Friday, 23 April 2021

REVIEW: Jew…ish at the Kings Head Theatre (Online) for the Plays on Film season

Returning to The Kings Head Theatre for their digital season, Plays on Film, is Unleash the Llama’s sell-out hit Jew…ish. After the success of their London and Edinburgh Fringe Festival runs, it is a treat to be able to stream this offbeat rom-com from our homes. With over 50% of the revenue from ticket sales is guaranteed to go to the artists from this season to support theatre companies during the difficult financial time's many faces due to the pandemic, makes this a well worthwhile online event to support and a guaranteed good time!

Written by Saul Boyer & Poppy Damon, Jew…ish follows the relationship of millennials TJ (Edie Newman), an interpretive dance performance artist and budding Jewish themed comedian Max (Saul Boyer), who comes complete with an overbearing Jewish family. From their unconventional beginning meeting at University in the polyamory society, their relationship years later continues to celebrate the challenges and chaos love can bring as the two navigate their feelings for each other in the shadow of gen Y existentialism, family, friends and a good dose of Jewish guilt. Without taking itself too seriously, this two-hander is highly enjoyable manages to tug at a few heartstrings as well.

Boyer and Newman easily find the chemistry between the two highly flawed characters with ease. It is difficult to like them at times since their actions towards each other appear selfish and purposefully causes harm, yet somehow you want them to find happiness. Whether or not it is together is part of the ride. Like uninvited drama from a friend you don’t see much anymore, it is so much fun to cringe as TJ and Max spill their turbulent past and present all over the place for all to see, 

With simple and effective physical imagery to transform the space and costume changes, this two-hander flows well and provides a good dose of laugh out loud moments. The writing itself is clever and well-paced and I have to wonder how much personal experience has filtered into the story since, although bizarre, it is believably told, especially considering without meeting Max’s family we are painted a clear picture of them. This is a credit to both the performance of the actors and writing. 

The Kings Head Theatre has provided a sleek platform to view this play. Something I have been enjoying about online theatre, such as this Plays on Film season, is that it’s able to be streamed at any time of day or night that suits. I find this format can take the stress out of making time to watch theatre at conventional times. I chose to use my free Friday morning in the sun to view this work and it was a very enjoyable way to start my day.

Jew…ish is a beautifully crafted, funny and touching production. At times it is infuriating to watch how the two characters are so destructive for each other, yet, moments of heart balance this work to show us the complex absurdity of love.

Review by Stephanie Osztreicher

Rating: ★★★★

Seat: Online | Price of Ticket: £10-£18

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