Why is the Jewish theatre tradition so much stronger in the US than the UK, asks David Jays. And how is work as an actor, director or writer conditioned by the Jewish experience?
I ask the Israeli-born, British-based choreographer Hofesh Shechter if he considers himself a particularly Jewish artist. He sighs, then nods assent. “Unfortunately.” It’s perhaps the ultimate Jewish answer – sardonic, sorrowed, self-aware, all in a single word.
In a time of bristling identity politics, witty reluctance sounds incongruous. But, on the British stage at least, Jewishness is that kind of label. Jewish theatre artists have been central but often unidentified. Is this an immigrant people’s anxiety around unwelcome attention? “We’re a self-effacing community,” says playwright Samantha Ellis, “we’re afraid to put our heads above the parapet.” Harold Pinter is the most influential... Keep reading on The Guardian