Shtisel Star hits the West End stage

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Shtisel Star hits the West End stage

Shira Haas is one of the most successful stars of the beloved Israeli series and now she's in a London musical

Shira Haas with Sheridan Smith and the cast of Opening Night
Shira Haas with Sheridan Smith and the cast of Opening Night

As Ruchama Weiss in the supreme Israeli saga Shtisel, Shira Haas made us cry, question our faith and was the last face we saw when the series ended. Some are still praying for its return and may care to mention that when she arrives in London to star in Opening Night at the Gielgud Theatre in March. In Unorthodox, that other celebrated Jewish series about orthodoxy, Shira, as protagonist Esty, sang a Satmar song for her audition at Berlin’s Conservatory of Music and it was beautiful.

It therefore follows that her West End debut is in a musical opposite Sheridan Smith, with music and lyrics by Rufus Wainwright. Directed and conceived by Ivo van Hove, Opening Night is based on John Cassavetes’ 1977 film of the same name, which is about a stage actress who, after witnessing the accidental death of one of her fans, is haunted by a recurring apparition of the deceased woman, spurring a nervous breakdown as she prepares for the première of a Broadway play.

Shira alongside the cartoon of her Marvel character Sabra

This is big emotional stuff, but the petite Tel Aviv-born actor is not averse to a challenge, as she is playing Sabra, an Israeli superheroine in Captain America: Brave New World, which will be released in 2025. Supporting an Israeli star on the London stage is our focus now, and Shira should not be surprised if she is sent food parcels by Shtisel fans inspired by those Ruchama took to yeshiva student Hanina to show love and admiration.

Opening Night runs from 6 March to 27 July.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: