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1945. Dresden, Germany. Lizzie, her mother... and an elephant from the zoo, flee the Allied fire-bombing in the end-game of the Second World War. Escaping the Allies' advance from the West - and also the advancing Russian armies from the East - this extraordinary trio of refugees meet: a downed RAF officer, cowering in a barn; a homeless school choir on the run and their Countess saviour, harbouring them from the Nazis; and the mechanised American cavalry, appearing over the horizon. It is Lizzie's story - but Marlene, the elephant, is the heroine. Plodding, obdurate, opportunistic, load bearing, indestructible, cheering - Marlene embodies the stubbornness of the human will and how it will do everything to survive.

Part of the Shakespeare's Telling Tales Festival. Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

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