Volunteer reviewer James saw Kinder by Smoking Apples Theatre, September 2023.
Having previously seen a documentary on the Kindertransport story, I was curiously looking forward to this puppet-inspired interpretation of it.
So to reflect back on the production. Initially, on my entry to the theatre, I was intrigued to see a separate construction, in which the performance was being undertaken. The use of a scaled-down auditorium, surrounded by an enclosed backdrop, in my opinion, helped enhance the ambience and enabled the focus of the audience to absorb the very harrowing context of this nevertheless hopeful story.
Aside from the use of puppetry, there was also an array of punctuating audio and visual effects. These were used to convey the documented facts and deeply contrasting emotions that accompanied this powerfully emotive storyline.
To conclude, I considered the prodiction succeeds in creating an air of trepidation throughout. It incorporates the detail of an historical event with a measure of light-hearted humour, yet evokes a sense of “not quite knowing what’s coming next” from the outset. This is a feeling that undoubtedly, in my opinion, would have been in overriding attendance with the original children, on their perilous journey out of the darkness of Nazi-occupied Europe.