Eleanor's Story: An American Girl in Hitler's Germany

4 ½ stars

The history of war is often told through sweeping engagements and the grand stroke of the tacticians pen. In Eleanor’s Story, however, we have a uniquely singular and human narrative.

This performance is not only unique because of its unusual central character - that of an American girl of German heritage finding herself in Germany during WW2 - but also because that character is played by the real person’s granddaughter.

 Image courtesy of Ingrid Garner

Image courtesy of Ingrid Garner

Ingrid Garner, the aforementioned actor, is clearly connected with her material in a way that few performers are. She delivers the story with wonderful characterisation, switching between and embodying her characters with as little as a change of facial expression.

The play is supported by projection, but the slide show is largely superfluous. It comes into its own in a few key areas, but occasionally distracts from Garner’s performance.

This performance is truly remarkable. Garner uses the space on stage wonderfully, with the simple props transforming into whatever the scene requires.

Eleanor's Story is a complex show despite following a surprisingly simple narrative. As Eleanor is swept up in the conflict, we see her come of age as a largely powerless, shocked observer.

Exploring the impact that war has on the individuals caught up in the machinations, Garner embodies Eleanor’s experience of being an outsider even within her new country. This alienation continues throughout and we see a young woman who is isolated and vulnerable.

Eleanor’s Story is an amazing one-woman play, brought to life by Garner’s considerable acting ability.

Tickets available from the FRINGE WORLD website.


GLEN SEABROOK-BENSON