The Kindertransport (German for "children's transport") A play by Diane Samuels, which examines the life, during the second world war and afterwards, of a child called Eva Schlesinger, who was one of the many children to be given safe passage from Germany to England to escape the Holocaust. Though fictitious, it's based upon real stories.
Becky Chamberlain had a daunting task of portraying a nine-year-old for the majority of the play, throughout the story the character ages and by the end is seventeen years old, which is probably far closer to her actual age.
I think she had the childlike mannerisms down to a tee, and she is a very strong actress, I would like to have seen more of a change as the character aged, but other than that a good performance.
Eva's mother Helga was played by Sam Quinn, who truly looked the part with the pin up hairdo, I felt we really missed the German accent from both Helga and Eva.
Most of the action takes place in the attic of Lil's house. From the moment we step into the theatre we have a full view of the attic, cluttered with half packed boxes with war time items splayed across the space. This remains the same throughout the performance with very occasional use of the space either side of the stage for scenes not taking place in the attic. We also see wartime with Eva, Helga and Lil and pieced of interjected dialogue from present day with grown up Eva, now called Evelyn, her daughter Faith and again Lil. For the majority of the play the five core cast members did not leave the stage, simply freezing in moments in which they weren't the centre of the text.
Lil is the constant throughout taking the bulk of the storyline and the text, I felt in parts she came across as a seasoned pro totally overshadowing whoever happened to be on stage with her at the time. I would like to have seen a huge difference between Lil during the war years and Lil in present day, as there would have been a considerable age difference.
Debbie Garrett and Katie Waller brought to life grown Evelyn and Faith great onstage chemistry playing off each other well.
I though David Reid and Jacqueline Green did a great job producing and directing the show, however there were a few moments of side profile, really limiting the visual for the audience.
With the exception of the young man Ryan Norse who multi-roled, all of the ladies stayed in the same attire. All costuming highly appropriate for the time period. Norse was a breath of fresh air in parts, providing a comedic break from quite a heavy storyline. A highlight being the creepy guard on the train, a very powerful moment of anti-Semitism.
Creative use of sound effects and lighting, in an otherwise very minimalistic production.
This was a nice short play, over before 10pm and though it features a little mild swearing I think it would be great for high school students, particularly those studying history.
All in all, a good night watching Chorley Amateur dramatic and operatic society, performances until Saturday 4th March. http://bit.ly/2lupwx5
Reviewer: Rebecca Casey
Reviewed: 27th February 2017