Shtick at the synagogue

2nd September 2011 at 01:00
A showcase of the Fringe's best Jewish offerings is worthy of praise, finds Raymond Ross

Yes, we are a very good Fringe show," laughs David Goldberg, as he takes us on a tour of the Salisbury Road Synagogue with Rabbi David Rose. They are presenting, interpreting and comically arguing about the history of the Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation, much to the delight of the large audience at the Shul's annual Festival Open Day.

Well used to leading school and adult groups around the synagogue, the "Two Davids" are only some of the highlights on offer at this Sunday event which showcases all Fringe shows at the Edinburgh Festival with a Jewish connection.

After brunch and the optional temple tour, there is a three-hour programme of excerpts from the various shows, alongside short interviews with the writers, directors and performers conducted by BBC drama producer David Neville.

There is a fascinating conversation with a young Israeli storyteller, Raphael Rodan, who works with Jewish and Arab teenagers in Israel and whose Fringe show (When Abel met Cain) explores "the darker side of the human psyche".

The Jewish Community High School, San Francisco, explores its version of Kafka's Metamorphosis as performed by a Jewish underground theatre company in the Warsaw Ghetto, while Kafka and his cockroach (or, literally, "a vermin unfit for sacrifice") also feature in Kafka and Son, presented by Canadian actor Alon Nashman.

From the valleys, stand-up comic Bennett Arron presents excerpts from his show Jewelsh. The famous American crooner Dean Friedman has everyone singing along while the multi-award-winning actor Jack Klaff intrigues the audience with true-life tales about Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi and Jackie Kennedy, among others; and the rafters are raised by singer- songwriter Daniel Cainer with material from his cabaret (More) Jewish Chronicles.

An annual, enlivening, entertaining and educational day - all for a donation of pound;5.

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