Acting Jewish: Between Identity and Attire
A lecture series organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London in cooperation with the German Historical Institute London.
The proposed lecture series investigates the complex nature of what it means to act or appear Jewish and for whom this appearance is important. Examples are drawn from a wide range of performative settings: on stage, on screen, in daily life. Under which conditions do certain elements of fashion and attire appear as “Jewish”? How do Jews consciously showcase or hide their identity by way of ‘acting’ and dressing in certain ways? And how were these elements conceptualised in the wider discourse: as ‘natural’- self-expressions of an ethnical identity, as attire communicating a social role, or ‘prejudiced’ – as a ’costume’ hiding the wearer’s true identity?
Paul Herzberg (actor and writer) – Acting Jewish: Perception and Reality
What does ‘acting Jewish’ really mean? Is it a style of performance drawing on the alleged traits of global Jewry? Or is it perhaps about ancient perceptions? Paul Herzberg offers a view, drawing on his four decades in the entertainment industry.
Paul Herzberg is an actor and writer. His most recent appearances as an actor were as John Vorster in Antony Sher’s ID at the Almeida; Shylock in The Merchant of Venice at The Arcola, at the RSC as Vincentio in The Taming of The Shrew; in 2017 Shimon Peres in the award-winning play, Oslo. Recent television includes Daniel Borgoraz in the award-winning serial The Honourable Woman. His screenplay Almost Heaven won the Nashville International Best Feature Award, and his stage play, The Dead Wait, was shortlisted for The Verity Bargate Award, nominated in three categories for the MEN theatre awards, winning best actor. His commissioned screenplay Anna’s Story was selected for the 2018 Brit List.
Introduction by Dr Daniel Wildmann (Director, LBI London) with a welcome from Professor Christina von Hodenberg (Director, GHIL):
Relevant film clips:
GUINNESS / O. TWIST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pigmgUCxg_0
OLIVIER / SHYLOCK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgzSvSbvjZc
TALES OF UNEXPECTED: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7qv6ToXs_M
THE DOCTOR’S DILEMMA: https://soundcloud.com/user-220153055/the-doctors-dilemma
HONOURABLE WOMAN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OofjjmTSUuM
THE DEAD WAIT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8YLJ9jXOm4