The stage is set for summer: four great shows to book tickets for
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ENTERTAINMENT

The stage is set for summer: four great shows to book tickets for

Kenny Wax's new show; Bad Jews returns to London; Liza Pulman sings at Wilton Music Hall; Miriam Margoyles in conversation

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

Sam Craig and Nicholas Richardson in Tom, Dick & Harry
Sam Craig and Nicholas Richardson in Tom, Dick & Harry

The Play that Goes Right

You thought Ally Pally was a quiet, unassuming, leafy part of London – but this summer it’s the setting for a great escape. Tom, Dick & Harry is a new play about the greatest escape in WWII history, written using top secret information from the war archives, which were under strict lock and key until 1972

Producer Kenny Wax, who you’ll know from his productions The Play that Goes Wrong and the musical Six, is opening his new show at the Alexandra Palace Theatre on 26 July. Tom, Dick & Harry is filled with dynamic drama, humour and theatricality, telling an extraordinary true story of the escape from a prisoner of war camp, of solidarity across nations, and of an unbreakable spirit to achieve the impossible.

Andrew Pollard and David Fairs

The story takes place in 1943 in Stalag Kuft III, a prisoner-of-war camp in Nazi occupied Europe. The prisoners spy an opportunity, for these are not ordinary prisoners. Serial escapees, they begin an exhilarating game of cat and mouse with their captors. Hiding their covert activity in plain sight with gymnastic exercise, choir practice and cabbage growing (yes really!), the men tunnel deep into the ground beneath the camp’s huts, and soon the most intricate, most audacious, greatest escape of them all is underway

Kenny Wax grew up in Manchester and went to Carmel College for sixth form. He was into sport and theatre and while studying business at Central London Polytechnic he worked for Dixons. He knew his father was really hoping he’d join the family taxi finance business. But he persuaded him to let him try and make it in theatre for a year. He got a job as an usher for the West End production of Miss Saigon and lots of other junior jobs followed. Then came his first role as a producer in a little theatre in Islington. Wax has now been running a successful production company for 25 years and in 2021, he finished a three-and-a-half-year term as President of the Society of London Theatre (SOLT).

Tickets for Tom, Dick & Harry are priced from £15 and can be booked at tomdickandharryonstage.com

Family Broiges  

Joshua Harmon’s darkly funny play Bad Jews is back at the Arts Theatre for a limited run from 14 July to 25 September. The play follows two cousins, Daphna and Liam, who each try to take ownership of their Holocaust survivor grandfather’s heirloom that he managed to keep with him while he was in the camps. As they debate who should keep it, there’s a heated discussion of family and Jewish identity. Daphna accuses Liam of being a “bad Jew” who only goes through the motions at family festivals. Liam claims she picks elements of Judaism that suit her 21st-century mindset. Daphna wants the object for its religious connotation. Liam wants it for the sake of the romantic element in the story attached to it, with which he hopes to woo his non-Jewish girlfriend. Never a dull moment.

artstheatrewestend.co.uk

 

Heart to Heart

Liza Pulman’s new show The Heart of It is at Wilton’s Music Hall on 4th and 5th July. The daughter of celebrated screenwriter Jack Pulman (I Claudius, War and Peace) and actress Barbara Young (Last of the Summer Wine, Coronation Street), Liza’s upbringing gave her a huge appreciation of classic theatre and film, as well as a deep affection for music of the 20s, 30s and 40s, which inspires her own music. Liza is best known for her show Liza Pulman Sings Streisand and some of these numbers will be played, plus songs from her 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.

lizapulman.com

True to Form

Miriam Margolyes has plenty to say about her remarkable life. She has written it all down in a best-selling, award-winning memoir This Much is True, and next month she appears in conversation at the Cambridge Theatre (11 July). You can find out how being conceived in an air-raid gave her curly hair, what pranks led to her being known as the naughtiest girl Oxford High School ever had and how she ended up posing nude for Augustus John as a teenager. With a cast list stretching from Scorsese to Streisand and a cross-dressing Leonardo di Caprio to Isaiah Berlin, this is bound to be hugely entertaining and full of Miriam’s trademark anecdotes and impersonations.

Every ticket includes a signed paperback copy of This Much Is True. Book tickets at fane.co.uk

 

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