Anyone looking for a real insight into the separation of parents from their children before the Second World War can watch a patchwork of real-life stories in Diane Samuels’ Kindertransport.
In the year that marks the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the last Kindertransport, the play explores relationships between a mother and her nine-year-old daughter.
It is set against the background of the Kindertransport prior to the outbreak of World War II when thousands of Jewish children were sent to Britain as refugees before war broke out in Europe and many of them never saw their families again.
Playwright Diane Samuels conducted extensive research when she wrote the play more than 20 years ago and spoke to adults who were involved as children and read memoirs.
She says: “I bring an imaginative element to it. I did interviews and research and I work on life stories and create something imaginary out of them but they are very much written on real life experiences.
“I bring them all together to create the story.
“Nearly everything that happens on the stage has actually happened.
“There will be someone in the audience that will have experienced what happened on stage sitting not that far away from you.
“It’s real so you get the extra experience in the auditorium of people who have really experienced something.”
Although it clearly strikes a chord with those involved in the real-life events, the play is also popular with schoolchildren and families.
Samuels says: “A lot of people cry – it is a really emotional experience.
“It is about parent-child separation which is something that affects all of us, so it is universal. We all have to deal with the fact that we separate from our parents.”
Kindertransport; Richmond Theatre; February 3 to 8; £11.90 to £32.50; Monday to Saturday 7.30pm, Wednesday and Saturday matinees 2.30pm; atgtickets.com/richmond or 0844 8717651.