Reunion was written by Fred Uhlman who was a German Jew born in 1901. His own story bears many comparisons with the tale of Reunion, as he was born in Stuttgart and fled Germany shortly after Hitler took power; he went to France and Spain before finally settling in England. He worked as a lawyer, artist and writer.
The story of Reunion is of a young Jewish boy, Hans Schwartz growing up in Stuttgart, during the rise of the Nazi party in the 1930’s. He is the son of a local doctor who fought in the first world war, and his father compares the Nazi party to “a temporary illness, something like measles which will pass off as soon as the economic situation improves”. The play shows the changes in German society at the time, and how it affects the friendship of Hans and his young friend Count Konradin von Hohenfels.
This is a one may show starring Daniel Reardon as Hans, some 40 years after the events that took place in the play. He is looking back at his early years with the clarity of age and there is a twist in the tale, as he finds details of his friend Konradin’s life after Hans left Germany. The play is a little under two hours long with a fifteen minute interval, and it is a very impressive performance by Reardon to hold the attention of the audience for this lengthy period. It’s a fascinating insight into how life was during the rise of Nazism, and how those Jews who considered themselves truly German dealt with their nation turning against them.
This was my first time in the Viking theatre, and it’s a nice space above Connolly’s pub on the Clontarf road. It’s converted from a pub, and the actors back of stage seems to be the bar with a curtain pulled around it! It seats about 50 with a degree of comfort, and you’re even allowed to bring up a drink from the pub below! It’s a lovely idea, and pity more pubs around Dublin wouldn’t follow suit.
Dublin Theatre company’s production of Reunion was adapted for stage and directed by Ronan Wilmot and performed by Daniel Reardon. Tickets are €10 for all shows, and it runs until December 8th (next Saturday).