The story begins in 1940 with three young Jewish children escaping war and persecution on the last of the Kindertransport. Leaving family and loved ones behind, they arrive in London – confused and scared.
As young adults they are reunited by a chance encounter on the Underground during which they reflect on their shared memories of the day they arrived together and what has occurred since.
As the story journeys across the decades, the three characters are compelled to deny either their religion, sexuality, politics or gender – out of fear of societal perceptions as each of them go through their own struggle – an identity crisis of sorts.
End of the line
Safety is never a given as they suffer day-to-day discrimination and see an all too familiar enemy gaining political popularity in the form of the National Front. With further turmoil stemming from British-Irish relations, a additional element of danger is added to their lives. During ups and downs related to marriage, separation and loss, their friendship provides continuity and something that can be relied upon.
The fall of the Berlin Wall offers a symbolic marker that their own barriers can now come down and some truths can finally be revealed. At last they can all take ownership of who they really are, albeit perhaps a little late. The story comes full circle and ends with a stark reminder of how easily history can be repeated, hinting towards recent global crises.
Created and performed by the Fingers Crossed Theatre company, the delivery was slick and clever. Music and news commentary is used in scene transitions to guide the audience through the decades. During these entertaining passages the costume changes take place on stage and are worked well into the performance.
With many light-hearted moments in the script the cast also did an excellent job of swiftly changing the mood in the theatre from heavy laughter to heavy sadness. This was done so effectively that the attentive crowd will have undoubtedly been caught off-guard with one or two ‘lump in the throat’ moments.
As all of the scenes are set inside a tube carriage on the Central Line, the stage-set is minimal. The performers do a good job of maintaining a subtle sway to their stance and posture to mimic the motion of the tube.
Some very good acting combined with the aforementioned costume changes stimulates the imagination and allows for the feeling that this performance is complete – by which I mean it does not feel minimal whatsoever.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening and a company that I will definitely keep an eye out for.