The Diary of Anne Frank
26th March 2015
Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds
Type of Production
Manda Lister and Michael Lockwood
Author: Christine Castle
The tragic story of Anne Frank and her amazing diary, describing her, her family (and assorted friends) and their hiding place in the centre of Amsterdam (under the noses of the enemy) has always held a certain fascination for me and many others over the years. Never more poignantly than this year, as we commemorate 70 years since the end of World War Two. Leeds Children's Theatre took the bold step to present this sorrowful tale as their Spring Production, having recruited adult actors to support the three young actors for the play - and an excellent choice it turned out to be.
Under the skilful direction of Manda Lister and Michael Lockwood, the production kept the audience spellbound throughout. The set had been perfectly designed to give a claustrophobic feel - the actors bumping and climbing over each other, getting on each other's nerves, as we felt the awfulness of their situation become more and more apparent. Anne Frank, played touchingly by Maddy Miller, was the 'narrator' of the play, which gave us a perfect insight into the eventual hopelessness of the situation. All the actors, without exception, gave first-class performances - their diction was clear and expertly delivered throughout - and no prompt!
The whole evening was a real team effort, with a fascinating exhibiton of the life of Anne Frank held in the Millenium Room of the Theatre. The technical team gave the play a most professional 'look', of which they should be proud, as I am aware they work to a very tight budget. I understand that a Saturday morning workshop provides young people with a chance to hone their acting skills and long may that continue if this very high standard is to be maintained. A thought-provoking evening for your very appreciative audience and one that remained with me for some days afterwards.
My sincere congratulations to the entire team and I wish them well for their future productions.