Alice de Sousa cre­ates a play that brings he­roes of the Holo­caust into the lime­light

The Jewish Chronicle - - News -

AWARD-WINNING ac­tress Alice de Sousa is stag­ing a play about a Por­tuguese Righ­teous Gen­tile who saved the lives of thou­sands of Jews dur­ing the Holo­caust.

Aris­tides — the Out­cast Hero tells the story of Aris­tides de Sousa Men­des, who disobeyed his gov­ern­ment and is­sued 30,000 tran­sit visas to refugees seek­ing to es­cape the Nazis.

Ms de Sousa, 42, of the Galleon The­atre Com­pany, has writ­ten and starred in more than 100 plays, but de­scribes her lat­est cre­ation as par­tic­u­larly poignant.

She tells Peo­ple: “The idea came to me four years ago, and I started do­ing some re­search. I be­came gripped by the ex­traor­di­nary story of such brav­ery, which has been some­what ne­glected.

“What Aris­tides de Sousa Men­des did was a great deed and al­though his ac­tions have been recog­nised in Is­rael and Amer­ica, his story re­mains largely un­known in Bri­tain.” The play, which opened at the Green­wich Play­house on Tues­day, stars Barry Davies who has worked on and ap­peared in Hol­ly­wood films such as Schindler’s List, The Pi­anist, The Man Who Cried and The Mer­chant of Venice.

Born in Por­tu­gal, Ms de Sousa grad­u­ated from Lon­don’s South Bank Uni­ver­sity with a de­gree in EEC law in 1995. In 2005, she won the Amer­i­can Bi­o­graph­i­cal In­sti­tute’s Great Women of the 21st Cen­tury award and Woman of the Year 2005.

She was also short­listed for the Por­tuguese Gov­ern­ment’s il­lus­tri­ous award Prémio de Ta­lento 2006, in recog­ni­tion of her the­atri­cal pro­duc­tions of Por­tuguese lit­er­a­ture.

She lives in Green­wich, Lon­don.

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