The Holocaust has been brought to life by local drama students who performed their most powerful and moving piece to date …..... For most children and young adults born around the start of the new century, words like Auschwitz, Dachau and Holocaust remain largely hidden on unexplored pages of history – but not so for the talented drama troupe at Stagecoach Leamington Spa who touched the minds and senses of their audience with a powerful stage performance of Kevin Hicks’ ‘ The Journey,’ performed at Trinity Catholic School last Saturday, which tells the story of a German Jewish family almost totally exterminated by the Nazis during the Second World War.
The youngsters adapted Kevin’s film script and directed a play that did not shy away from tackling the worst horrors of the Nazi persecution of the German Jews in Berlin, starting with the segregation and harassment of school children by the Brown Shirts and Hitler Youth, and then spiralling into the gun-point separation of the family and their transportation of children in cattle-trucks to their fates –forced labour, medical experimentation and the gas-chambers – in the Nazis’ death-camps.
The hour-long production was a haunting reminder of one of history’s most horrific episodes that was told with simplicity and sparing dialogue from the opening freeze-frame, through a montage of flashbacks to the final return of the father – the only survivor – to his empty home.
The Troupe is aged between 10 and 17 and devotes 2 hours to building their drama skills at the Trinity School-based Stagecoach school every Saturday.
Parent, Janet Montague said ‘The play was outstanding - I felt that with the delicate script that you had, the students took their roles really seriously and portrayed them brilliantly. I must say a big thank you to everyone involved - Andrew has really loved being in the Drama Troupe, he always comes home buzzing after being at Stagecoach on a Saturday.’
The students were asked by Kevin Hicks to look at his film script and tackle it as a stage play. After the show the script’s author Kevin Hicks from the ‘History Squad’ said ‘Working with the Drama Troupe has been a moving experience for me, first seeing the youngsters embrace such a difficult subject and then to see them perform their interpretation of my script to such a high standard was just fantastic. They are a very talented bunch.’
Principal Jacqui Dance added, ‘Very few of the students knew about this period in history, but they immersed themselves into the subject and worked hard to understand the horrors of it all. It asked an awful lot of them, but their grasp of the detail and the enormity of the story was remarkable, and they produced a performance that speaks volumes for their young minds and their talents. I believe all schools should be teaching more about history in this way.’
For more information on Stagecoach Leamington Spa and how to enrol, please visit the website www.stagecoach.co.uk/leamingtonspa and for Kevin Hicks and the History Squad www.historysquad.co.uk