Ilford-resident Hella Pearlman, who came to Britain on the Kindertransport, attended the matinee performance of Kindertransport on Thursday 22 March at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and was given the opportunity to meet the cast after the show.
Hella Pearlman was one of 10,000 Jewish children ferried from Austria and Germany to safety in Britain before the outbreak of the Second World War. She was almost 7 years old when her father arranged for her and her sister to travel to Britain. ‘I arrived at London Liverpool Street station, with a ticket around my neck. We were only allowed one suitcase. I can still remember the hat I wore. I couldn’t speak a word of English. A man from Thrapston (Northamptonshire) who was quite well off picked me up; he had two businesses, a grocery shop and a pet shop.’
After watching the performance of Kindertransport, Hella joined the cast on stage to share her story with them – including the loss of her parents, her memories of being on the train, about her life now in Britain, how she met her husband, and how she went back to her birth place to see where she used to live.
Kindertransport is co-produced by Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg in association with Selladoor Productions. It finishes at the Queen’s Theatre on Saturday 24 March but transfers to Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg from 27 – 31 March. It then embarks on a UK tour to the New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich (17 – 21 April), Richmond Theatre (24 – 28 April) and Manchester Opera House (1 – 5 May).
For more information about the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch visit queens-theatre.co.uk