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Jack Hunt School teacher to perform poignant one man show in school then debut at Edinburgh Fringe 2024

Peterborough teacher of Jack Hunt School, Peterborough, will showcase the poignant and powerful play "Confessions of a Butterfly," a deeply moving exploration of the Holocaust through the eyes of Dr. Janusz Korczak, a renowned broadcaster, writer, and educationist.

Written and performed by Mr Jonathan Salt, a specialist in Holocaust and Genocide education, the play will be staged at Jack Hunt School and following this, it will be performed at the Edinburgh Fringe.


Mr Salt brings his expertise and passion to this production, with Peterborough Keys Academies Trust (PKAT) sponsoring the play. Salt himself will embody the role of Janusz Korczak in this one-man show, performing for Year 9, Year 12, and the public on Wednesday 10th July 7pm followed by Q&A at 8.30pm.


Mr Salt said: “As an actor it is an immense privilege to play someone who existed, but especially someone of the calibre of Janusz Korczak.   He is one of the giants of humanity of the 20th Century, but relatively unknown in the UK.   He is someone I’ve known about for over twenty years and has had a huge impact on my teaching.   It is going to be very special to introduce him in this way to students at the school.   We have taught about him in previous years; however, this is going to be something quite different for the students.”


Mr Jon Hebblethwaite, Headteacher of Jack Hunt School said: “We are privileged to benefit from Jonathan's 20 years of teaching experience and his expertise in Holocaust and genocide education. His dedication to this project is a guarantee of its success.”


A Historical Tragedy Revisited

On the morning of August 4th, 1942, the Nazis forcibly removed over 4,000 children from the Warsaw Ghetto, ultimately sending them to their deaths at Treblinka. Among these were approximately 200 children from an orphanage led by Dr. Janusz Korczak. Eyewitnesses recount how Korczak, a paragon of courage and dedication, led his children through the chaotic streets, singing and carrying their orphanage banner, placing their complete trust in him. Despite numerous opportunities to save himself, Korczak chose to stay with his children until the very end.


A Play Based on Historical Diaries

"Confessions of a Butterfly" is set on the day before these tragic events. The narrative unfolds in Korczak’s room at the orphanage, where he reflects on the world's state and the treatment of children in times of conflict. The children, with their innocent yet profound interruptions, bring the story to life – one with a wobbly tooth, another with a fight, and the haunting story of Abrasha. The play, inspired by Korczak's "The Ghetto Diaries" and other writings, resonates with his timeless messages of love and justice.


About the Playwright


Mr Salt penned "Confessions of a Butterfly" in 2012, when it was first performed in London.


He said: “For this play, I conducted extensive research, including collaborations with the Korczak archives in Warsaw, and wrote much of it in Oswiecim, near Auschwitz.”


He has a rich history in educational programs related to the Holocaust and has worked extensively in Rwanda. His upcoming book, “The Lion Who Roared in the Dark,” recounts the heroic efforts of Damas Gisimba during the Rwandan Genocide.


Previous Works and Achievements


Mr Salt has brought four productions to the Edinburgh Fringe. In 2002, he staged "My England" by Clifford Oliver at the Pleasance, and in 2003, "One for the Road" by Harold Pinter at the Underbelly, both with Ojemba Productions. In 2005, he brought the St. Ives Youth Theatre to Edinburgh with the musical "Korczak" by Nick Stimson and Chris Williams, and in 2007, the musical "Vision" by Dominic Hartley and Jonathan Smith.


Don’t miss the chance to experience this compelling portrayal of courage, love, and unwavering moral integrity. "Confessions of a Butterfly" promises to be one of the most thought-provoking and heartfelt productions at Jack Hunt School and at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.


Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth said: “In October 2012, our community staged Confessions of a Butterfly over two nights.  On both occasions our large audiences were exceptionally moved and inspired by this outstandingly impactful production.   Jonathan Salt’s exceptional portrayal of Janusz Korczak was followed by Q&A sessions which were highly informative and enriching.  Confessions of a Butterfly is one of the finest productions we have staged in our community centre and I cannot recommend it highly enough.”

For further information, please contact Jack Hunt School on 01733 263526 or email Mr Salt directly at

With thanks to Ciaran Cunningham for all photography credits.