Kindertransport Diane Samuels Essay Contest

A modern classic about one woman's struggle to come to terms with her past - brutally separated from her German Jewish parents at the age of 9 and brought to England with the promise of a new life...

Winner of the 1992 Verity Bargate Award 

This edition also includes several personal memoirs by German-born children whose lives were saved, and transformed, by the Kindertransport.

Kindertransport is a SET TEXT for GCSE English Literature (AQA) and AS/A-Level English Literature (WJEC)

Also available: Diane Samuels' Kindertransport: The author's guide to the play, invaluable for anyone studying, teaching or performing the play.

Watch an interview with Diane Samuels about Kindertransport on StageTalk TV here.

Press Quotes

'desperately harrowing... searing theatre that cuts across a continuum of suffering to the very heart of what unifies us as human'

The Times

'A powerful contribution to Holocaust literature... presented with emotional clarity and intense sympathy'

New Yorker

'Samuels has written the best play about the pain and passion of mother/daughter relationships'


Diane Samuels

Position: Visiting Lecturer
Faculty: Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences, Drama, Film and Media

Professional Biography

Diane Samuels' career as an author and playwright spans twenty years starting with her award-winning play Kindertransport which continues to be read, taught and produced all over the world.  She writes for stage, radio, experimental theatre across art forms and has recently collaborated with composers to create two full length musicals. As Pearson Creative Research Fellow 2005 at the British Library she produced A Writer's Magic Notebook and her author’s guide, Diane Samuels' Kindertransport is an in-depth account of the process of writing and producing the play. For more info go to or Twitter @WritingBright


Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge, 1982, BA Hons History.

Goldsmiths’ College, London, 1984, PGCE Drama.

Central School for Speech and Drama, London, 1989, Advanced Diploma in Speech and Drama

Relevant Past Employment

Arts Council Writer-in-residence bursary with Theatre Centre, young people's theatre company, 1992 to 1993.

Visiting Lecturer, 1998 to 2001, Middlesex University

Arts Council Theatre Writing Bursary, awarded 2002

Visiting Lecturer for BA in Drama, 2003 and 2005, University of Birmingham

Visiting Lecturer for BA in Drama, 2004, Goldsmiths’ College, University of London

Pearson Creative Research Fellowship at British Library, 2005

Visiting Creative Writing Fellow, Jan to March, 2007, Reading University

Royal Literary Fund Fellow, University of Westminster, 2008 to 2011

Writer in Residence, Grafton School, London, 2007 to present

Professional Affiliation(s)/Accreditation

Member of Writers Guild of Great Britain

Other Outputs

“Frankie’s Monster" (for 7 to 12 year olds) adapted from Vivien Alcock’s novel “The Monster Garden”. Unicorn Theatre, production 1991.

“Chalk Circle" (for 7 to 12 year olds). Unicorn Theatre, production 1991.

“Kindertransport", Winner of Verity Bargate Award, 1992; Meyer Whitworth Award, 1993.Produced by Soho Theatre Company, Cockpit Theatre; Manhattan Theater Club, New York, 1994; Palace Theatre, Watford transferring to Vaudeville Theatre, West End, 1996. Also productions in Sweden, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland, Israel, Canada, South Africa and USA. Shared Experience Theatre Co, national tour, 2007; Hall and Childs UK national tour, 2013/14.

 “Salt of The Earth" Produced by Theatre Centre, young people's theatre company.

“How To Beat A Giant" , National schools tour, SNAP People’s Theatre Trust, Jan to July 1995; Unicorn Theatre production, Nov/Dec 2007

"Turncoat" (for 15 years and upwards), National UK tour, 1994, Theatre Centre, young people's theatre company.

"One Hundred Million Footsteps" (for 8 to 13 year olds), National UK tour, 1997, Quicksilver Theatre Company: National Wales tour, Gwent Young People’s Theatre Co., 2006

"The True Life Fiction of Mata Hari", Palace Theatre, Watford, 2002

“PUSH” Collaboration with playwright Sarah Woods, visual artist Alexa Wright, and medical pain specialists, Dr.Charles Pither, Dr. Anita Holdcroft and Dr. Mick Serpell. Original multi-media performance piece on pain. Research and Development funded by Gulbenkian Foundation, 2000/01. Winner of Wellcome Trust Science on Stage and Screen Award, 2001.Produced by Artsadmin, performed at The People Show Studios in June 2003, co-directed by Diane Samuels with Alexa Wright.

“Beyond Midnight” Trestle Theatre Co., Edinburgh Festival and national tour, 2005

“3 Sisters on Hope Street” (with Tracy-Ann Oberman) Co-produced by Liverpool Playhouse/Everyman (opening Everyman Theatre’s City of Culture programme) and Hampstead Theatres, 2008

 “In Your Own Words” Interactive creative writing installation, Battersea Arts Centre, “One on One” theatre festival, 2011.

“The A – Z of Mrs P”, Full-length musical, in collaboration with Gwyneth Herbert., 2014, Southwark Playhouse.

 “Two Together" Radio 4, 1993

“Frankie’s Monster" Radio 5 as 3 part serial, 1992

“Watch Out For Mister Stork“ Radio 4., 1994.

"Swine", Radio 4. 1996

"Hardly Cinderella" Radio 4. 1997

"Doctor Y" Radio 4, 1997

"Hen Party" Radio 4, 2001.

"Rope" Winner of short story competition, 2001. Radio 4, 2002

“Inter-rail Postcards” Writer and presenter of 15 minute essay, Radio 3, 2011.

“Tiger Wings”, Radio 4, Woman’s Hour 5 x 15 minute serial, 2012.

"The Play of The Monster Garden" Published by Heinemann, 1992.

“Kindertransport" Published in UK by Nick Hern Books and in USA by Penguin/Plume, 1995.

Chapter "About Then: History Plays" in "State of Play" ed David Edgar, Published Faber and Faber Ltd, 1999

"The True Life Fiction of Mata Hari" , Published by Nick Hern Books, 2002

“A Writer’s Magic Notebook”, British Library publication, March 2006

“3 Sisters on Hope Street” (with Tracy-Ann Oberman)  Published by Nick Hern books, 2008

“Page to Stage: Kindertransport” Published by Nick Hern Books, 2014.

Last updated: 08 December 2017

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