Sue Vice
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Anglo-Jewish plays
in Jack Rosenthal
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This chapter explores Anglo-Jewish incidents and characters in Jack Rosenthal's television plays. The two plays, The Evacuees and Bar Mitzvah Boy, represent elements of Anglo-Jewish life using different techniques. While The Evacuees presents Jewishness and Englishness separately, Bar Mitzvah Boy derives its comedy from a British–Jewish synthesis, a difference that is partly due to dramatic imperatives. As its title suggests, The Evacuees is about urban Jewish life as it is forced into interaction with a more rural gentile world. The dialogic representation of Jewish life in Britain in Rosenthal's plays arises necessarily from the diasporic nature of the community. Voices are characterised by the accents of at least two cultures. In general, Rosenthal's Anglo-Jewish plays reverse the historian Colin Richmond's remark that Englishness is always equated with non-Jewishness. Instead, Rosenthal shows that Englishness may be expressed as Jewishness.

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