Park Theatre, London – until 9 February 2019
A Bodin Saphir’s play, directed by Kate Fahy, is an engaging look at the nature of truth and whether it is merely a matter of perspective or personal belief.
Set in 2001, Rosenbaum’s Rescue at Park Theatre examines the circumstances surrounding the safe exodus of thousands of Jews in Denmark during the Second World War. A tip-off and the absence of Nazi ships meant that in 1943, 7,500 Jews were able to flee to Sweden on fishing boats.
Abraham (David Bamber) and Lars (Neil McCaul) were both eight years old at the time and have very different views about what happened and its significance but the truth might just fracture an already prickly friendship. The two men are forced to examine what might be fact and what might be their own creative fiction while holed up at Abraham’s house during a snow storm.
Abraham is an observant Jew and believes the escape to Sweden was a heroic miracle while Lars is an atheist historian and believes it had something to do with a sympathetic German. Both men’s views are governed by deep-rooted hurt, guilt and rivalry which only add to the tension.
The voices of reason, rationality and sense seem to be Abraham’s wife Sara (Julia Swift) and Lars’ daughter Eva (Dorothea Myer-Bennett) both of whom have their own secrets to reveal. Parallels are drawn with the 21st-century issue of immigration and whether the Danish response would be the same with the country’s Muslim population.
The writing is sharp and witty with Sara and Eva’s withering and sometimes sarcastic responses to husband and father (respectively) particularly amusing.
It is refreshing to see a World War II story from a different country’s perspective and while some of the ideas feel a little forced it nonetheless offers an interesting perspective.
I’m giving Rosenbaum’s Rescue ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️