The foothills of the French Pyrenees during the Second World War. Jo Lalande’s village is occupied by German soldiers guarding the frontier to neutral Spain. While he is tending his family’s flock of sheep (his father is absent, a prisoner-of-war), Jo follows a bear cub into the woods, where he spies a stranger. Following him to a remote hill-farm belonging to the reclusive widow, Madame Horcada, Jo learns their dangerous secret: together they smuggle Jewish children, refugees from the war and the Holocaust, escaping over the border and into Spain. All the while, hoping against hope, they wait for their lost daughter and granddaughter, Anya. Sworn to secrecy, Jo risks everything – until the very German soldier he has befriended looks set to betray him.
Michael Morpurgo’s war story celebrates the triumph of a spirited community who stubbornly resist their invading aggressor. This newly commissioned adaptation marks the Barn Theatre’s fifth Morpurgo collaboration after the critically acclaimed productions of The Mozart Question, The Butterfly Lion, and Simon Reade’s adaptations of An Elephant in the Garden and Private Peaceful.
Based on the book by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Simon Reade and directed by Mark Leipacher.