Production 80 The Diary of Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne FrankDramatised by Francis Goodrich & Albert Hackett

 

Performed on Thu 16th to Sat 18th May 1974 at The Little Theatre

 

The Cast

The Cast

Mr. Frank Tony Kilshawe
Miep Gibbs Gill Watson
Mrs. Van Daan Sarah Roantree
Mr. Van Daan Peter Ashton
Peter Van Daan Robert Johnston
Mrs. Frank Bessie Rich
Margot Frank Brenda Smith
Anne Frank Sue Watson
Mr. Kraler Jim Smith
Mr. Dussel Peter Bowers

Cast of The Diary of Anne FrankCast of The Diary of Anne Frank

 

View the Gallery

View the Gallery

 

Previews/Reviews

Previews/Reviews

The Diary of Anne Frank

Drama of World War 2

The Guild Players have chosen a drama of World War Two for their play next month. The Diary of Anne Frank is a true story of the more than two years in which two Jewish families hid in an attic from the Gestapo. One of the promising young actresses emerging from Tony Kilshawe;s Drama School is Sue Watson and she will play Anne Frank. Susan is the daughter of Gill Watson, for long a first-class member of The Guild Players. Gill will also have a part in the production.

Cast of The Diary of Anne Frank

Dramatic Debut a Triumph for Sue Watson

The Guild Players turned back the pages of history to the dark days of World War Two for their production of The Diary of Anne Frank at The Little Theatre last week. This poignant dramatisation of a Jewish girl in the shadow of the Gestapo is a personal triumph for Sue Watson who played the title role. Susan, a pupil of Dover Grammar School for Girls, revealed a rare dramatic expression.
This was Sue Watson’s acting debut, and no young actress could have a more challenging part than the schoolgirl who becomes a woman in two long years of hiding from the Nazis in an attic. Sue Watson revealed her own maturity, as she developed her character. It is a long, long time since a young newcomer has made so much impact on the local amateur theatre – and I hope she will find time to appear again and again. In this production, no doubt because of the warm-hearted direction of Tony Kilshawe, she revealed a veteran’s knowledge of stagecraft. The production stood or fell on Susan’s characterisation, and that it was a success is her own personal achievement. Puberty is a difficult thing to express, and even more difficult when the character is submerged by adults huddles together in an attic. Yet Sue Watson gave a perfect portrayal of the tragic Anne Frank, the Jewish schoolgirl, who survived the Gestapo for two ghastly years – only to die in a concentration camp as the Allies hammered on the frontiers of Germany. Another talented youngster in the cast was Robert Johnson, as a Jewish youth. His performance was beautifully related to that of Sue Watson’s and, again, revealed an innate understanding of theatre. The rest of the cast were – and I am sure they did not mind – dominated by the two youngsters. Nonetheless, all of them turned in worthwhile performances. Tony Kilshawe was well assured as the organiser of the hideout, and Bessie Smith was sympathetic as his wife: she had a fine moment when she turned on another in the attic who had been caught stealing food. Sarah Roantree excelled as a proud Jewish wife who seemed unable to relate her peril to the loss of belongings, and Peter Ashton – who never turns in a poor performance – had a more interesting character than he has had of late. Peter Bowes was able to bring out a dramatic performance as luckless Dussel, a late‑comer to the hideout, and he took his scenes extremely well. Gill Watson, Brenda Smith and Jim Smith contributed to the success of this production, which, I am pleased to say, attracted capacity audiences.

Tony Arnold
Published in the East Kent Mercury May 23rd 1974

Production Team

Production Team

Director Tony Kilshawe
Front of House Alan Cresswell
Stage Director Peter Eckersley
Stage Manager Doris Cohen
Lighting Colin Taverner
Sound Effects Arthur Laffar
Box Office Glenys Cresswell
Bar Peter Dunkley
Buffet Vera Eckersley

Sue Watson as Anne FrankCast of The Diary of Anne Frank