The Edelweiss Pirates by Step on Stage Productions

by Ayub Khan Din
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Part of NT Connections

GERMANY 1943. The Second World War rages into its fourth year. All internal opposition has been viciously silenced and the population follow blindly behind Adolf Hitler and his policies of total war and domination.

Though the majority of young Germans have been brainwashed into Nazi party policies from an early age, others are becoming disgruntled by the lack of basic freedoms, tired of every aspects of their lives being dictated by the state; from what they are allowed to do in their free time, to who is acceptable to the Nazi state, to call a friend.

Around Germany, small groups of youth form themselves into societies. Some just to listen and dance to banned music and be with like minded teenagers. Others are becoming more aware that it is they, the youth of the country, who have to start resisting the Nazis, in whatever what they can. One such group are THE EDELWEISS PIRATES of Cologne.

A group who have found the courage to say no, enough is enough. There are still people in Germany with a conscience and moral convictions to stand up to the regime even though they may have to pay a terrible price for their convictions.


Ayub Khan Din was born in 1961 and grew up in Salford. After leaving school he worked briefly as a hairdresser before enrolling in drama school, where he wrote his first stage play, East is East (1997), for Tamasha Theatre Company. It was first staged at the Royal Court Theatre in London and has been produced many times since. It was subsequently adapted by Ayub into a highly successful feature film. Both play and film have won numerous awards including Evening Standard Best Film Award, the Writers’ Guild Award for Best New Writer, Best West End Play and the John Whiting Award for Best Stage Play. West Is West, a sequel film, was released in 2010.

Other plays include All the Way Home, produced at the Lowry Theatre, Salford and Rafta Rafta (2007), an adaptation of Bill Naughton’s 1960s story All in Good Time, which was first produced at the National Theatre, London and then by the New Group in New York. Rafta Rafta won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2008. Ayub’s screen adaptation of All in Good Time was released as a feature film in 2012.

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