The International Jewish performing arts festival in Leeds

Leeds, UK

2013 JFest Performances

A Jew grows

A Jew Grows in Brooklyn

Jake Ehrenreich - New York

Sunday 2nd June 7pm &
Thursday 6th June 7pm
Main Auditorium

Tickets £10.00

A smash hit in the heart of Broadway, where it played for more than a year and a half, A Jew Grows in Brooklyn is an engaging, poignant and hilarious comedy musical.

Jake Ehrenreich mesmerizingly recreates his unforgettable personal journey of discovery as an American-born child of Holocaust survivors, wanting to live out the American dream.

Through stories, comedy, music and song, this multi-talented performer, bursting with versatility, recalls the streets of Brooklyn, the struggle with his family’s past and the laughter and rebirth of Catskills summers.

This tour de force performance is one of the most touching, soulful, and laugh out loud shows you’ll ever see – a highlight of this year’s festival!

It’s a Ball! Show Stopping! Enjoy every minute! - New York Daily News

Funny, touching and beautiful... you don’t have to be Jewish or Brooklynish…Jake Ehrenreich is Dazzling! - New York Times

Engaging and thoughtful…fierce…elegant! - Los Angeles Times


Los Desterrados

Los Desterrados


Sunday 2nd June, 9pm
Main Auditorium

Tickets £10.00

Los Desterrados bring vibrant new life to the ancient music of the Sephardic Jews by fusing Spanish Flamenco and fiery Gypsy melodies of the Balkans and Greece, with irresistible North African rhythms.

Each member of the band brings their own musical inspirations to the mix, whether it's jazz, funk, classical, flamenco, heavy metal or folk, and the resulting music is an energetic blend of all these influences plus a healthy dose of London attitude.

Los Desterrados were nominated for Best Group in the Songlines Music Awards and can be found performing regularly as part of London's thriving world music scene at venues such as the National Theatre and The Roundhouse.

Len Bendel (Bass, Mandolin, Guitar, Vocals)
Hayley Blitz (Vocals)
Mark Greenfield (Percussion, Vocals)
Daniel Jonas (Guitar, Oud, Vocals)
Andrew Salida (Guitar, Flute, Vocals)
Ariane Todes (Violin)

Cheerfully eclectic…Never a dull moment and done with infectious enthusiasm - Evening Standard


The Secrets of Venus

The Secrets of Venus

Featuring Emma Gordon and Top UK Cast

Sun 2nd Jun 9pm / Tue 4th Jun 8pm
Thu 6th Jun 7:15pm
Upstairs @ The Carriageworks

Tickets £10.00

Can you choose your destiny?

Sarah is almost 30, single and from the ultra orthodox Stamford Hill community. She already breaks the mould with her job; guiding romantic tours at the Planetarium in Greenwich Park, in a bid to fulfil some of her father’s ambitions. Her younger sister can’t quite grasp her unconventional desires.

As luck (or fate) would have it, Sarah meets Amos, an American man with a mysterious past, almost at the same time as she is introduced to Yanki, a kind-hearted kashrut supervisor. Sarah is captivated by the charms of both men.

Now she is torn between the dictates of the world most familiar to her, and her desire to find true love.

So the question remains - can you choose your destiny? Can she choose hers?

Cast: Emma Gordon-Sarah, Akiel Chinelo-Amos, Josh Becker-Yanki, Rochelle Gordon-Rochel, Sandi Firth-Rosa, Lawrence Gorsden-Prof Neil Cohen.

Written & directed by: Yaniv Shalom; Translated by: David Mattan; Photographed by: Mike Burton; Graphic Design: Gonen Maatuk; Music by: Udi Glaser.


Kafka and Son

Kafka and Son

Alon Nashman, Toronto
Thrilling drama

Monday 3rd June 7.15 pm &
Wednesday 5th June 7.15 pm
Main Auditorium

Tickets £10.00

At the age of 36, Franz Kafka was still living at home, a petty bureaucrat, a failed artist, a timid Jewish son.

Ruling and ruining his life was his overbearing father, Hermann. What to do? Kafka wrote, in this case, a 50 page letter to his father in which he reveals deep connections between his life and his fiction. As he confesses in the letter "All my writing was about you."

Adapted from this monumental (and undelivered) letter, Kafka and Son is a blistering, often hilarious, dissection of domestic authority, and a revelatory visit with one of the architects of the modern psyche.

Kafka and Son features outstanding actor, Alon Nashman, selected as Toronto’s number one theatre artist of 2008 by Canadian Media.

