• Amy Toledano

JEW…ish presented by Unleash the Llama

Samuel Kirkman

What is it?

According to Unleash the Llama, JEW…ish is ‘the twisted millennial rom-com that nobody asked for’. And I have to say – with pegging, polyamory and smoking weed at your ex’s grandma’s funeral, it certainly is all kinds of millennial.

What is it about?

Directed by Kennedy Bloomer and Toby Hampton, JEW…ish follows exes Max (Saul Boyer) and TJ (Edie Newman) as they traverse the nightmare that is bumping into your ex-partner at your mutual friend’s wedding. Particularly when you were all in your university’s polyamory society together. And when Max, a young Jewish stand-up comedian, and TJ, a performance artist with a soft spot for aquatic mammals, can’t seem to stay away from each other. JEW…ish finds the unlikely pair bumping into each other in a whole host of unconventional settings and re-evaluating the issues that dragged them apart.

How did it make me feel?

Have you ever considered how it would go if you went to relationship counselling with your ex? Well I hadn’t and now I know I will never be doing it. I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed quite so much at a piece of theatre.

“She’s the reason my nickname was Pegasus at university.”

Whether TJ (Newman) is lounging around on the floor with her legs spread, crawling over her visibly-frustrated ex’s frame or flicking her hair in his face until he succumbs to brushing it while she beams triumphantly, we see the power of a woman who knows she has a boy wrapped round her little finger. It’s a strange version of empowerment but one many an ex-girlfriend knows well, and it had the women in the room cackling at memories of their own success stories. Meanwhile, Boyer’s performance mixes hilarity with the complexities of being a young Jewish man dating someone from outside your community. While TJ worries that she has been denounced by Max’s family as just his shiksa stage, he searches for emotional intimacy with the person who’s trying to keep him at genitals’ length.

“I am not your girlfriend anymore so I am no longer contractually obliged.

Despite Max and TJ’s protestations that they have both moved on from their relationship, their emotional support of each other confirms that they are very much existing in their own “kosher version of Groundhog Day”. With just the right number of well-meaning stereotypes, JEW…ish mixes the complexity of modern relationships with the ability to simultaneously celebrate and laugh at the funny side of Jewish culture.

Where is it playing?

JEW…ish is playing at The Kings Head Theatre in Angel at 8.45pm every night until 19th January with the Sunday performance at 4.45pm.

Anything else?

I’ve never gotten the chance to write the word ‘pegging’ in a review before so Unleash the Llama, I thank you.

Leah x

JEW...ish is playing at The Kings Head Theatre until the 19th January 2020.

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