The diary of Anne Frank is more than a sacred book of murdered innocence, a testimony of the Shoah that commands compulsory awe and an untouchable monument that seems to derive its importance especially from the fact that it keeps alive a memory of an obscure episode in our past. Approaching the book in this way does not do justice to the author. She writes on subjects that are much more universal than the specific interest of the historical context that has completely overshadowed her work. Despite the inhuman conditions in which she wrote it, her book smells extremely human. It is the testimony of a young woman with nascent feelings that are extremely uncomfortable in the strange situation in which she finds herself. It is the account of a bizarre experiment, in which people are locked up for years in a space and have little contact with the outside world of which they only know that it is extremely hostile. The secret lodging that Anne Frank has described in her book, is a claustrophobic laboratory of emotions, fears, hostility, hope and despair, which are all too human in their inhuman magnification.
Now that the copyright has expired, seventy years after the author’s death, the time is ripe for a free adaptation of the story that Anne Frank wrote and for an interpretation of the most candid version of her diary, in which the human element is placed in the foreground. This play offers an intimate and disturbing staging of the claustrophobic miniature society in the secret lodging. This work of fiction seeks the ambiguity and embarrassment in the mutual relations of the victims, who in their relationships to each other in this extreme situation can also become guilty. That is the true drama of the secret lodging. This is what this play wants to make visible, audible and tangible. And this discomfort is investigated by the unsettling perspective of a girl who, despite everything, becomes a woman. This is the approach that does justice to Anne Frank.
Premiere: 11 November 2017, Stadsschouwburg Haarlem, Haarlem.
Actors: Anne van der Burg, Hajo Bruins, Oda Spelbos, Raymonde de Kuyper, Cees Geel, Marie Louise Stheins, Michiel Nooter, Joost Koning en Amarenske Haitsma.
Direction: Johan Doesburg.
Company: Hummelinck Stuurman Theaterproducties.