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PREVIEW: Jewish Cabaretā€™s Cafe Named Desire

Brian Butler May 14, 2020

For those of us who are Brighton Fringe junkies – now in withdrawal – thereā€™s a bright light on offer this week in the shape of the Online Fringe Festival (OFF).

The festival is free-streaming a number of shows this week and one that caught my eye was Cafe Named Desire billed as ‘an original queer musical’ and written and directed by David Djemal and Shachar Shamai.Originally called Jew You Love Me?, itā€™s a musical about love, sexuality and self-discovery. Set in a cafe in Londonā€™s Golders Green, it focuses on the intertwining lives of its customers – many Jewish – and its owner Samira, a queer woman from a strict Muslim upbringing, which she has now rejected.

She runs the cafe with her two flatmates – Gabi, a Jewish professional searching for love in all the wrong places, and Will, a bisexual musician on a quest for a Bohemian lifestyle.

Among the cafe regulars are Ethan and Alon, a gay couple struggling with the concept of monogamy. Thereā€™s also Rachel and Yaakov, an elderly Jewish couple determined to make the most of the time they have left together, and their granddaughter Bracha, a closeted religious Uni student, torn between her religious and sexual identities.

The story develops into a polyamorous love triangle, a failed would-be relationship and a battle over sexuality.

Cafe Named DesireĀ isĀ available until 17 May at www.onlinefringefestival.com, where you can the other shows in the Fringe. Donations are requested for this show to go to the Jewish Cabaretā€™s artistsā€™ relief fund.

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