End of Everything Ever

Unity Theatre
23rd-24th September 2008

Reviewed by Megan Agnew

The opening of this play begins away from the stage; when the audience are gathering outside, a band of what appears to be travelling European songsters mingle with their jolly music offering a glass of something fiery to the waiting crowd of people. On stage, the mood is entirely different. We are introduced to six-year-old Agata, a Jewish child living in Berlin with her musical family (the performers). The script is based around the kindertransport movement of the late 1930s, when thousands of Jewish German children were evacuated and sent to England. Agata – along with her best friend, her teddy Milos – is faced with upheaval and great change as her family prepare for her to leave pre-war Berlin and take the long train journey to a foreign country.

On the train she absent-mindedly chews at the tag around her neck, slowly nibbling away at her identity as the train moves on. When she arrives in England she has no identity, no past and little indication of what her future is to be. The entire play is told through her eyes, with all her child-like qualities and concerns. The multi-lingual script is well delivered, and allows for the exploration of feelings of confusion and uneasiness. As a child Agata is cut-off from family discussion, and from a real idea of what is happening around her. When she witnesses an act of violence at the nearby bakery, her shock is at the German soldier taking a cake without paying for it.

The tragi-comic edge is well played through a montage of theatrical styles and disciplines. After several years of living in a village in Wales, Agata’s family are traced and she returns to Germany.

This is an inventive and moving play, full of words, music and discussion, only to be met with silence at the very end. Agata has regained her identity but the family and home associated with that have been obliterated. Who is she now?

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