Mum and daughter share stage

Chiara Todisco, 13, and mum Estella
Chiara Todisco, 13, and mum Estella

There have been many mother-daughter combinations in Hollywood block-busters. For example, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson.

Now Stamford Shoestring offers a similar pairing in its next production - Kindertransport - coming to the Stamford Arts Centre from June 5 to 9

In this gripping story, 13-year-old Chiara Todisco plays Eva – a young Jewish girl rescued from the Nazis in 1938 and sent by train to a new life and foster home in England.

Her mother, Helga (played by Chiara’s mother Estella) is unable to escape from Germany and hopes of being re-united with Eva are thwarted.

To see what happens subsequently, you will need to buy a ticket to the play (box office 01780 763203).

Kindertransport is Chiara’s first “serious” play although she has previously performed in musical theatre and with KYT – Kindred Key Youth Theatre in Peterborough.

How has she enjoyed it? “It’s been fun – hard work, and tough learning all the lines, especially as some are in German,” she said.

It has also been quite a challenge acting different ages – Eva matures from 9 to age 17 during the first part of the play.

Estella has been acting for a good part of her life – starting with pantomime at the age of 8. She performed in musicals in Peterborough before joining Shoestring in 2009 – her first role was in Blithe Spirit. This is her sixth Shoestring play.

How has she enjoyed working with Chiara? “It’s been fantastic to act together – seeing how Chiara responds to the adults in the company,” said Estella. “They’ve all looked after and encouraged her. And driving back and forth to rehearsals three times a week has given us some great mum and daughter time.”

Kindertransport is deeply moving and will strike a chord with parents who have watched their children grow up and leave home, as well as recognising that, 80 years on from the start of the holocaust, refugees are still seeking to escape the horrors of war.