Aristides – The Outcast Hero celebrates the true story of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese Consul in Bordeaux in 1940, who disobeyed his government and issued an estimated 30,000 visas to Jews and other persecuted minorities – political dissidents, army officers from occupied countries, priests and nuns – so they could cross the border to neutral Spain and flee Nazi persecution. His selfless, humanitarian actors represent one of the most significant life saving efforts undertaken by a single individial during WWII. Posthumously, his altruism has been recognised worldwide but in britain his story remains widely unknown. Family members seeking to clear his name sought to have his story published in magazines and began to contact Jewish visa recipients living in New York. In 1966 de Sousa Mendes was honoured at Israel’s Yad Vashem memorial to the Holocaust as one of the ‘Righteous Among The Nations’.
Galleon Theatre Company’s production promises a though-provoking, inspiring performance that seeks to celebrate an ordinary man who did exceptional things.