Although Jack Rosenthal’s television plays are peppered with Jewish characters and passing references drawn from the writer’s Jewish roots, only three bring the subject centre stage: The Evacuees (BBC, tx. 5/3/1975), Bye, Bye, Baby (Channel 4, tx. 3/11/1992) and Bar Mitzvah Boy.
Unlike The Evacuees, Bar Mitzvah Boy is not autobiographical, and Rosenthal even played down its Jewishness in a Radio Times interview prior to its first broadcast by stressing the universality of its central theme: “When I was young and reading comics there were always men heroes, actually aged about 15, who were playing football for England or winning wars single-handed. I used to think that when I’m a man I’ll be like that, never indecisive or frightened, but there suddenly comes a point of disillusionment when you realise it is a fallacy”. Read More »