With lauded performances on London’s West End and Off-Broadway, Darlinghurst Theatre Company presents the Australian professional premiere of Diane Samuels’ play, Kindertransport, at the Eternity Playhouse for a limited season from 2 August 2017.
Just before the outbreak of the Second World War, Britain took in over 10,000 Jewish refugee children from Europe. The rescue effort was known as Kindertransport. Separated from their families and fostered out to British homes, most of the children never saw their parents again.
Diane Samuels’ extraordinary play is about this emergency immigration and its effect over time on generations. Based on real accounts with a distinctly female perspective, centring on the experience of one child, Eva, Kindertransport tells a powerful story of survival.
It begins in 1938 when 9 year old Eva is helped to pack her case by her mother Helga in Hamburg. Nearly fifty years later, Faith discovers a box of papers and photos in her mother Evelyn’s attic and wants to know the truth about who this Eva actually is.
The play traces the way memory, remembered and forgotten, deeply affects the present. As such, Kindertransport is a story that transcends time and remains particularly relevant today. Aside from its political and historical context, at its core, the play is centred on a universal human experience, the inevitable separation between a child and parent.
Director Sandra Eldridge has undergone extensive research, and with guidance from the Sydney Jewish Museum, our cast have had the opportunity to meet with Kinder survivors.
Diane Samuels is a British author and playwright. Her play Kindertransport won the Verity Bargate and Meyer-Whitworth Awards, and was first produced by the Soho Theatre Company in 1993. Subsequently it has been translated into many languages, performed in the West End, Off-Broadway and all over the world, and revived numerous times.
Samuels’ other plays include: The True-Life Fiction of Mata Hari, Cinderella’s Daughter, 3 Sisters on Hope Street, Poppy + George and The A-Z of Mrs P (musical) . Her plays for younger audiences include One Hundred Million Footsteps, Chalk Circle, Frankie’s Monster and How to Beat a Giant For BBC radio, plays include Swine, Doctor Y, Watch Out for Mister Stork, Hen Party, Tiger Wings and Psyche.
“Desperately harrowing… searing theatre that cuts across a continuum of suffering to the very heart of what unifies us as human.” – The Times
Director: Sandra Eldridge Featuring: Camilla Ah Kin, Annie Byron, Harriet Gordon-Anderson, Sarah Greenwood, Emma Palmer, Christopher Tomkinson Production Designer: Imogen Ross Sound Design: Jed Silver Lighting Design: Matt Cox Stage Manager: Sam Johnson Voice Coach: Linda Nicholls-Gidley
Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst
Season: 2 – 20 August 2017 (previews: 28 – 30 July)
Information and Bookings: www.darlinghursttheatre.com
Image: courtesy of Darlinghurst Theatre Company