"Kindertransport" by Diane Samuels
Faith is leaving home to move into a new flat and her mother, Evelyn. is going through items in their attic, glasses, teapots, cutlery etc, to give to Faith for her new flat,when Faith decides that she doesn't really want to move out, so the mother leaves her up stairs while she goes down to sort tea out.
Whilst she has the attic to herself she starts to look in some of the other boxes, which reveals a secret that had been hidden for a long while.
Kindertransport (children's transport), gave Jewish children—and only children—safe passage to the UK. Spared the horrors of the death camps, the Jewish "Kinder" were uprooted, separated from their parents and transported to a different culture safe from the fear of the German death camps.
Eva Schlesinger, daughter of Helga and Werner, is sent away to live with a foster carer, Lil, in Manchester, England, temporarily until her parents find work and move to England too.
How are these two incidents connected and what is the secret that Evelyn had kept from Faith? And who is the Ratcatcher, and why is the evil Ratcatcher connected to both Eva and Evelyn?
Cleverly written which will have you thinking throughout the play's first act, the pieces then all come together in the second act, and the demons hidden away in the attic resurface.
The cast, Denise Black (Lil), Elena Breschi (Faith), Rebecca D'Souza (Helga), Cate Hamer (Evelyn), Jenny Walser (Eve) and Patric Osborne, who plays the Ratcatcher, very much in the style of Freddy Kreuger, are all superb.
Directed by Fiona Buffini, she excels in the visual side of this play.The lighting, by Alexandra Stafford, really does paint the nightmarish Ratcatcher in a horror movie style image, in contrast to the loving and protective imagery of Lil and Evelyn.
Almost all of the stage is the attic, and there is so much to look at, as you can imagine, Lil and Evelyn have amassed many memories up there, and is instantly eye catching. the right side of the stage is given away to a bed where Helga and Eve hold their discussions before Helga sends Eve away. This design is by Madeline Girling.
You'd think that a story about a girl sent away to escape the horrors of the war may be a bit dreary or bum achingly dull. Not so my dear reader as the story is so cleverly interwoven betwixt the two families that you find yourself almost playing detective as to the connections. It is at times harrowing but it needs to be to portray what Eve and her mother went through as well as the cultural differences between the two countries and families.
"Kindertransport" is on at Nottingham Playhouse until Saturday 20th October 2018.