Karen's Way

by Vanessa Rosenthal

“Karen’s Way: A kindertransport life” is a dramatisation, with live music, of the life of the Kindertransport survivor and poet, Karen Gershon.

Karen Gershon leaflet

Gershon's story is a remarkable one that needs bringing to a wider audience. Based on her autobiographies and poems, it has an impact with which few things, outside of Anne Frank, can compare.

Vanessa Rosenthal’s previous play about the Holocaust, “Exchanges in Bialystock”, was chosen to represent the BBC at the European Script Broadcasting Conference in Helsinki.

The musicians involved are of the highest calibre. David Riley is formerly of the SCO, the Scottish Baroque Ensemble and Opera North. Marion Raper taught piano at the Leeds College of Music and first worked as accompanist on this kind of show at The Barbican, accompanying Judi Dench and Michael Williams. She is responsible for the annual Leeds Lieder Festival.

kindertransport children

The play has the warmest personal endorsement of Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger who knew Gershon well and admired her.

In the original cast were Vanessa herself, a successful actor for over 40 years in theatre, television and radio, and Lindesay Mace, a talented young actress, fast becoming recognised, who also appeared earlier in the same year in Tea Fuelled’s “The Time Capsule” at the New Wimbledon Theatre.

The part of the Younger Karen Gershon has now been taken over by Francesca Larkin who previously appeared for Yellow Leaf in Angela Truby’s “Bill Maxted’s Most Excellent Adventure”.

“Karen’s Way” played for three performances at the York Theatre Royal and two further performances at the Seven Arts Centre in Leeds, before travelling to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2012 (see Tour Schedule) and Jerusalem in 2013.

Two further performances were arranged for 2014 (See our News page).

Vanessa Rosenthal as the older Karen Gershon and David Riley, violinist

Both my parents died in camps

I was not there to comfort them

I was not there they were alone

my mind refuses to conceive

the life the death they must have known

I must atone because I live

I could not have saved them from death

the ground is neutral underneath

From “I Was Not There" ( Karen Gershon: Selected Poems)

Kindertransport label
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