Kindertransport by Diane Samuels

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11 ‘HELGA picks up a case hidden among the boxes.’ – On one level this is a theatrical necessity: a prop is required for the pre-war action between Helga and Eva even though the set is still the attic room in Evelyn’s house. More interesting, though, is the possibility that Eva’s suitcase is still among Evelyn’s possessions.

11 ‘FAITH finds a trunk. She is tempted to look inside.’ – There is no dialogue for a short period. Helga’s checking through Eva’s suitcase is paralleled by Faith’s searching through Evelyn’s trunk.

11 ‘She hesitates. She takes courage and tentatively opens it.’ – Faith has grown up in this house. The attic/storage room has always been locked up and she no doubt senses that her mother does not want her to know what it contains. It is no wonder, however, that she is curious.

11 ‘FAITH (pulling out a toy train). Runaway train?/ HELGA. The case is too full.’ – The dialogue is designed so that the audience imagines that it is Eva, not Faith, who wants to pack away her ‘runaway train’ toy and that Helga replies the ‘case is too full.’ In fact, both characters are speaking independently of each other at ‘different times’ – they are divided, in fact, by many decades. Eva is about to climb aboard a ‘runaway train’ of a symbolic kind and there will be no going back once her journey has begun.

11 ‘FAITH makes the sound of a train whistle...’ – She is privately regressing, as many do, into a childhood state when everything was simpler and she felt completely secure.

11 ‘And blah-de-blah she won’t come back’ – The nearest line to this in the actual song is ‘The runaway train went over the hill and the last we heard she was going still’. The line Faith mistakes is actually ‘Her whistle wide and her throttle back’, but the version she makes up reflects significantly on Eva’s fate as one of the Kinder.

11 ‘FAITH continues to lay the track.’ – As though she is symbolically laying out Eva’s future (which is dominated by a long train journey).

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Diane Samuels
the Unkindness of Ravens If you have found our critical notes helpful, why not try the first Tower Notes novel, a historical fantasy set in the time of the Anglo-Saxon invasions.

Available HERE where you can read the opening chapters.

The Unkindness of Ravens by Anthony Paul