Sidmouth Youth Theatre to bring inspirational World War Two story to the stage

In rehearsal for Korczak. Picture: Sidmouth Youth Theatre

In rehearsal for Korczak. Picture: Sidmouth Youth Theatre - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Youth Theatre will be performing Korczak the Musical in February.

In sharp contrast to last year's fantasy production 'The Wiz', current members of Sidmouth Youth Theatre are rehearsing for an enlightening musical based on true events.

This year's play, 'Korczak the Musical', is a moving and liberating story of Janusz Korczak, who was responsible for protecting 200 children from the worst horrors of World War Two.

Korczak, a Polish Jew and doctor, was devoted to improving orphanages in Poland. Yet, by 1942, with the war in full flow, Korczak and the children in his care, were living in the Warsaw Ghetto, in the most impossible circumstances. During this time, he kept a diary documenting what life was like, forming the basis of the story for the play.

Despite the adversity, Korczak looked after the children and managed to keep childhood alive through love and imagination. So rather than being a story of despair, it is one of inspiration and hope; the victory of spirit over oppression.

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To retell this beautiful story, 80 young people, aged between 11 and 19, from Sidmouth Youth Theatre will take the audience back to Warsaw in 1942.

Angela Davies, the director and head of drama at Sidmouth College said: "This musical gives all the cast opportunities in a true ensemble style. They will play real characters who appear in the diary that was smuggled out of the Warsaw Ghetto. The cast are excited to share their hard work and tell the story with integrity and respect".

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The accompanying music is complex and powerful, featuring inspirational solo performances and soaring choral work. Eight professional musicians will be capturing the atmosphere and supporting the cast to bring the play to life.

The production, written by Nick Stimson with music by Chris Williams, premiered at Plymouth Theatre Royal in 2011.

Angela continued: "We have been very lucky to be able to produce this challenging ensemble musical and we are excited that the writer will be coming to see the show".

Sidmouth Youth Theatre will be performing Korczak the Musical at The Manor Pavilion Theatre from Wednesday, February 5 to Saturday, February 8, with a matinee on the Saturday.

Adult tickets are £12 and tickets for the under 16s are £6.


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