Since it was first staged by the Soho Theatre Company in London in 1993, Diane Samuels' Kindertransport has enjoyed huge success around the world, has been revived numerous times, and is widely studied in schools and colleges. The play tells the story of how nine-year-old Eva, a German Jewish girl, is sent by her parents on the Kindertransport to start a new life with a foster family in Britain just before the outbreak of World War Two. Over forty years later, she has changed her name to Evelyn and denied her roots. When her own daughter discovers some old letters and photos in the attic, she is forced to confront the truth about who she really is and to reveal a dark secret that she has done everything to keep hidden.
In this author's guide to the play, Diane Samuels investigates the historical background, drawing on the personal testimony of those whose lives were transformed by the Kindertransport. She explores the creative process that shaped the play through successive drafts. And she presents detailed accounts from the actors, directors, a composer and designer who have contributed to the play's most notable productions.
"Illuminating... It's a refreshing change for a study guide to come from the pen of the person who created the text being studied... an informative, enlightening contribution to textual study and performance." - The Stage
Diane Samuels is a playwright and author whose plays include Kindertransport, The True-Life Fiction of Mata Hari (Palace Theatre, Watford, 2002), Cinderella's Daughter (Trestle Theatre, 2005) and Tiger Wings (BBC Radio 4). She has written several plays for younger audiences and wrote the book for the musical The A-Z of Mrs P, music and lyrics by Gwyneth Herbert (Southwark Playhouse, 2014).