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October 2004
Kindertransport at the Burton Taylor
The Burton Taylor
The Burton Taylor


Kindertransport
by Diane Samuels
The Burton Taylor

Tuesday 2 November - Saturday 6 November 2004

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By Sarah MacDonald

In 1939, Eva, a young Jewish girl from Hamburg, leaves her family and makes the journey to England to escape Nazi persecution. She is sent with the promise that when it is safe, she will be reunited with her family. Helen Pritchard as young Eva gives a touching performance as the bewildered child who arrives in England and slowly comes to terms with the possibility of never seeing her family again.

Adult Eva turns her back on her German-Jewish past, changes her name and religion and makes her home in England. Years later, her daughter Faith finds a box of Eva's things and demands to know the truth about her family history. When Eva tears up her old letters and photos, Faith is horrified that she can so quickly discard these last remaining pieces of her past.

In the intimate Burton Taylor theatre, Kindertransport is played out on each side of the stage, young Eva on one side and adult Eva (Helen Winston) on the other. Eva's adoptive mother Lil (Morag Taylor) moves between the past and the present linking the two time frames together very effectively.

Kindertransport is a moving and thought-provoking account of the Holocaust through the eyes of a child and the woman she becomes. The play is inspired by the journeys made by 10,000 Jewish children in the months leading up to WW2. Most never saw their families again. The themes of denial, belonging and displacement have much resonance in certain parts of the world today.

The well-acted Oxford University production held the audience entranced and there was a lot of animated discussion in the interval. It was an enjoyable evening's entertainment for the bargain price of £5 (£4 concessions). Well worth seeing.

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