Bad Jews

Bad Jews coming to Sydney

Fraser Beath McEwing went along to meet the cast during their Sydney rehersals.

While Fiddler on the Roof concentrates on traditional Jewish humour, a new piece of Jewish theatre, Bad Jews, brings it into the present day.

The play first opened in New York in 2014 and has since been attracting sold out houses around the world, including Broadway and the West End.

The Australian production, currently running in Melbourne, will come to Sydney for a season at the Seymour Centre from 18 May to 4 June.

Both the Melbourne Age and Theatre People gave it their top rating.

The play centres around four members of a family in a get-together the night after the death of a grandfather. They go into battle over who should have a treasured family heirloom with religious significance. A cramped Manhattan apartment becomes the setting for a viciously hilarious quarrel involving family, faith and legacy.

Although the four Australian actors are not Jewish, writer Joshua Harmon and director Gary Abrahams are, and between them have crafted a play that strikes a balance between passion, humour and heartache, Jewish style, producing an utterly convincing transformation of the actors. One Melbourne patron was heard to remark as she left the theatre “so what, this goes on my lounge room every week!”

Maria Angelico, who plays the part of Daphna, told JJunction that when she meets audience members after the show they always ask her if she’s Jewish, and then can’t believe she’s not.

JJunction is planning a theatre party to see Bad Jews.

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