The world premiere of Michael Morpurgo’s Waiting for Anya, will be taking place at The Barn Theatre in Cirencester from next month.
Simon Reade has adapted the story for the stage, having previous tackled Morpurgo stories Toro! Toro!, The Mozart Question, Private Peaceful and An Elephant in the Garden.
The story tells of Jo, his grandfather and a widow who helped to smuggle Jewish children across the border from southern France into Spain during World War II.
“This is inspired by a true story of a small community living in their mountain village in the Pyrenees under Nazi Occupation in WW2, of their courage in aiding the escape of Jewish children over the mountains into neutral Spain,” Morpurgo says.
“I happened upon the village of Lescun some 30 years ago, met the people there, listened to their stories, saw the sheeps, cheese being made during the Transhumance, heard the music they sing, walked the fields and tracks the refugees walked, saw the caves where they hid, stood atop a mountain, one foot in Spain, one in France. I had to write their story. I called it Waiting for Anya.”
Simon Reade says that he returns to Morpurgo’s stories again and again, because they are ‘sophisticated’ tales where the world is seen through the ‘eyes of a child’.
He said: “Waiting for Anya is a story where no one is quite what they appear to be on the surface. It is profoundly moving and yet doesn’t invite our passive appreciation: it demands we take action, that we stand up and be counted. Not just in self-less individual acts, but together, as communities, our still small voice of conscience collectively singing out loud and clear – quite literally, music being the great redeemer in Michael’s stories.”
Waiting for Anya is on at The Barn Theatre from 27 March – 05 May 2023
Age guidance 8 years upwards
For more information or to book, visit: https://barntheatre.org.uk
Henri – Christopher Bianchi
Lieutenant Weissman – Tom Hendryk
Jo Lalande – Jack Heydon
Lise – Andrea Johannes
Benjamin – Yiftach Mizrahi
Alice – Alison Reid
Pierre – Perri Snowdon
Corporal Wilhelm – Christmas Staines
Based on the book by Michael Morpurgo
Adaptation – Simon Reade
Director – Mark Leipacher
Composer, Musical Director and Sound Designer – Asaf Zohar
Set and Costume – Ceci Calf
Lighting Designer – Murong Li
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