Kindertransport, theatre review: 'Deeply moving and beautifully acted'
Richmond Theatre, London
Wednesday 05 February 2014
Andrew Hall directs this deeply moving and beautifully acted revival of Diane Samuels' now-classic 1993 play about the psychological scars left on some of the 10,000 unaccompanied Jewish children who were evacuated to England from Europe between December 1938 and the declaration of war against Germany.
In Hamburg 1939, we see a mother selflessly preparing her impulsive nine year old daughter Eva (brilliant played up to the age of seventeen by newcomer Gabrielle Dempsey) for her escape. In the 1980s in England, another mother, the well-groomed, uptight, hygiene-fanatic Evelyn (Janet Dibley) is reluctantly helping a daughter to flee the nest. When the latter discovers papers revealing that Eva is Evelyn's secret past, systematically suppressed, she is appalled and angry.
The richly eloquent theatrical conceit is that present and past occupy the stage simultaneously, pointing up the distorted echoes in this story of emotional legacies and inter-generational conflict. Paula Wilcox gives a lovely warm, humorous performance as Eva's kind-hearted Mancunian adoptive mother, while Emma Deegan is truly harrowing as Helga, the German mother who survives Auschwitz and, for reasons which the play makes painfully plausible, comes to be equated with the child-stealing Ratcatcher from fairytale in Eva's haunted mind. Essential viewing.
To Feb 8; 0844 871 7651; then touring to Southend, Eastbourne, Guildford, Malvern, Mold and Manchester
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets
Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 David Cameron refers to 83-year-old Labour MP Dennis Skinner as 'Jurassic Park'
- 2 iPhone 7 (or iPhone 6S) leaked pictures show similarities to older model — but Apple is fixing the biggest issue of all
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Alwaleed bin Talal: Saudi Prince to donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
Amy, film review: Beautiful film reveals ugly truth behind singer's downward spiral
'Dukes of Hazzard' pulled from screens by CBS as outcry over Confederate flag grows
London Has Fallen trailer release branded 'extremely insensitive' ahead of 10th anniversary of 7/7 bombings
What if Nicolas Cage played every character in Game of Thrones?
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert