Kindertransport by Diane Samuels

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10 ‘So, I can’t sell the house?’ – Faith’s decision has considerable ramifications for Evelyn. It is not unreasonable that she should want to move into a smaller house once her daughter has gone, but this is a sticking point for Faith, who says in a moment, ‘I don’t understand why you have to go on about selling the house if I leave…’ If the house is sold, there will most likely not be space for her to live as before in her mother’s home. Faith’s sense of security is very bound up with the house she grew up in and with living with her mother. This corresponds to Eva’s situation with regard to Helga and her father.

10 ‘Song and dance finally over?’ – An interesting way of putting things: the expression ‘to make a great song and dance over something’ means to make something straightforward into something overly dramatic. Faith has certainly done this, but there is also a sense in which her whole plan to leave home was itself a ‘song and dance’ that was never really serious. Evelyn sounds here as though she never expected Faith to go – and perhaps never wanted her to go either.

10 ‘I expect you to keep to your word.’ – Evelyn likes things to be ‘just so’. She believes ‘A chipped glass is ruined forever’ and she takes the offending item out of the box as another sign of her perfectionism. Intriguingly – though this may be quite unintentional – there are now only eleven glasses left in the box. Is this a hint, perhaps, of betrayal (Judas being the ‘chipped glass’ among the twelve apostles)?

10 ‘FAITH retreats back into the attic.’ – The earlier ‘storage room’ is now revealed to be an attic. Faith is about to rummage around in her mother’s hidden memories: her ‘retreat’ here will drive the plot of the rest of the play. Is she suspicious, perhaps, that her mother has been hiding things from her?

10 ‘Try to meet other Jews in England.’ – This is something Eva/Evelyn has significantly failed to do: she has completely forgotten her native culture and religion.

11 ‘will Vati get his proper job back like he used to have?’ – Jews were barred from civil service positions in Germany by the ‘Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service’ of 1933; soon after, regulations were brought in making it increasingly difficult for Jewish doctors and lawyers to practice; in the period immediately before the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 9th and 10th 1938, Hitler’s policy of ‘Aryanisation’ led to large numbers of Jewish professionals and businessmen having to abandon their normal work.

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Diane Samuels