16 – 27 April 2008
Faith is leaving home. Her mother, Evelyn, takes her up to the attic to dig out provisions for her student flat. But hidden beneath the plates and glasses are the relics of a secret childhood. Past and present co-exist in the attic where repressed secrets find their way out of the boxes and furniture in the room. The remains of a life her mother has never spoken of: a storybook in German, letters from a woman who signs herself “Mutti”.
We follow the journey of Eva from childhood, through adolescence and into motherhood: the impact of her being sent as a child by her Jewish parents, in desperation for her protection, to a foreign country. Eva’s journey: her departure from her mother Helga, her arrival in England, her adoption by Lil and gradual acculturation in her new home, is acted out in parallel scenes where we also see Eva forty years later, now
renamed Evelyn, as she prepares for Faith’s departure from the family home.
Between 1938 and the outbreak of war almost 10,000 children, most of them Jewish, were sent by their
parents from Germany to safety in Britain. In true Machination style this compelling and touching play shifts seamlessly between what is remembered and what is forgotten as one child’s journey into a new identity unfolds. And on that journey characters from her life, both living and dead, return to haunt her.
Kindertransport is not only a story of pre-war “kinder”, it has resounding echoes to our own stolen generation: the separation of mother from child, and relates to what many of the world’s refugees and
asylum seekers are experiencing today. We are at a point in our history where we must open our eyes and
relate to each and every human with compassion and understanding.
“I defy anyone who is a mother or a daughter not to feel a shiver up the spine and the prick of tears.”
“A powerful contribution to Holocaust literative, presented with emotional clarity and intense sympathy.”
THE NEW YORKER
115 minutes plus interval
Written and Created by
JESSICA GATT, DANIELLE GORONSZY, BABS MCMILLAN, LUCY MORRIS, NICOLA WRIGHT