The most powerful piece of drama at the Festival to date. A must see. - Ellie Ruhan, JFest Director

Packed with edgy energy and booming heart, this is what the Fringe is all about - Edinburgh Guide

Nashman’s performance is spell-binding...The whole production is flawless. - Broadway Baby


Wot No Fish!

Wot? No Fish!!

Danny Braverman, London

Monday 3rd June 9 pm
Main Auditorium

Tickets £10.00

A funny, touching and emotional true story

Danny Braverman’s great Uncle, Ab Solomon, drew a cartoon on every wage packet he presented to his wife, the lovely Celie.

These beautifully drawn cartoons are projected as a backdrop to Danny’s heart-warming, engagingly told story of the joys and tribulations of working class Jewish life before, during and after World War II - rationing, wet weekends at the seaside and problems of bringing up children.

The personalities of the story’s characters are so well brought out in the drawings, enriched by Danny’s personal memories. You will really feel you know them by the end of the performance.

Danny received rave reviews at his recent London shows. This is a story that will charm and move anyone from the age of 9 to 99.

This is one of those evenings when you come away smiling, having seen that so much beauty and laughter can come out of very ordinary lives.


Adam Bloom and Sol Bernstein

Comedy Double Bill

Adam Bloom and Sol Bernstein

Tuesday 4th June 8pm - 10pm
(with intermission)
Main Auditorium

Tickets £10.00


Following his appearance at JFest in 2010, show-biz legend, Sol Bernstein, is back!! Sol Bernstein is the alter-ego of comedian, Steve Jameson, a foul-mouthed Jewish pensioner given to making outrageous remarks and he’s still cranking out the golden nuggets.

Winner of the Edinburgh 'Spirit Of The Fringe' Award, he's hugely popular while also causing a fair bit of offence. But then you can get away with a lot more when you're 84!


Ready for one of Britain's most inventive comedians?

Adam Bloom approaches life with hilarious, profound and thought-provoking routines "because life is inherently funny".

Adam Bloom has performed sell-out solo shows at the Edinburgh Festival as well as touring all over Britain and abroad. He won the Time Out Award for Best Stand-up and has made appearances on TV shows such as Russell Howard's Good News and Never Mind The Buzzcocks.


Joe Leader

Joe Leader and Band

Jazz Sax Sensation (London)

Wednesday 5th June 9pm
Main Auditorium

Tickets £10.00

He's back! Jazz sax sensation Joe Leader, returns to JFest with a new 'Smooth Jazz' sound, featuring music from his debut solo album 'Seductive Sax.'

Joe expertly fuses soulful Jazz with R&B, Rock and Pop, to create a thrilling Smooth Jazz performance. 'Live Sax' features some world-class musicianship including fantastic backing vocals, stunning improvisation and spectacular showmanship.

Joe's incredible career has taken him all over the world, from the Southbank to South Africa performing with artists such as Joss Stone, Beverley Knight, Sandie Shaw and Andrew Lloyd Webber, to name a few.

Joe is backed by a world class band, including Carl Hudson, Nat Martin, Westley Joseph and Andy Tolman, who also perform with top international artists.

This young artist is so much more than just a brilliant, classically trained musician. Joe brings power and passion to each note and a level of musical engagement that belies his youth. This sophisticated music is wrought with such emotion that it will leave you powerless to resist its magic." -




Classic Rock and Rock ‘ n’ Roll
An uplifting & unforgettable closing night show!

Thursday 6th June 9pm
Main Auditorium

Tickets £10.00

This year's JFest goes out with a bang when CHRISTIE deliver a fiesta of foot-tapping rock 'n' roll and classic rock to have you out of your seat and dancing in the aisles!

CHRISTIE shot to fame in the 1970's with their single, Yellow River, an amazing smash hit that made it into the charts around the world, reaching number one in twenty six counties as well as in the British charts.

Enjoying great success CHRISTIE have written and performed a string of global hits including San Bernadino, Man of Many Faces, Iron Horse, Everything's Gonna Be Alright, Fools Gold, the Dealer, I'm Alive and many more.

A gifted and saught after songwriter Jeff Christie has had his songs covered by Elton John, REM and The Searchers to name a few.

CHRISTIE are still performing on the international stage and are adored by millions of fans worldwide.

Get ready for all of this and more when CHRISTIE bring the week's showcase to an uplifting and unforgettable close.



Evergreen (Leeds)

Community Show
A Cabaret Review

Wednesday 5th June 2.15pm
At the MAZCC Centre
311 Stonegate Road, Leeds

Tickets £3.00

Just as evergreens appear each year so do our group.

We offer joy and light entertainment to the community.

Our performances include song, dance, mime and comedy and we have appeared in the festival since its inception.