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Jewish Book Week: London's Longest Running International Literary Festival Comes To Kings Place and JW3

Jewish Book Week: London's Longest Running International Literary Festival Comes To Kings Place and JW3

For nine days, from the 29th February to the 8th March, Jewish Book Week brings together nearly 200 multi-award winning writers from the worlds of history, theatre, journalism, philosophy, science, art, music, poetry and fiction in a celebration of ideas. The 2020 line-up includes Emma Barnett, Tom Bower, Camilla Cavendish, Gavin Esler, Jonathan Freedland, Nicci Gerrard, Adam Gopnik, Howard Jacobson, Rachel Johnson, Norman Lebrecht, Sue MacGregor, Douglas Murray, Melanie Phillips, Philippe Sands, Marcus du Sautoy, Simon Schama, Tom Segev, Elif Shafak, Martin Rees, Andrew Robinson and Edmund de Waal.

The programme includes three events with Steven Berkoff, Janet Suzman and Rob Rinder

On Saturday 29th February at 7.00pm at Kings Place Steven Berkoff, one of Britain's finest actors, directors and playwrights, presents his fascinating autobiography A World Elsewhere spanning fifty years of his work. He compellingly describes his multifarious theatrical works, outlining the methods he uses and the subtle interconnections between actor, playwright and theatre director, when one discipline melds effortlessly into another. A World Elsewhere is the part analysis and part confession of an artist whose work has been performed all over the world.

Steven Berkoff is a unique phenomenon. A rare polymath and enfant terrible of British theatre, he is an actor, author, playwright, writer and theatre director. He is currently starring as King Olaf in the TV Vikings series. His recent play and film about the disgraced movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein, written, produced by and starring Berkoff, have attracted controversy and debate about the unlimited power of Hollywood producers. As a film actor, he is best known for his performances in villainous roles, such as Lt. Col Podovsky in Rambo: First Blood Part II, General Orlov in the James Bond film Octopussy, Victor Maitland in Beverly Hill Cop and Adolf Hitler in the TV mini-series War and Remembrance.

Matthew Stadlen is a national radio and television presenter, producer and writer. He has presented weekend early mornings on LBC since the start of October 2016.

Also on the 29th February at 8.30pm Robert Gordon and David Peimer present the world premiere of their new play, Shylock Speaks, exploring Shakespeare's 'outsider'. Shylock asks: Who is a citizen? Who an 'alien'? As recurring forces of antisemitism frame cultural identity, where does Shylock belong today? The play promises a surprising new approach to The Merchant of Venice as the characters speak to our times. This 50-minute play will be followed by a Q & A with Janet Suzman, Robert Gordon and David Peimer, chaired by Anthony Julius.

Oscar Nominated Janet Suzman DBE has played most of Shakespeare's women, has starred in a wide range of classical and modern drama onstage and on TV, has appeared in some notable films, has worked as a director both here and in South Africa land of her birth, and is happy to know and admire David Piemer.

David Peimer is a playwright, librettist and director. He has won many awards (including the Soros Open Society Award, Goethe Inst Award, South African National Playwriting, and others), directed over 40 plays in the EU, South Africa, New York, UK, and for the Pinter Centre. He is also a Professor of Theatre (UK) and was at New York University (Prague campus). Born in South Africa, his most recent book of plays is Armed Response; Plays from South Africa. He has directed in Vaclav Havel's Prague theatre, staged work in the EU Parliament and a new upcoming project is endorsed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Robert Gordon has worked as an actor, director and playwright in the UK, South Africa, Ireland, Italy, USA and Czech Republic, and is author of Red Earth, a play about women under apartheid, and Waterloo Road. He is author of The Purpose of Playing: Modern Acting Theory in Perspective (2006), Harold Pinter's Theatre of Power (2012) and British Musical Theatre Since 1950 (2016) with Olaf Jubin and Millie Taylor. He has also edited three collections on musical theatre for OUP. As Professor of Theatre and Director of the Pinter Centre for Performance and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, he introduced the first British MA in Musical Theatre.

Anthony Julius is a lawyer, academic and author. His books include Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England. He is known among other things for his actions on behalf of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Deborah Lipstadt. He is deputy chairman of the London law firm Mishcon de Reya and holds the chair in Law and Arts in the Faculty of Laws at University College London. He is currently writing a book on censorship, which will be published by OUP in 2022.

On Sunday 8th March at 8.15pm Claire Martin, Rob Rinder, Rob Barron (Piano), Jeremy Brown (Bass) present The Hollywood Songbook. Cole Porter, the only non-Jew in a line-up of songwriters boasting the Gershwin brothers, Jerome Kern, Alan Lerner and Leonard Bernstein, to name but a few, claimed to have discovered the secret of creating hit songs: 'I'll write Jewish tunes.' Presented by Rob 'Judge' Rinder, acclaimed singer Claire Martin, accompanied on piano and bass, performs some of Hollywood's greatest hits.

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