Presented by AJZ Productions
Reviewed 19 February 2020
Eleanor Ramrath Garner was just 9 when her father accepted a new job in Berlin and took the family from their comfortable life in the United States to Germany for a two-year contract. It was 1939 and while they were at sea on the way to their new start in Berlin, Hitler declared war! Life changed in a moment and a short stay turned into a seven-year nightmare.
Eleanor’s story has been documented in a book, but this retelling is courtesy of her granddaughter Ingrid who brings the horrors of life under Hitler and Russian occupation to scary reality. With the minimal help of a few set pieces, some carefully selected sound and well-timed lighting changes, Ingrid describes the trials her family went through in those war years.
This is the second of two shows to deal with Eleanor’s story, the first An American Girl in Hitler’s Germany gives all the details of that fraught period in her life. Life After War continues the story and catalogues how difficult the return to the US was. The feeling of alienation in a society she had dreamed of returning to and the difficulty of dealing with the aftermath of trauma.
Both of these tales are gripping and open our eyes to the unseen consequences of conflict. A worthwhile hour (or two) that will give you much to think about.
Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Rating out of 5: 5
Venue: Parks Theatre Two
Season: 20 Feb, 22 Feb 5pm @ Gluttony (Howling Owl Room)
1 Mar 5pm @ Gluttony (Howling Owl Room)
Duration: 60 mins