Past Events

Past EventsSaturday, February 27

Sex, Lies and Regal Japes; The story of Esther, the sex-crazed king and his evil counsellor

David Aaronovitch
Debbie Chazen
Anita Diamant
Irving Finkel
Assaf Gavron
Fariborz Kiani
Kathy Lette
Lemez Lovas
Simon Schama
Udi Sharabani
Miki Shaw
David Schneider

A Purim Spiel, with a contemporary twist, bringing a little bit of Persia to Bloomsbury, with a backbeat of Iranian rhythms and all hosted by our favourite modern-day Sheherazade, David Schneider. Unmasking the Book of Esther we revealed the story behind the story of Purim, hatching all-new conspiracy theories and, in the spirit of the festival, blurring boundaries between good and evil, sacred and profane. Bringing the world of inversions, masks and hidden meanings to life was our all-star cast:.  

David Aaronovitch is a prize winning columnist for The Times and the Jewish Chronicle.

Debbie Chazen is a comedian and actress. Her credits include Mike Leigh’s ‘Topsy Turvy’, the BBC sketch show "Tittybangbang", "Doctor Who", "Psychoville" and "The Smoking Room". She is currently appearing in “Calendar Girls” at the Noel Coward Theatre, London.

Anita Diamant is the author of three bestselling novels, The Red Tent, Good Harbour and The Last Days of Dogtown. She has also written six books about contemporary Jewish practice and a collection of essays, Pitching My Tent. Her latest novel is Day After Night.

Irving Finkel is Assistant Keeper in the Department of the Middle East in the British Museum. He also writes for both children and adults, including The Hero King Gilgamesh and The Last Resort Library.

Assaf Gavron is a musician, translator, editor, fast food commentator and captain of the Israeli Writers' Soccer Team. His latest novel Croc-Attack is the tragicomic story of a suicide bomber and his victim

Fariborz Kiani fled Iran in the late 70s. A deep passion for classical Persian music led to the setting up of Nava Art Group. He has also set up the Safar Ensemble, a group that uses medieval instruments to demonstrate the link between the musical traditions of the east and the west.

Kathy Lette divides her time between being a full time writer and a demented mother. Her latest book isTo Love Honour and Betray (Till Divorce Us Do Part).

Lemez Lovas, a UK Jewish music pioneer, founded and wrote/arranged 3 albums for Oi Va Voi (triple BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards nominees); composes for film and theatre (currently Persian epic Shahnameh at London's National Theatre), and is  English songwriter for international artists (Sony BMG / EMI). Current projects include the Yiddish Twist Orchestra - inspired by Willy Bergman, the tragically neglected East End rock'n'roll hero; Shtetl Superstars, a modern day ska-gypsy Fiddler On The Roof; and a major art installation celebrating the Rag Trade.

Simon Schama is Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University, New York, critic, essayist and award-winning author.

Udi Sharabani is a journalist, script writer, artist and ex-footballer. He performs spoken word and poetry and is currently writing his debut novel, about a footballer.

Miki Shaw is a visual artist, animator and graphic designer. She specialises in creating unique and eclectic visuals for live events, from clubs to children's theatre. Since 2007 she has been the JCC's resident "imagician" and regularly VJs as part of the Klezmer-House group GhettoPlotz.

David Schneider researched a Ph.D. in Yiddish drama at Oxford before coming to prominence as a writer, actor and comedian in award-winning comedy shows and films such as I’m Alan Partridge andMission Impossible.

The Jewish Chronicle Evening

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