by Peter Arnott
February-March 2013 – Tower Mill Theatre, Heart of Hawick; Tron Theatre, Glasgow; Lochside, Castle Douglas; Eastgate Theatre, Peebles; The Brunton, Musselburgh; Wynd Theatre, Melrose; Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Peter Arnott’s acclaimed play tells the tale of female Russian World War II fighter pilot Lily Litvak, the so-called ‘White Rose of Stalingrad’. White Rose, unseen since its hugely successful debut at the 1985 Edinburgh Festival, is a powerful triangular love story about men and women fighting in the air, on the ground and in the bedroom.
One thousand extremely talented women pilots volunteered for the Red Air Force during the Second World War. An impressive thirty Citations of Hero of the Soviet Union went to women pilots, and three regiments of the Air Force were made up entirely of women, some of whom, like Lily, became legendary combat pilots.
Seen from the point of view of Lily and her mechanic Ina, two women in a male-dominated world, White Rose offers an insight into modern warfare and concepts of patriotism that are as relevant today as they were then, within an exciting, moving and thought-provoking theatrical experience.
“A gem of a play…by a gem of a company. Highly recommended” Fringe Review
“Lesley Harcourt gives a compelling performance as the White Rose of Stalingrad” The Times
“A visceral, thrilling and triumphant piece of theatre” Exeunt Magazine
“The play under the smooth direction of Richard Baron is a fitting and timeous spotlight on yet more forgotten women whose important roles in life and history have been redacted” Edinburgh Guide
“An engaging, thought-provoking and evocative slice of theatre … Firebrand deserve all the praise they can get for deciding to resurrect White Rose” STV
“A fascinating piece of work now revived at last by the enterprising young Borders-based company Firebrand” The Scotsman
“All three actors deliver rich and nuanced characters…Baron’s production boasts consistent quality” tvbomb
“Scottish theatre is about much more than Black Watch and The Steamie…It is great to see companies reviving work like this. White Rose is a proper two act play written by a proper Scottish playwright about proper dramatic events set outside Scotland but with a tremendous amount to say about sexual politics now…I enjoyed this immensely” Fringe Review