The New Venture Players and Brentwood Theatre bring us the story of a teenage girl who is making the most of a bad situation as she is hiding away from the Nazi’s during World War 2.
‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ is written by Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett and based on the life and times of Anne Frank, written down in her diary during her life time. The night is a fast track review of her life between July 1942 and July 1944, focusing on key moments in her diary.
The story of Anne Frank can be a difficult one to watch, with isolation and the fear of capture central to the whole performance. Throughout the show various sounds are played in the background, reminding us of the world outside.
The cast is fronted by Claire Hilder as Anne Frank and she is, in every sense of the word, the star of this piece. Claire does an excellent job of depicting the frustrations and fears of the girl hidden away from the rising threat of the Nazis, while also portraying her childhood nature and the comedy that arises from the situation and family life.
David Lintin plays Mr Frank, portraying him as the cornerstone of the family. David’s performance got better throughout the night, as you could see him gaining confidence. He was able to switch between different emotions very quickly, reflecting the sudden mood changes that come from living in such an unstable environment.
Richard Spong plays Peter Van Daan, the only boy hiding with the family, and he does an excellent job of showing how being labelled a Jew affected a child’s feelings and confidence. Throughout the night we see the character’s confidence grow.
All the other actors did a wonderful job of portraying the different characters and personalities of all the people in hiding. With the help of props and costumes they showed us how life was so hard for them and how little they had.
The Brentwood Theatre environment was perfect for this production, with approximately 150 seats; the small space helped the audience feel that they were part of the performance and hiding in the loft with the Franks and their guests. The spotlights were used with great effect, focusing the audience’s attention on one character while allowing the other characters to continue in the background.
Anne Frank was only on for 3 nights, the last night is tonight (11/10/14)
Mr Frank – David Lintin
Miep Gies – Lorna Fassenfelt
Mrs Van Daan – Laura Fava
Mr Van Dann – Peter Baker
Peter Van Daan – Richard Spong
Mrs Frank – Debbie Ann Shears
Margot Frank – Sophie Howlett
Anne Frank – Claire Hilder
Mr Kraler – Craig Witney
Mr Dussel – Barry Howlett
SS Soldier – Ian Russell