After a very strange 2021, we were delighted to take Kinder into in-person, bubbled R&D across January – March 2021. Having dreamt up these ideas remotely, for the best part of a year, it was a huge privilege to be able to get together in the room and actually try them out! Luckily for us, most things translated very well, from our heads, onto the stage and we spent 3 x weeks playing with the set, the puppets, the narrative, the sound and lighting design.
Kinder is a brand new show, aimed at teenagers. The story focuses on the one little girl’s adventure, as she is evacuated, on a Kindertransport train from Prague to Margate, to escape persecution just before the start of the Second World War. The story draws inspiration from the real life Czech Kindertransport event, where Czech-Jewish children were evacuated to seaside towns, across the UK. The Czech Kindertransport was pioneered by a British man, called Nicholas Winton and he save 669 children.
We got to play with our self-sufficient set and explore all the possibilities that creating our own environment could give.
This activity has been generously supported through public funding from Arts Council England and our partner venues; Little Angel Theatre – London and EM Forster Theatre – Tonbridge. We can’t thank them enough for their flexibility and patience throughout this in-person R&D, it really wouldn’t have happened without them!
Whilst we were able to be rehearsing together, in-person, it wasn’t safe for us to invite audiences in. However, we did a number of remote sharings, live from the rehearsal room, to schools, youth theatres and the general public. It was great to get their thoughts on the work and shape the piece into something that will resonate with them.
“It felt much more personal and engaging. When you’re sitting really far away from the action, in theatre, there’s less of a connection” – Student, Tonbridge Boys School
“That was beautiful. I’m so impressed with the world you have created” – Member, Jewish Writer’s Group
“That was really effective” – Teacher, Elizabeth Garrett School
“It’s really great that you’re making a show for teenagers, as that’s when you find out your special interests” – Participant, Spectrum Youth Theatre
“I’ve never seen anything like that before, it was really cool” – Student, Rye Hills Academy
“Love this already!” – Member, Lewisham Youth Theatre