Written in 1955 by playwrights Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, this stage play is based on The Diary of Anne Frank, which explores the lives of a group of Jewish people who lived in hiding from Nazi persecution in Amsterdam between 1942 –1944.
The play focuses on the tensions which arise as a group of people are forced to live under confined conditions in a small apartment, and their courage and desperate need for survival.
Justina Ward delivers a vibrant performance as Anne Frank and the powerful direction of Sam Thomas has extruded emotionally charged performances from the ensemble cast. Anne Frank’s outspoken and vivacious nature provides many humorous moments and a breakaway from the horror and uncertainty that audiences will experience for these characters.
The intimacy of the fringe theatre and a small stage cluttered with basic furniture and props effectively resonates the extremities in living conditions, and audiences are seemingly on stage as the story unfolds. The frightening last moments of the play as the Nazis discover the hiding place are intensified by clever lighting techniques – a finale audiences will not soon forget.
Compelling and insightful, this story of discrimination and racial intolerance is a fine tribute to the millions of Jews who perished in one of the darkest chapters in history. (MMo)
Until July 11, New Theatre, 542 King Street Newtown, $17 – $32, Bookings: 02 9519 3403 or newtheatre.org.au