What can one girl do in the darkest moments of World War II? Anything! As long as she has her imagination.

The Coat is a performance about great deeds performed by small people. About hope and despair. About light in the darkness. And about a piece of history more relevant now than ever.

On a rainy day in October 1941, the grandfather of the Jewish girl Manasse is shot by an SS officer. Right in front of her. Just like that.

To keep her grandfather close, Manasse puts on his coat. She then makes an extraordinary discovery: in a hidden pocket she finds a doll, a prince.

When the puppet comes to life, the girl follows in her grandfather’s footsteps: Manasse becomes a puppeteer. Attempting to make the orphans of the overcrowded Warsaw ghetto forget their misery for a while, Manasse performs for them.

But then an SS officer demands that the girl also play for German soldiers. With the prince at her side, Manasse enters the lion’s den. There she discovers that resistance has many forms.

The second world war is a heavy topic. But it is indispensable in the education of any child. How do you ensure that you can share these kinds of stories with children? Puppet theatre is particularly suited to do this: puppets can represent the grotesque, without being too shocking. Misery becomes poetry. But the story is still told.

The Coat is a Dutch-Norwegian co-production by De Witte Pomp and Nordland Visual Theatre.

press photos