Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fantasy, Fidelity and a Crisis of Faith

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fantasy, Fidelity and a Crisis of Faith

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK COOK

Patching Havoc Latchmere, SW11

YOU don't have to be Jewish to appreciate Samantha Ellis's new play, but it might help you understand fully the central relationship between north Londoner Esther and Jake, the seemingly nice Jewish boy she is set to marry.

They are engaged, though he refuses to name a date, and won't even touch her, never mind have sex. He has not been the same since he went to Israel and decided to become a rabbi.

Ellis sets up a thoughtful and funny debate on degrees of Jewishness, not least about the plight of women within Orthodoxy through Gemma Larke's slightly naive Esther, as she encounters the demands of becoming a rabbi's wife in Israel: keeping a kosher home, wearing a wig.

All of which raises an eyebrow from her cynical, alcohol-dependent flatmate Mark, drolly played by Will Huggins, who is something rather unproductive in the City - and an atheist to boot.

Faith is just a crutch, he remarks to Jake (a spiritual, if glacial, Matthew Bulgo). …

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