Pros: A beautiful production of a story that deserves to be told, with a great cast and well-rounded direction.
Cons: That it had to finish after two hours!
The White Rose recounts the final days of Sophie Scholl (Lucy Ioannou), a 21-year-old German student who together with her brother Hans (Will Pinchin) and a group of friends led one of the very few resistance movements against the Nazi regime. Her interrogation by the Gestapo is interwoven with previous episodes of her life, including her relationship with Fritz Hartnagel (Freddie Cambanakis), a Nazi army officer, and her friendship with the other members of The White Rose.
In a time when only a handful dared to speak out against the atrocities of Hitler and his Third Reich, the members of The White Rose (die Weiße Rose) courageously conducted a clandestine leaflet and graffiti campaign calling for active opposition to the National Socialist regime.
As a non-violent group their subversive actions consisted of distributing anti-Nazi leaflets – which they printed clandestinely – and painting freedom slogans on street walls. By throwing pamphlets into mailboxes listing the crimes of the Nazis they were hoping to awaken their countrymen’s consciences and encourage them to join their resistance.
Director Ross McGregor first read the story of Sophie Scholl earlier this year, which marked the 75th anniversary of her execution, on International Women’s Day. He was inspired by a podcast titled “Women who changed history but were ultimately forgotten by it”.
This is a production that has everything: a compelling story, excellent performances by incredibly talented actors, and beautiful direction which makes the best of all the elements on the stage, including music and lighting. The documentary footage which opens the play and takes us back to the performance after the interval is hair-raising and well suited.
This is a highly recommendable play, both in content and artistic value, which keeps alive a story that should never be forgotten. A well-known quote by Albert Einstein says that “the world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” Sophie Scholl was not one of those people.
Author: Ross McGregor (based on A Noble Treason by Richard Hanser)
Director: Ross McGregor
Producer: Arrows & Traps Theatre
Booking Until: 4 August 2018
Box Office: 0333 666 3366
Booking Link: https://brockleyjack.co.uk/jackstudio-entry/white-rose/