Jays, David

David Jays is a theatre and dance critic for The Guardian and The New Statesman. He has written eloquently on the lack of Jewish contexts in contemporary British drama: “Despite the work of Pinter, Arnold Wesker and Deborah Levy, Jewish writing is a neglected presence in British theatre. If you want to see an overtly Jewish character on the British stage, you usually have to wait for the ambivalent hero-villains in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice or Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta, both written at a time when Jews were officially banished from the country. Subsequent waves of immigration did not produce a correspondingly heightened profile among the dramatis personae of British drama” (“Missing”, New Statesman, 30 October 2000).

Jays wrote an article for The Guardian on the history and concerns of British-Jewish theatre. For this purpose, he interviewed artists and playwrights like Hofesh Shechter, Tracy Ann Oberman, and Julia Pascal. In his article, Jays also gives insights on recent developments, and references this website and the associated German-Israeli research project ‘Hyphenated Cultures’: https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2019/mar/13/uk-jewish-theatre-voice-secret-history.