The Lowry, Salford

<i>The Tin Ring</i>
The Tin Ring
© The Lowry

On the face of it The Tin Ring appears to be a bleak play performed by only one woman, with one chair, one costume, one lighting state and only two sound cues.

The bleak setting reflects its even bleaker subject matter: the Holocaust. The play as of course harrowing in parts, moving, powerful: based upon the real experiences of Zdenka Fantlova, but also unexpectedly humorous and warm.

The most surprising thing about The Tin Ring is how fresh it feels. After 70 years of stories of the Holocaust, one would think that most of the stories to be told have been told. Of course the same language was used Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen (although in a frustratingly constrained manner), but the story was somehow different. It lingers on your mind, and makes you really think about the horrors faced all those years ago.

Whats most laudable about The Tin Ring is the amount of life in its performance, testament to Jane Anfield's acting prowess. Her intricate yet bold physicality dominated the stage, engaging the entire audience for what could have been a dry, cliched play. Though at times it does verge on being a pantomime.

This piece is more than a play about the Holocaust, at times it doesn't even feel like it's about these horrors at all- it merely provided a backdrop for the performance.

The Tin Ring is actually about the things that every audience member can relate to: dignity, family, hope, and love.

- Wangu Chafuwa