19:45, Tue 15th – Sat 19th October 2013 at Robinson College Auditorium
Michaelmas Week 1
Shortly before the start of WWII, Britain agreed to take in 10,000 unaccompanied children from Germany, Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia in an attempt to free them from the growing threat of Nazi terror.
Kindertransport literally means the ‘transportation of children’ and Diane Samuels’ play is an account of how one child was affected by this separation from her family - how fear followed her, how she tried to deny her roots and how important this became in her relationship with her own daughter.
In this play, there is a recurring theme of the Ratcatcher. He is rooted in the original tale of the pied piper of Hamlyn, who lures children away. His presence creates fear and foreboding, personifying the threat to the Jews who were compared to rats in German propaganda.
Eva is sent to Britain to escape the threat but survival comes at a price. As she accepts a new life in England and a new name 'Evelyn', she learns to hide behind a façade of order and control.
This play reveals the love and pain in mother / daughter relationships; the dilemma that tells a parent to send their child away to avoid mortal danger when that child, in Diane Samuels’ words “will, in most cases, say they’d rather stay and die with their parents”.
Kindertransport shows the consequences of such actions and the subsequent search for identity.