While most of the country is winding down for their summer holidays, at Chickenshed we are winding up to prepare rehearsals for Kindertransport - our next major offering. It is the first play I will be directing at Chickenshed and it launches my first full season, which includes our world premiere Christmas show, Adventure to Oz.

I am extremely pleased to announce that Kindertransport will star Michelle Collins. Michelle will play Evelyn, who is torn between her German heritage and the need to wipe out the memory of her Kindertransport experience as she establishes a life in post-war England. The play, by Diane Samuels, is based on true autobiographical accounts from Kindertransport children.

So what makes this a unique Chickenshed experience? Part of my new strategy and vision for Chickenshed is to nurture our own company’s talent by bringing in talent from the professional theatre world. Michelle Collins, who is not only a longstanding supporter of Chickenshed, also worked with me as a young actress when I was Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill.

Working alongside Michelle will be two recent graduates of our BA programme and two of our professional staff practitioners. The combination of talent will be dynamic. I’m especially excited that the imaginative set will be designed by William Fricker, who was an Associate Designer on the National Theatre’s international tours of War Horse. See a first glimpse of the set in model format in the Gallery tab.

As part of a new effort to extend our professional offerings in the Studio, Kindertransport will run for four weeks. With Michelle Collins leading the cast, and such a high profile creative team, I am anticipating that tickets will go fast. There will be a lot of publicity surrounding the production, so I wanted to give you a heads up before the summer break. It will be a stunning visual experience which I know you won’t want to miss.

in the absence of silence (which will soon be touring venues in Wales) broke box office records in the Studio recently. Tickets were scarce for that production and I am anticipating the same for Kindertransport.

I look forward to sharing the experience with you. But don’t leave it too late!

Have a great summer and I look forward to seeing you and speaking with you during my first full season this autumn.

Lou Stein
Artistic Director