Who, What and Where: Liza Pulman, Jazz at Radlett, Barnet literary festival and Laduree macarons

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Who, What and Where: Liza Pulman, Jazz at Radlett, Barnet literary festival and Laduree macarons

Our weekly roundup of what's on and what's hot

Louisa Walters is Features Editor at the Jewish News and specialises in food and travel writing

MUSIC: Heart and Soul

You may by now have heard that it’s Barbra Streisand’s 80th birthday on Sunday, so this is the ideal date for Liza Pulman’s new show The Heart of It to open at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith (it then goes to Cadogan Hall on 25th May and Wilton’s Music Hall on 4th and 5th June). Why? Well, because Liza is best known for her show Liza Pulman Sings Streisand and some of these numbers will be heard at Riverside, plus songs from Liza’s new album. Her funny, intelligent and emotional connection to lyrics and melody goes straight to the heart of every song with a diverse and eclectic range of influences including Michel Legrand, Irving Berlin, Randy Newman, and Judy Collins. Liza is an accomplished solo artist proving that women really can multitask! Flawless vocals, easy wit and natural storytelling make her a compelling performer. She says: “Surrounded by my band, this is live music in its true sense – great songs, great musicians, in a great space. There’s a new restaurant and a bar at Riverside – my idea of heaven. I get to eat a good meal, sing some beautiful songs and have a nice drink afterwards. What’s not to like?

The Heart of It is at Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London W6 9BN 24 – 30 April. www.riversidestudios.co.uk


Barnet bookworms need to get fingers at the ready this Saturday when booking for the for the inaugural Barnet Libraries Literary festival goes live. Across the weekend of 21 and 22 May, authors such as Michael Rosen, Miriam Halahmy, Debra Barnes, Ariana Neumann and Meriel Schindler will be discussing their books. Fran Wolfisz (former features editor of this paper) will be discussing Jews by the Seaside with author Pam Fox. Follow #barnetlibrarieslitfest on Twitter and Facebook for more details and booking information.

CONCERT: Jazz Singer

Who knew that leafy Radlett was jazz central? Emma Smith, who grew up on Letchmore Road, returns to her roots on 28th April when she brings her jazz show, The American-ish Songbook, to the Radlett Centre. The concert is a homage to her Jewish heritage and a celebration of Jewish excellence within the culture of jazz music as showcased in the work of George Gershwin, Rodgers & Hammerstein and Irving Berlin. Very much a local girl, Emma went to school in Bushey, and her composer and trumpet player dad (a key musician on the BBC’s Friday Night is Music Night) and her trombone-player grandpa (he played with Frank Sinatra and Shirley Bassey among others), are local lads. Emma’s mother is an accomplished saxophonist who has played with Phil Collins. Emma has performed everywhere from Ronnie Scott’s and the 02 Arena to the jazz clubs of New York, collaborating and recording with the likes of Michael Buble, Robbie Williams, Georgie Fame and Seal. This summer Emma’s new album Meshuga Baby is being released – there is a show at JW3 on 9 June to celebrate that.

The American-ish Songbook is at The Radlett Centre, Radlett, HertfordshireWD7 8HL on Thursday 28 April. www.radlettcentre.co.uk


THEATRE: In a Pickle

Pickle is a darkly comic one-woman show about a young Jewish woman caught between two conflicting worlds. Written and performed by Deli Segal, produced by Tanya Truman and directed by Kayla Feldman, it’s very much a Jewish affair and will open at the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park on Monday 2nd May. The show explores what it means to be a young Jewish woman in London today. It tells the story of Ari: Jewish, still living at home with her overbearing parents in North-West London and struggling through life in a secular world. Deli Segal says: “Pickle is all about one woman’s experience of reconciling belief and tradition with change. I wanted to tell a story that explores being in the middle of both worlds and celebrates the parts that fit together, and those that don’t. The vibrancy, the spirit, the richness of culture, the humour of Jewish life – those things often get lost in the conversation. Pickle brings them all to the stage.”

Pickle is Park Theatre, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP 2nd – 7th May. www.parktheatre.co.uk

FOOD: Tasty Titbits

Just after Pesach finishes, meaning it’s safe to leave the building, The Marylebone Food launches with a tasty line-up of restaurant events including masterclasses, supper clubs, tastings and special festival menus celebrating Marylebone’s lively and eclectic dining and drinking scene. The festival runs from 26 April to 1 May. There will be live music and txakoli at Lurra, wine tasting workshops at 28-50, Vinoteca and The Italians; a meet-the-chef masterclass at The Montagu Kitchen; supper clubs at Home Marylebone and The Royal Oak, tasting menus from Nobu and Michelin-starred Trishna and a number of tasting tours. A highlight will be an East London themed menu developed by Cubitt House director Ben Tish.  www.marylebonefoodfestival.com

Meanwhile… Who knew… that you can get personalised Laduree macarons? A couple of days’ notice is needed but they can be ordered in retail stores. www.laduree.co.uk

BOOK: Home from Home

Holocaust survivor Henry Wuga arrived in the UK with the Kindertransport aged 15, followed a few months later by his future wife, Ingrid. They went on to found the biggest Jewish catering company in Glasgow, and – much later – travel the world sharing their story of flight, internment and survival.

Chitra Ramaswamy was born in London, the daughter of Indian immigrants and. As a journalist she interviewed Henry for a piece in the Scotsman. Despite their very different stories, they found a surprising amount in common: both have complex relationships with the UK and their home country; both share a desire to belong, while being true to their cultural identities; both have a family history involving loss, resilience, immigration and prejudice; both have a strong emotional connection to food, family and hospitality.

Their two stories – and their shared one – are woven together by Chitra in Homelands; The History of a Friendship – a photo-packed account of a very unique friendship and of modern Britain.

Homelands by Chitra Ramaswamy is available at Waterstones in hardback £16.99

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