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“The house was silent. And there was no reappearance of this wonderful cast. Horror had been shown and a point had been brilliantly made. Unforgettable.”Birmingham Post
Starring David de Keyser,
Lynn Farleigh and Zena Walker
directed by Jonathan Church
designed by Hayden Griffin
lighting by Andy Phillips
In autumn 2000 The Touring Consortium mounted the European premiere of one of the most famous and poignant stories of all time – The Diary of Anne Frank.
It featured for the first time ever, previously censored material omitted from the original publication by Anne’s father, Otto Frank.
This beautifully tender, disturbing and powerful new production was originally produced on Broadway in 1997 where it opened to critical acclaim and was nominated for a Tony Award.
The diary, first published in English in 1952 and considered to be one of the single most important documents of World War II, has been translated into 55 languages and has captured the hearts of readers all over the world. It was first dramatised and produced on Broadway in 1955 and won virtually every theatre award including both the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Best Drama. The play was later made into an Oscar-winning film.
The play is a dramatisation of Anne Frank’s own diaries, her extraordinary account of the years she endured in hiding with family and friends in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.
Wendy Kesselman’s inspired adaptation tells the heart-wrenching story of a spirited, innocent and normal young girl on the brink of her life. A story with a poignancy and importance for all our lives now.
The cast included David de Keyser and Lynn Farleigh as Anne’s parents, Otto and Edith Frank. They were joined by Zena Walker who played the role of Mrs Van Daan. All highly respected actors with a string of film, television and theatre credits to their name they joined a cast of twelve other actors.
The production was directed by Jonathan Church, who was then Associate Director of Hampstead Theatre, with design by Hayden Griffin and lighting design by Andy Phillips. The producers were Jenny King and Ian Stephenson for the Touring Consortium in association with The Arts Council of England.
As with all Touring Consortium productions The Diary of Anne Frank was accompanied by a superb education package for students and teachers at key Stage 3-4, GCSE, A-Level and above.
We also worked with Amnesty International, who provided material for the Resource Pack which accompanied the production and provided speakers related to the plight of political asylum seekers and young people writing letters and diaries from politically volatile parts of the world at that time.
“I knew the tragic ending of the Frank family’s years in hiding, but I never expected a theatrical production to portray the tale so powerfully.”
“From the moment they stepped into their secret annexe I was taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, which left me both laughing and crying.”
“Locked in their world of fear, I was listening with them for those inevitable footsteps on the stairs.”
Cambridge Evening News
“… a sort of docu-theatre. It’s the idea that this is not so much a story as a piece of living history…”
“This version of the teenager’s diary is as remarkable for its lack of sentimentality – particularly in the far from sugary characterisation of Frank herself – as it is for its detailed picture of daily life lived in high-density conditions.”
“Skipping from one area to another, Anne Bedi in the title role depicts a growing teenager who is typically irritating – yet touchingly aware of her shortcomings.”
“A fixed set and stage create a claustraphobic atmosphere, which makes you long, like Anne, for a breath of fresh air, to catch up with your emotions.”
“Anne Bedi puts on a very convincing performance as the young Anne, whose journey into womanhood and troubled relationship with her mother are delicately depicted.”
Cambridge Evening News
“The production is exquisite.”
“This production is a moving and vital part of a monument to those who died during the Holocaust”
“This new production reveals that possibly the greatest hardship the family had to suffer was Anne’s unremitting cheerfulness.”
“In this central role, Anne Bedi gives a bravura performance, subtly maturing from gawky schoolgirl to a young woman coming to terms with her developing sexuality.”
“The rest of the cast form a strong ensemble, admirably conveying the domestic bickering, petty arguments and overwhelming claustrophobia that formed the daily routine.”
Eastern Daily Press
“Otto Frank played by David de Keyser who was the only surviver of the family gave immense feeling to his part and made one aware of his strength and deep commitment to his family and fellow humans.”