Nazi refugee story to star at Fringe

By Robyn Rosen and Marcus Dysch, June 10, 2011
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An American teacher is to bring to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival the true story of a child who fled Nazi-occupied Austria, after her diary was donated to him.

Andrew Geha, a teacher at Friends Academy, a Quaker school in New York, was given the diary of Inge Fischer by her niece Lisa Waldstein.

"We read the translation and started brainstorming the possibilities," Mr Geha said. "The diary entries ranged from amazing descriptions of very intense moments to entries about the normal day-to-day of an 11-year-old."

Now the musical, We Didn't Have Time to be Scared, will be performed by 22 students and alumni aged 13 to 22 at this year's festival.

"One of the most powerful aspects of this experience for all of us is that this is an everyday story, which so many families can connect to in one way or another," Mr Geha added. "It reminds us of how extraordinary all our journeys are."

"Almost every scene is based off an entry or moment referenced in the diary," Mr Geha said. "I also drew a lot of inspiration and ideas from my interview with Inge and her sister Lucy - both from what they said and from their interaction with each other."

The musical will be performed at the Quaker Meeting House between August 8 and 13.

Meanwhile the renowned Oxford Revue is to be led by two Jewish co-presidents when its biggest show of the year takes place next week.

Sophie Klimt and 19-year-old Adam Lebovits, from Cheadle, Manchester, have written sketches together since they started studying English literature at Oxford University last year.

Their comedy scenes have included one mocking those who claim there is a Zionist conspiracy and another which turned Cole Porter's famous I Get A Kick Out of You into a parody titled I Get A Kick Out of Jews.

Ms Klimt, 20, from Elstree, Hertfordshire, said: "Our Jewish heritage is extremely important to us and we're proud to be fronting such a prestigious, and traditionally English, institution."

The pair will perform at Oxford Playhouse on June 16 alongside their fellow Revue members and comedians from the Cambridge Footlights and Durham Revue groups.

    Last updated: 1:19pm, June 10 2011