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Kindertransport, Richmond Theatre

Published by: Douglas McFarlane on 28th Apr 2018 | View all blogs by Douglas McFarlane



It means transport for children, in German. The train that takes Jewish children out of Germany before some of the darkest days of our history happened.

A small button was sewn onto the coat of the child. Mum insisted she did it herself, to help teach her to be self sufficient. You see, mum wasn’t going with her on the ‘kindertransport’, and knew that she may never see her beautiful daughter again.

On this premise, the play takes you through a well constructed, thoughtful, emotional journey. We experience the heartache from a number of angles. As the child leaves and the mother holds back her emotions, to her Manchester mother who looks after her, to the child’s older self, now a mum, having arguments with her teenage daughter on keeping information secret.

Tears streamed down my face. Not at a single specific moment. Just constantly during the first act.

We need to see plays like this. We need to experience for one evening, one story of this period, in order to realise how many of these stories there were. How big an atrocity it was, and to understand in some small way what it really means to humanity.

The audience was varied on this evening in Richmond. Teenage girls were in groups and in eager participation. Part of the English curriculum now, this play is about the period 9 months before the outbreak of World War 2 in which the UK took in 10,000 Jewish children from various countries. This year it is 80 years since the first train left.

As you’d expect, the cast were incredible with the now grown up Jewish child being played by the same actress who played the young Jewish girl 25 years ago.

You have to go and see this play. You have to understand this story. It has to continue to be performed.


Review by Douglas McFarlane


Kindertransport is on tonight at Richmond Theatre before heading for Manchester.




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