Remarkable Sophie Scholl story, The White Rose, debuts at Jack Studio Theatre

The remarkable story of young German freedom fighter, Sophie Scholl, has been turned into a blistering new play which opens at London’s Jack Studio Theatre tomorrow.

The White Rose, written and directed by Ross McGregor, artistic director of the Arrows & Traps Theatre Company, is based on a true story.

It recounts the final days of Sophie Scholl, a 21-year-old student, who led the only major act of German civil disobedience during the Second World War.

Sophie, along with her brother Hans, published underground anti-Nazi leaflets calling for the peaceful overthrow of Hitler.

This timely and provocative play tells her story and explores the role that German citizens played in the rise of Hitler.

This play examines the moral strength and courage that led a group of young people to risk their lives for a righteous, dangerous cause.

The production marks the 75th anniversary of Sophie Scholl’s execution.

Said Ross: “Two of the most exciting things for me about this project is that it’s such a powerful true story.

“And this story – about youth in revolt – seems such a timely piece to do right now, particularly when you look at all the courageous young people marching against Trump, and Right Wing powers. 

“The second, more personal element, is that the entire cast, bar one, are returning members of the company, which is so lovely for me, as we’re building a rep ensemble of returning players who already have a basis of working together in the past – and I’m honoured to have them return for this one.

“I really do think, regardless of how good the play is or isn’t, Sophie’s story is incredible.

“For its bravery and strength in the face of brutality, it’s possibly one of the best stories no-one’s ever heard. 

“In Germany, Scholl is a heroine, 190 schools are named after her, streets and plazas in her honour – one of the other members – Alex Schmorell – was even made a saint, but it’s not part of our consciousness.

“I thought it would be a super time to tell her story”

Sophie Scholl was born in 1921. She was a skilled artist, and a shaping factor in her
political outlook was her friendship with so-called ‘degenerate’ modern artists whose work didn’t exalt the “blood and soil” values of militaristic Germany.

Scholl enrolled at the University of Munich in 1942, where her brother Hans was studying medicine, and started socialising with a group drawn together by their love of art, literature and music.

Increasingly, they found themselves discussing politics and decided something must be done.

The White Rose stars newcomer Lucy Ioannou as Sophie. She is joined by Cornelia Baumann, Freddie Cambanakis, Conor Moss, Will Pinchin, Pearce Sampson, Alex Stevens, Christopher Tester and Beatrice Vincent.

The White Rose runs at the Brockley Jack Studio Theatre, from tomorrow (in preview) until August 4.

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