Bad Jews, New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

This week the New Alexandra Theatre has Bad Jews until Saturday 7th May. #BrumHour sent Sarah Elizabeth to find out more:

by Sarah Elizabeth

Bad Jews

When I was first asked to go and see Bad Jews, I wondered if I was about to view a Matt Parker/Trey Stone South Park-esque show; however, provocative as the name may be the content is worlds apart from my preconception.

Bad Jews enjoyed its UK premiere in Bath as part of the Summer Season 2014, then transferred to London’s St James Theatre where it became the best-selling play in the theatre’s history, followed by an extended run at the West End’s Arts Theatre. Now it is here to show Birmingham what it’s all about during its one-week run at the New Alexandra Theatre (Tuesday 3rd May – Saturday 7th May 2016).
So what is it all about?

ilan goodman antonia kinlay ailsa joy 018 small
Ilan Goodman, Antonia Kinlay and Ailsa Joy

Running at only 1 hour 45, with no interval, this play of only 4 cast, set in a cramped Manhattan apartment (“you can see the Hudson from the bathroom window”) this play explores family hierarchies, traditions and beliefs. A beloved grandfather, survivor of the holocaust has died, and a treasured family heirloom with religious significance is the centrifugal argument of the piece. Who will get it? Will it be Daphna, overbearing, fanatically religious “Good Jew”, or Cousin Liam, self-proclaimed atheist and “Bad Jew” who is dating gentile Melody. Rounding the cast of is fence sitting Jonah, brother of Liam who just wants to be left out of the fight.

Ilan Goodman’s (Liam) and Ailsa Joy’s (Daphna) vitriolic ranting soliloquys are exhausting to watch and should be applauded for the skill at which they are delivered.

bad jews

Amusing in parts, I found Bad Jews a drama, tinged with the sadness and uncomfortableness of inter-family feuding. Ending poignantly, Bad Jews is an interesting insight into family, faith and legacy.

Please note this production contains strong language.

BrumHour was invited to see this production and received no money for this article. These views are the bloggers own.