Gripping drama based on truth

Lotty's War at the White Rock Theatre SUS-161204-102239001
Lotty's War at the White Rock Theatre SUS-161204-102239001

Billed as a mesmerising story of passion, courage and sacrifice, Lotty’s War comes to Hastings on April 25-27.

This thriller is set in WW2 enemy occupied Channel Islands and based on a true life story.

The cast includes local girl Victoria Emslie, (Downton Abbey, The Theory of Everything, The Danish Girl). Ian Reddington (Coronation Street, Robin Hood, Shameless), and Mat Ruttle (War Horse, The Railway Children).

This is of course a significant return for Victoria who said: “I am so happy to be returning home to the White Rock, where it all began. My family have lived in the area for over half a century, and to be able to come back home with such a wonderful play is a real privilege.”

Directed by Bruce Guthrie, tipped as ‘the new Sam Mendes’, Lotty’s War is set during the occupation of the Channel Islands - the only part of Britain captured by the Nazis.

Based on recently discovered information, this forgotten chapter of British History is brought to life in a thrilling love story. With the last boat to England gone, Lotty is housed in close quarters with the enemy. As loyalties waver amidst the temptations of forbidden love and the politics of war, does Lotty dare to tread a passionate and dangerous path to save a friend?

The play was written by Guernsey-born Giuliano Crispini who remembers growing up on the island but never dwelling on its history.

He left to become an actor, director and writer, but when he returned in 2006 to care for his father, he found himself wondering what living under occupation must have felt like.

He began researching local material in libary when he made a surprise discovery in a big vault at the back - an uncatalogued diary written on sheets of tomato packing paper which covered five years during the war and gave “a very honest raw account” of daily life through that period. He has no idea who wrote the diary, man or woman, but relished the details of existence such as hankering after sugar and the joy of finding a sweet wild strawberry in a hedge then eating it.

He used this as inspiration, and said: “At its core, this play is really about what it is to be human in extreme cicumstances.” Book on 01424 462288 or go to www.whiterocktheatre.org.uk.