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Bad Jews head to West End

Published 23 February 2015

Joshua Harmon’s searing family comedy Bad Jews will transfer to London’s Arts Theatre next month following its critically acclaimed run at the St James Theatre.

Michael Longhurst’s production was first seen in Bath’s Ustinov Studio last summer, when it earned cast member Jenna Augen a UK Theatre Award for her brilliantly witty performance as the overbearing Daphna. The actor will reprise her role for the show’s limited 11-week run at the Leicester Square venue from 18 March alongside fellow original cast members Gina Bramhill, Joe Coen and Ilan Goodman.

The quartet plays three cousins and an ill fortuned girlfriend, the latter of whom finds herself in the firing line when the four gather in a New York apartment following the funeral of the family’s beloved grandfather, a Holocaust survivor.

With a treasured family heirloom with religious significance up for grabs, the question of who is most deserving of it plays out over a tense and explosive evening. Does bossy Daphna deserve it for her religious fanaticism? Her wealthy cousin Liam, whose plan for it involves his non-Jewish girlfriend Melody? Or perhaps Jonah, his brother who is doing his upmost to not get involved.

An evening of vicious debate, hilarious spats and ferocious family drama, Bad Jews collected a host of rave reviews when it opened at the St James Theatre earlier this year. The Telegraph called Longhurst’s production “scaldingly funny”, while The Independent praised its writer, saying: “Joshua Harmon’s 90-minute blast of family drama is drawn so sharply you’d think he’d sliced it out of his imagination with a scalpel.”

Bad Jews will play at the Arts Theatre from 18 March to 30 May and follows long-running hit Ghost Stories, which comes to the end of its reign of terror on 15 March.

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