Gripping war tale on stage


Review - Kindertransport at Milton Keynes Theatre.

A tale of war, loss and growing up is portrayed across two time zones in this heart-breaking and moving tale.

The show sees a Jewish mother and daughter on a train prior to the Second World War to start a new life in Manchester.

Meanwhile in the present day, a mother is helping and adapting for her grown up daughter to leave home for the first time. That is until the daughter discovers something shocking which changed both of their lives.

There is one thing that really stands out in the portrayal of this show and that is the superb acting.

The hardest job has to be Gabrielle Dempsey’s who plays Eva. Cursed with the German accent and her age, it would have been easy to slip into a stereotypical performance more reminiscent of Allo Allo. But Dempsey’s fresh-faced eagerness and genuine emotion really helps to sell the drama of the piece. One suspects that she will be a star of the future.

Paula Wilcox adds some rare and much-needed touches of northern humour in the role of Lil while Janet Dibley playing the grown up Evelyn is also impressive.

But a word about the set, it can’t be easy to do two different time zones but the set designer Juliet Shillingford creates a believeable environment for both.

There is some imaginative lighting and sound effects which transport us between the modern day and the period before the war.

The true story behind Kindertransport is one that is obviously moving and emotional and this is a show which does it justice. A full-blooded drama and one that is likely to lead to an increasing appetite to learn more.

Review by Steve Mills

Kindertransport will be performed until Saturday. For tickets, call 0844 871 7652 or visit