The Place Theatre, Monday 28 January
Review by Cara Lee (21)
Written for Holocaust Memorial Day, the show (which is told in full mask) tells the true tale that Rachel Levy chose to share with Small Nose Productions and Trestle Theatre Company, of her life and her experiences through Auschwitz, the death marches that took place towards the end of the war and eventually Bergen Belsen.
A recording of the real Rachel telling her story is used to great effect throughout the production, adding a more personal touch, allowing the performers to seamlessly weave the story together without a single word being uttered.
The continuous music sets a perfect atmosphere and fully immerses the audience, while the way in which both the brightly coloured set and the music set up a fairly jovial mood, which is later abruptly disrupted using a tense and jarring segment of score, reflects on the situation in a fantastically clever way. This is later added to when the sets are flipped around, their colour now drained from a bright green to a dark white.
The combination of music and masks also leaves much to the audience’s imagination, making the events on stage all the more vivid, as we project the emotions we know the characters must be feeling onto their unmoving faces. This subtler method also adds an air of sensitivity to the whole play, which is obviously vital.
Overall, the story of Rachel’s survival is truly an extraordinary one – and this is truly the interpretation that it deserves.