Conversations – from Hell to ‘Wonder-mere’

The Old Laundry Theatre produces a powerful new drama, based on the remarkable true story of one Holocaust Survivor, a ‘Windermere Boy’.

CONVERSATIONS, From Hell to ‘Wonder-mere’
Friday 13 Oct, 2.30pm, Saturday 14 Oct, 2.30pm & Saturday 14 Oct, 7.30pm
Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness-on-Windermere
Tickets: Adults £12/ Students £7
Box Office: 015394 40872


CONVERSATIONS, an original play written by Trevor and Stacey Friedman for BBC Radio 4 has been rewritten as a stage play to have its first theatre performance in Bowness-on-Windermere at the Old Laundry, performed by local actors.

Based on a remarkable true story, ‘Conversations, from Hell to Wonder-mere’ tells the story of one of the Survivors with close links to a remarkable Lake District story.  It also shows how the Holocaust has touched the children and grandchildren of the survivors, known as Second and Third Generation.  The production is directed by Stacey Friedman.

As depicted in numerous documentaries and in the 2020 Warner Bros Prix Europa award-winning drama The Windermere Children, the people of Lakeland welcomed three hundred child Holocaust Survivors into their community in 1945 to spend a period of recuperation in the Lakes before setting out on new lives.  Theirs is a remarkable and fascinating story of unimaginable horror and a journey to survival in a place the children described as ‘Paradise’.

The play, Conversations,  explores how Trevor Friedman, son of an Auschwitz Survivor discovered the story of what happened to his father during the Holocaust before he was brought to Windermere with the group who came to be known as “The Windermere Boys”.

The characters in the play portray the effects of the terrible events of the Holocaust and how they resonate through the generations.  In the story, David Rendel, a psychiatrist, meets Shlomo Weider, a Holocaust Survivor and in striking up a conversation they discover that David’s father was with Shlomo throughout the war and knew him well.  Together they were brought to Windermere to recuperate and adapt to British life, becoming part of the now famous Windermere Boys.

Fliss Pocock, Theatre Manager said: “This play was first performed at the Jewish Museum in Manchester and we are delighted to be producing it here again to have its Theatre debut in the most fitting place imaginable – in Windermere itself.”

Stacey Friedman, Director said: “I am extremely honoured to be directing this play just a short distance from the lake where the Boys, 78 years ago, were brought from Prague to begin to rebuild their lives in England.”

Trevor Friedman, Writer said: “I grew up with The Boys and their families as part of my extended family.  The play is largely based upon the true account of my father’s experiences but including second and third generation offspring to illustrate how these experiences affect subsequent generations.”