Arts & Entertainment

REVIEW: Letters From A Troubled Past at Ara Darling Harbour

Alex Packard and Sarah Greenwood

Alex Packard and Sarah Greenwood in Letters From A Troubled Past

Letters From A Troubled Past at the Ara Theatre Darling Harbour is presented by the Moira Blumenthal Productions and Shalom. This unique theatrical production is a minor gem and should appeal to audiences who’d like to watch a smaller but significant production which details true histories of Jewish refugees fleeing war-torn Europe to other countries.

Letters From A Troubled Past is performed in 2 acts. Act 1: Torn Apart By War by Vic Alhadeff and Act 2: Letter Of Loss And Refuge, based on letters by Rudolf Schwab. This is not conventional mainstream theatre. There are no dazzling sets or costumes nor well-known A-list actors. Aptly described as a dramatised play reading, five  actors read from scripts while moving around on stage performing whilst fully immersed in their characters.

Each act is self-contained and details the atrocities that these families experienced during the Nazi regime and persecution of the Jewish communities during WWII. Heart wrenching to watch the two stories are principally assembled from letters some of which were found in old forgotten trunks years after the war ended.

Both stories are powerful and give a vivid insight into the terror and fear the Jews experienced as new laws prohibited them from participating in any social activity which we all take for granted today, ultimately leading to their transport to concentration camps once the final solution was secretly announced.

The first story is the standout as it highlights the lifelong suffering a young couple soon to be married living in Rhodes endured, separated for over four decades. Each believed the other had perished during the war only to be reconnected seemingly a lifetime after.

Audiences should be so drawn into each story and feel the anguish that these poor souls were subjected to because of their religious faith. The performers reading from actual letters adds another dimension to the stories and a complete sense of realness.

This presentation pushes boundaries and resonates that the world should have learnt a very important lesson from one of the darkest chapters in history, but obviously has turned a blind eye owing to the evil that continues to pervade the world to this very day.

Mar 19, 3.00pm & 7.00pm. Ara Theatre, Darling Harbour. $40+b.f Tickets & Info: www.monkeybaa.com.au

Apr 3, 4.30pm. Randwick Ritz as part of Jewish Film Festival. $33+b.f Tickets & Info: www.ritzcinemas.com.au

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