Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kindertransport -Review- Westovians

16 May 2011

War and politics are readily in the news at the minute, story after story of mankind's hatred towards each other, when will it all end? It will probably all still be here, long after after we have popped our clogs. Conflict should never be forgotten though, plays like Kindertransport put on tonight by The Westovians Theatre Society, will always have our minds and hearts fleeing off in a multitude of directions.
Charting the story of Eva, a Jewish girl brought up in Nazi Germany, who is set off to find a new life in England to escape the brutality of her homeland. She finds herself at the home of Lil a kindly old-school Geordie lady who not only takes the wide eyed schoolgirl in, but also her powerful memories. Memories that will come back to haunt her and all around in the next generation.

Set amongst the wonderful multi-used backdrop of a typical German wartime house, that transforms effortlessly into a train taking Eva on her journey to her new home(this being the final staging) we see various scenes between the ages develop. Lots of care and attention to detail has been produced very well by Michael Ferry and his team of set constructors. You could almost feel the steam of the train as it bitterly churned out its emission, the echo's of time passed in the floorboards of each era and the technology tuned brilliantly into our mindset.
The acting was out of this world, so many twists and turns, through the language barrier to the turmoil of loved ones left behind and people kept in the dark, the stage was alight tonight with so much talent.
Amy Jeffels plays the Young Eva with so much convictions, that I had to make sure for myself afterwards that she wasn't actually German. Her accent alone was superb, but her stage play and presence was well worth the entrance fee alone. I think along with Kylie Ford who plays the adult Eva's daughter Faith, these are two to watch in the future, Kylie was great at the emotional happenings between her mother, the now adult Eva played by the very alluring Dolores Poretta-Brown, who gave a great performance and Lil played by the wonderful Beryl Henderson. The counter acting was a joy to see. This play by no means was a barrel of laughs, but the ever increasing multi-roled Mark Lamb, playing a particularly nasty Nazi soldier through to a good humoured North East postman kept up the spirits. I had seen these performers play many times before, but Miriam Beber as Helga was playing her first major role. She did very well as the left at home mother, her final scenes tonight were very moving.
I don't think I have ever seen such a well presented lighting programme at this level of theatre. Very expressive, and caught the many moods displayed on stage. A great team effort between Ian Johnston and Peter Codling! The visual effects of Dean Jukes kept us on the edge of our seats, making us believe that we were actually there.
Director and producer partnership of  Denver and Val Codling was second to none. Everything was in the right place at the right time. A great production.
Time lapsed between the here and now, Kindertransport is a wonderful tale of the lost forgotten, and the yearning for freedom. Well worth a visit.

Runs until Saturday 21 May

Michael Hunter

No comments:

Post a Comment