Holocaust horrors brought to life

By Harriet Ernstsons Tuesday 24 April 2012 Updated: 24/04 14:52

The Diary of Anne Frank, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Tuesday, March 6

PERHAPS the most well-known personal account of the Holocaust was brought to life on the Grand's stage this week.

The evening followed the story of the inhabitants of the secret annexe for two years during the Second World War with the diary entries made by Anne, aged 13 at the time of going into hiding, used as the basis for the play.

The clear focus was on the characters and how they coped with the confinement, lack of space and news from the outside world. It meant while the audience was clearly aware of the bigger picture, everyone was drawn in to the lives of the two families involved. This worked well as, while it is important to realise the scale of the atrocities, it hit home more as you saw how the war had taken its toll on the teenager.

The set itself was cleverly designed, with movable furniture meaning different rooms within the annexe were portrayed without changing the set. Having all of the main characters on stage throughout the play also added to the feeling of confinement and all the performances were faultless throughout.

While the evening was undoubtedly moving, there were lighter movements - with Anne's strength of character showing through as she attempted to keep the spirits of her family up.

All in all, the play felt as if it was pitched just right to serve as not only a interesting piece of drama, but also a poignant reminder of the horror endured by the ordinary people who made up just a handful of the millions affected.

Harriet Ernstsons

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