Holocaust survivor's memoir The Tin Ring debuts at Lowry, 6 Sept
Date: 16 August 2012
The Lowry's intimate Studio space features The Tin Ring which tells the story of a remarkable young woman who went through the hell that was the Holocaust but found her salvation in the love of her boyfriend Arno who gave her a tin ring. The piece opens in September for five performances only.
At ninety years old, Zdenka Fantlová is one of a handful of living eye-witnesses to the atrocities of the Holocaust, to which she lost her entire family. Today, she is determined to tell her inspiring story of great love, one as uplifting as it is harrowing, to as many people as possible.
Mike Alfreds (Shared Experience and Method and Madness) co-adapted and directs this stage version of The Tin Ring. The story is brought to life by co-adapter Jane Arnfield (Jane played the lead role in Cymbeline, Shakespeare’s Globe, London, New York, opposite Mark Rylance) in a solo performance.
Zdenka says: “My story is universal: it is about the power of love, which combined with hope, enables us to achieve almost a miracle. I hope it will inspire all who see the performance”.
On 13 June 1942 at Terezin concentration camp, Zdenka and her lover Arno shared a risky farewell meeting. Arno gave Zdenka a hand-made tin ring, with the engraving ‘Arno 13.6.1942’. Then, like so many others, he was ordered into a cattle truck destined for the unknown. They never met again.
The three years that followed those last moments with Arno saw Zdenka stand at the doors of Auschwitz’s gas chambers, march 450 kilometres through the snow without food and travel in goods trains crammed with prisoners, for days at a time, next to the corpses of those who had suffocated. Stripped of her freedom, clothes, possessions, and even the hair from her head, upon her arrival at the infamous Auschwitz, Zdenka risked her life to conceal the tin ring from her torturers.
A symbol of his love for her and his desire for them to meet again and marry after the war, Zdenka still has the ring today, seventy years on.
Zdenka’s unrelenting spirit and the tin ring, which became her source of hope and truth, sustained her until she was liberated from Belsen, weighing just 77 pounds, unable to stand and suffering from Typhus. She dedicated her book, The Tin Ring, to an unknown soldier of the British Army who, in April 1945, broke military instructions to ensure her evacuation from the camp and ultimately save her life.
The Lowry’s Artistic Director, Robert Robson says: “The Tin Ring is powerful and will tell a remarkable story still relevant to people of all generations.”
The Tin Ring is at the Lowry Studio space from 6 - 8 September.
- by Glenn Meads
|Since I live in Essex I have a similar problem to June in Oxford. Will the play go on tour in the near future? I know of many people who would interested. - Jan Gibbons||22 Sep 12|
|since I live in Oxford and only heard og the play today 8th Sept I will not be able to see it in Salford.... Will it go on tour? - junesperber||08 Sep 12|
|I was transfixed throughout the entire performance. Jane Arnfield was just amazing; an incredible tour-de-force to hold the stage and carry the story without pause. And a story that should be told everywhere and for ever; somehow simultaneously horrific, heart-breaking and uplifting.
My only quibble would be the lighting – too bright and showed far too much of the audience, and that got in the way of focusing on Jane. Hopefully they’ll fix that in future shows, but even if not, this remains a great piece of theatre.
- Richard Heeks||08 Sep 12|
Subscribe to our free newsletter