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Suitcase Drama

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On Monday 25th November, Scott W, Ben P and Josh N went with Mrs Hooper and Mrs Goode to see a play performed on Bristol Temple Meads railway station.

The play was called Suitcase, and was about the children who were sent on trains to Britain from Europe before the second World War. The children were mainly Jewish, and were sent away by their parents in order to save them from Hitler. People in England volunteered to look after the children, and they did not know if they would ever see their parents again.

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The audience had to stand on the train station to watch the play, and they were all given a tag with a number on, just like the children would have been. The audience were split up into small groups and followed a 'leader' around the station to watch six small mini plays in different areas. Some of the mini plays were funny, some were thoughtful and some were really sad. One of the mini plays showed a brother and a sister waiting to be collected by their new family. They were frightened and hungry and they didn't speak any English. Eventually the girl was taken by a family and her brother was left on the station to wait for a different family to look after him. Mrs Goode and Mrs Hooper both cried.

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At the end of the play the children wrote letters to their parents describing their new life in England. The parents wrote back, but eventually one of the letters explained that the parents had been taken to Auschwitz.

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Despite the play being about a very serious subject, the students enjoyed it immensely. It was interactive, and they were often drawn into the acting by the actors. One actor pointed to Josh N as if he was a refugee child and told him he would bring diseases into the country. Another actress got Ben P to hold her coat and hat while she got ready. At the end both Josh and Ben were drawn into the play to dance to an Eastern European folk tune.

It was an excellent and thought provoking day.