Lotti and Mina and the Book Launch of Statues Cradling Toys
It is 1927 in a village called Oppy near Arras, France. A woman is busy with her sandwiches and another arrives from a charabanc with her pack up. Lotti is an English teacher from Bavaria and Mina is a fish filleter from Hessle Road, Hull. They begin to talk and over the next few years their friendship as penfriends builds against a back drop of the tough interwar years and then the Nazi take over. Lotti is a Jew and her son had been killed in a battle in the wood close by; Mina had lost three sons and one of them in the same place. For both of them, the 3rd May 1917 strikes a chord and their letters flesh out their growing bond as the communities they are from rise and fall with all sorts of tides for years to come until all memories are erased. This “book in hand” piece tests out the terrain and asks for a thumbs up to make it fully fledged from page to stage.
Part two will be a few readings from ‘Statues Cradling Toys’ - In the middle of the Memorial Garden next to St. Mary’s Church in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, a statue of four women commemorates the First World War. With toys in their laps, they stare a thousand yards into the distance. These words are trapped in their gaze.