If you saw Central (Story) Line at Theatre Fullstop’s Pub Theatre Festival in April this year, you will likely recognise 1% of the play as it appears at IF.
The story of CSL began last December, when several sources of inspiration led the team to submit a creative concept to the Pub Theatre Festival. Led by director Daniela Atiencia, they spent ten days via Skype developing the idea into a solid synopsis. When school began again in January, they rehearsed outside of class time three times a week, writing and devising. In the end, they had a show spanning 1947-2017, set completely in a Tube carriage with six scenes lasting thirty minutes. A perfect chunk of time for a fringe theatre piece.
Yet for Heidi, Eliah, and Duncan, having CSL selected for IF gave them the chance to develop it further. How can they adapt CSL for a new space and a new audience? How can they explore the depth of these characters in an interesting way now that time no longer is a limit?
In this case, the idea of the Kindertransport arose out of brainstorming ideas about character development. What were the issues of the 1940s? The research into that opened up a world of possibilities. The Kindertransport – which carried thousands of children to the UK from Nazi Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland – provided the play with an international aspect that excited the cast, themselves actors from Sweden, Denmark, France/Spain and Colombia/Canada.
“What we would like to explore are the after-effects from the Kindertransport: losing roots, relationships with loved ones, language, anti- Semitism in England and planting yourself in a completely foreign community at a young age. What does it mean to be British? What does friendship look like seen through the eyes of trauma?”
As our course leader often says, “it’s more important to ask questions than! find the answers.” But Heidi, Duncan and Eliah get to do both; they have an interview scheduled with a man who was actually on a Kindertransport. Being true to the history is important to them, and they want to focus on the human aspect of it.
And in a perfect coincidence, the historical trains arrived into Liverpool Street Station – which is on the Central Line.