The Tin Ring
Making Theatre

I have been privileged to meet some extraordinary people in my life one of whom is Zdenka Fantlová. I was introduced to Zdenka by James Milne Co Ordinator of the Holocaust Memorial Event Newcastle upon Tyne as James had invited Zdenka to be the Keynote Speaker for 2010. As Artistic Director of that event I read Zdenka's memoir My Lucky Star the title of her American publication. As soon as I read it I knew I had to ask Zdenka if she would allow her story to be adapted for the theatre, with generosity, trust and curiosity she answered,
" Yes! Why not? Have a go, I don't know how you will do it but have a go!" December 2009

In January 2010 Andrew Peden Smith publisher of McNidder & Grace agreed, after being introduced to Zdenka by James Milne and Richard Kotter to publish Zdenka's memoir in England. The Tin Ring was published to coincide with Zdenka's Keynote in Newcastle upon Tyne in January 2010. It is from this book that internationally acclaimed theatre director Mike Alfreds and I, have worked on an adaptation for performance. We have had three resources at our disposal - the book, a set of recorded interviews Zdenka gave to the Imperial War Museum London, but most importantly Zdenka herself.

Initially The Tin Ring performance was developed, through research and development funding as a thirty minute fragment of theatre. Funded by Arts Council England, supported through a creative residency at Northern Stage. In May 2011 Zdenka endorsed these first performances and in June 2012 a seven week rehearsal period began at Northumbria University's Performing Arts Studios funded by Arts Council England andcproducing a sixty eight minute performance which premiered and sold out at The Lowry in Salford September 2012.

The Tin Ring has performed by invitation both nationally and internationally since 2011 in London at Speakers House Westminster, to Summerhall Edinburgh Fringe 2013 as part of the British Council International Showcase. The underlying research is concerned with witness testimonies as an interpretive tool, and developed within a performance context in order to reflect upon the life experience of victims and perpetrators of crisis. Performances delivered to date are approaching one hundred and growing.

Zdenka's testimony is rich, powerful and deeply personal material absorbing all who come into contact with it. Human beings who have experienced trauma and displacement alongside young people who are starting out on their independent journeys - the extraordinary man and woman, YOU the audience.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Zdenka Fantlová for her transparency, honesty and hope, in writing and sharing her story with and for others.

The essence of this performance is to allow the one voice to acknowledge the silent, speak for the speechless and never forget.

Jane Arnfield
Artistic Director Human Remain August 2013

Jane Biog