[Another] manifestation of intolerance is explored by Michelene Wandor... This was written for the 350th anniversary of the Jews' return to England and performed to the music of Henry Purcell and Cromwell's master of music, John Hingeston.
Oliver Cromwell is one of the central characters in this dramatic poem, together with Menasseh Ben Israel, the rabbi who petitioned for the Jews' return. Wandor portrays the men in London coffee houses, united by their sons, by poetry and by experiencing a city being transformed through the spices, textiles and music of the world. Her writing's rich with the colour, scents and streets of London and Amsterdam where the Jews were allowed to worship but still suffered restrictions.
The poem resonates further in its exploration of immigration laws and popular myth... Nothing changes but Wandor does well to remind us.