All Our Children at Jermyn Street Theatre
Stephen Unwin’s debut play, All Our Children, is a moving depiction of a lesser-known aspect of the holocaust and, although it might not be an easy watch, it is an essential one.
With emotional performances from the cast of five, including Colin Tierney, Rebecca Johnson and Lucy Speed, the piece explores the moral dilemmas behind the Nazis’ decision to forsake the lives of disabled children in order to lift the financial burden on the mighty German state. Set entirely in the office of Dr Victor Franz, the play delves into the difficult subject matter by offering the viewpoints of the doctor, his maid, his young Nazi administrator, a mother of one disabled child and a bishop.
The script is beautifully written and, no matter how unsettled viewers may feel, it is hard not to be swept up by the characters’ debates, breakdowns and storytelling. All five actors deliver heartfelt performances in the small theatre, further immersing the audience in the trials and tribulations of Nazi Germany in 1941. The show also questions the morality behind Dr Franz’s decisions to comply with the demands of German officials and whether he will ultimately see the evil of his ways.
Speed and Johnson give particularly spectacular performances as compassionate and concerned mothers. Speed’s Elizabetta Pabst, the mother of one of the disabled children at the clinic, stands out due to her raw emotion and unfaltering portrayal of a parent trying to understand the goings on at the institution.
Heavy as All Our Children may be, it is ultimately a striking portrait of a somewhat forgotten part of life in Nazi Germany and will haunt audiences long after watching.
Photo: Camilla Greenwell
All Our Children is at Jermyn Street Theatre from 26th April until 3rd June 2017, for further information or to book visit here.
See behind the scenes of All Our Children here: