“A play I won’t forget.” Can you ask for more as an audience member than a play that has such an impact that the memory sticks with you. This is the effect The Project is having on reviewers. We’ve collected some of the best together – see what they say, then book your tickets!
Ian Buckley‘s new drama is set at World War II transit camp Westerbork, which held many of Europe’s most lauded cabaret artists of the time. There, they were encouraged them to perform on a weekly basis. It runs at the White Bear Theatre until 23 March 2019.
Westerbork camp. Northern Holland. 1943. Enter a surreal world, devoid of a moral compass, where people are forced to make the most terrible of choices. Set amid a bleak landscape, the camp is full of people worried about their lives and their homes. Yet at its heart is a cabaret featuring some of the best performers in Europe. It is watched over by a commandant who takes as much pleasure from the entertainers as he does from overseeing the weekly transportation lists.
One particular performer, Anna Hilmann, has caught his eye. Will she accept his invitations? Will it keep her and her loved ones alive? Is that a compromise she can make?
The real Westerbork camp was set-up by the Dutch government in 1939 to be a refugee camp for Jews entering the Netherlands. By 1942 it was under German control, being run by the SS. Between 1942 and 1944, nearly 100,000 Jews were deported from Westerbork, the majority to Auschwitz and Sobibor, where they were executed on arrival. One of the most popular comedians of pre-war Berlin cabaret, Max Ehrlich, led the performers at Westerbork. He was joined by entertainers including Kurt Gerron, Willy Rosen and Camilla Spira.
Playwright Ian Buckley is a regular on the London fringe. His previous productions include Picasso’s Artful Occupation, The Tailors’ Last Stand (both Barons Court Theatre), Suits and Blouses (Orange Tree Theatre), Tainted Love (Young Actors Theatre) and James Bonney MP (White Bear Theatre).
Anthony Shrubsall directs The Project. The founder member of Entire Theatre Company has previously directed productions including Zena Edwards’ Security at Japan’s Shizuoka Festival and Buckley’s Real Life TV at Barons Court Theatre.
The Project runs from 5 to 23 March 2019 at the White Bear Theatre, 138 Kennington Park Rd, Kennington, London SE11 4DJ. Performances are from Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm with matinees on Sundays at 4pm and an extra Saturday matinee on 23 March at 3pm. Tickets are priced from £15 (concessions £12). CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!