Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree, at C South, St Peter’s, Lutton Place, is a new play by Davina Barron and Elizabeth Zubanova for KCS Theatre Co’s twentieth year at the Fringe.
This is a very powerful drama set in near-future England where two teenage girls, Aeryn and Anna, are nearing the final stage of their education. Contrary to the rules of “The Academy”, where off-syllabus literature is strictly prohibited, they are reading an old diary, which tells of two friends in 1930s Germany who are also breaking the rules, by attending swing dances held in underground bunkers, with illicit bands. Luka and Oskar, who have another friend Elijah who is Jewish, are forced into the Hitler Youth, and friendships are torn apart by their ideals and beliefs. While reading the diary, Aeryn and Anna recognise the frightening parallels in their own world, where they are bullied and threatened by those in authority, and where girls who break the rules simply “disappear”.
Dance and physical theatre are an integral part of this performance, ranging from the energetic swing dancing to the automaton-like movements of the Hitler Youth which are echoed in the movements of the girls of The Academy. The talented young cast show great maturity in dealing with the emotive subject matter of this play, which raises many issues which are as relevant today as they were in 1930s Germany.
The whole production was powerful, moving, and thought-provoking, and whilst it would be wrong to use the word “enjoy” to describe how it made me feel, it is a play that I would highly recommend.
Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree
C venues – C south - St Peter's, Lutton Place
Country: United Kingdom - England
Group: KCS Theatre Company
Review by Lisa Sibbald