS AND grand­par­ents, once you fi­nally have some time to your­selves, why not un­wind at the the­atre or a con­cert? Treat your­self to Hamp­stead The­atre’s pro­duc­tion of Filthy Busi­ness, a new play by Ryan Craig. It runs un­til April 22 and is de­scribed as a “fiery fam­ily com­edy”. Sara Kestel­man takes the lead role of ma­tri­arch Yetta Solomon.

It is 1968, and we are in east Lon­don. Yetta has built a thriv­ing busi­ness from noth­ing, de­spite in­suf­fi­cient cap­i­tal, eco­nomic down­turns and ag­gres­sive com­pe­ti­tion.

Now she faces her tough­est chal­lenge so far: her fam­ily. In a rapidly chang­ing Bri­tain, Yetta must pro­tect the shop and keep it in the Solomon fam­ily. But her sons, grand­chil­dren and in-laws have other ideas. For once, a fam­ily row we can just sit back and en­joy.

An­other treat will be The English Con­cert’s pro­gramme at the Wig­more Hall, Lon­don on June 7. En­ti­tled Esnoga: Jerusalem of the North, is “an ex­plo­ration of Jewish mu­si­cal trea­sures from the 17th and 18th cen­turies”. The per­for­mance will in­clude mu­sic by Rossi, Uc­cellini, Mar­cello, Li­darti and Cervetto and the or­ches­tra will be joined by coun­tertenor Christo­pher Ains­ley as well as fea­tur­ing prin­ci­pals Nadja Zwiener (vi­o­lin/ leader) and Joseph Crouch (cello).

Am­s­ter­dam and Venice, two great cities of mu­sic in the 17th and 18th cen­turies, were not just hubs of trade and cul­ture but home to large Jewish com­mu­ni­ties.

Many had fled to Hol­land to es­cape from per­se­cu­tion in Por­tu­gal and Spain and built Am­s­ter­dam’s Esnoga Sy­n­a­gogue (at that time, the largest shul in the world).

Re­li­gious free­dom in both cities gave rise to a fu­sion of cul­tures, par­tic­u­larly in mu­sic.

Re­con­structed from manuscripts held in Durham Cathe­dral’s ar­chives, the pro­gramme also fea­tures a world première of Gi­a­cobo Ba­sevi Cervetto’s Cello Con­certo in G ma­jor, per­formed by The English Con­cert’s prin­ci­pal cel­list Joseph Crouch. A pop­u­lar mem­ber of the Drury Lane the­atre or­ches­tra, Cervetto (16821783), an Ital­ian cel­list and com­poser of Jewish de­scent, was one of a num­ber of Ital­ian mu­si­cians who brought the cello into favour in Eng­land, hav­ing moved from Italy in 1738.

If your chil­dren are age 11-plus, do not worry about babysit­ting — take them with you to see The Com­edy About a Bank Rob­bery, now at Lon­don’s Cri­te­rion The­atre.

De­scribed as “Ocean’s Eleven meets the Marx Broth­ers”, it is the lat­est show from Mis­chief The­atre.

A price­less di­a­mond has been en­trusted to a bank but this is in a town where ev­ery­one is a crook and not even the seag­ulls can be trusted. What could pos­si­bly go wrong?

Still run­ning in Lon­don’s West End is Mis­chief The­atre’s The Play That Goes Wrong. The Corn­ley Polytech­nic Drama So­ci­ety are put­ting on a 1920s mur­der mys­tery but ev­ery­thing that can go wrong, does.

Now at the Duchess The­atre, the play is also on tour in UK and Ire­land this year.

Ei­ther of these shows would make a bril­liant in­tro­duc­tion to grown-up the­atre-go­ing.

The English Con­cert


Sara Kestel­man

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