Anglo-Jewish plays

Sue Vice

in Jack Rosenthal

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780719077043
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781703144 | DOI:
Anglo-Jewish plays

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This chapter explores Anglo-Jewish incidents and characters in Jack Rosenthal's television plays. The two plays, The Evacuees and Bar Mitzvah Boy, represent elements of Anglo-Jewish life using different techniques. While The Evacuees presents Jewishness and Englishness separately, Bar Mitzvah Boy derives its comedy from a British–Jewish synthesis, a difference that is partly due to dramatic imperatives. As its title suggests, The Evacuees is about urban Jewish life as it is forced into interaction with a more rural gentile world. The dialogic representation of Jewish life in Britain in Rosenthal's plays arises necessarily from the diasporic nature of the community. Voices are characterised by the accents of at least two cultures. In general, Rosenthal's Anglo-Jewish plays reverse the historian Colin Richmond's remark that Englishness is always equated with non-Jewishness. Instead, Rosenthal shows that Englishness may be expressed as Jewishness.

Keywords: Anglo-Jewish; Jack Rosenthal; television plays; The Evacuees; Bar Mitzvah Boy

Chapter.  10825 words. 

Subjects: Television

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