And what a wonderful play this is - beautifully directed by Nikolai Foster who does real justice to the original material. From the minute you enter the gorgeous Grand Theatre - you are whisked back in time and the atmosphere is claustrophobic and eerie.
This places you in the world of the Frank and the Vann Daan family and conveys the fear of being found in the famous secret annexe and this is all before the actors step foot onto the stage. Rain drops fall from the rafters which adds even authenticity to the proceedings.
Morgan Large's evocative and and cramped stage design affects you deeply, as you immediately imagine yourself in the family's position. The two beds which the actors move, when required shows different rooms, and gives the feeling of just how small the annexe would have been.
The cast are all superb, and the piece is perfectly cast - with Amy Dawson in the title role. This gifted actress captures Anne's knowing wit, yet stunted youthfulness efforltessly - it seemes. She is matched beautifully by Robert Galas who plays the young Peter Van Daan.
As well as informing the audience of historical events and providing them with a context, the play also paints a picture of family life in the most awful and frightening situations. This adds a universal appeal to the play so works well for audiences of all ages.
Nikolai Foster's Diary of Anne Frank is emotionally charged throughout and a reminder of something that we should always remember. It is acted with grace, dignity and respect and is an umissable play, as a result.
- Debbie O'Hare