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Broken Instruments is a unique storytelling and musical experience. Told through the writings of fictitious character, Ari Vander, it chronicles true events which took place during the Holocaust, and which made survival possible through the power of music. Broken Instruments helps keep alive, the stories of suffering, gross injustices and prejudice which still permeate society today, but essentially, it is a story of optimism and hope for a better future.

The idea for this creative work came from accomplished musician and songwriter Phil Baggaley. He invited veteran actor and writer William Varnam to work with him to produce a story and script. With newcomer singer songwriter Nina Blaszczyk, they became newly formed under the company name Broken Instruments appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the first time together in the summer of 2023. The show premiered with sell out performances at the DEDA Theatre in Derby. Invitations have come from a wide range of regional venues, which have included a Multi-Faith Centre, a Synagogue and the National Holocaust Centre and Museum.

“The live performance on Roma Sinti Holocaust Memorial Day, superseded expectations. The hauntingly beautiful songs and music echoed emotively around the Pears Memorial Hall, captivating the audience and staff alike. The performance was a myriad of emotion and well deserving of the standing ovation.” – National Holocaust Centre and Museum.

For more information on the Broken Instruments programme, go to:


Listen to the Broken Instruments title track:

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