Early last term I had the privilege of seeing our own NayCol drama department’s portrayal of a moving WWII story, based on the diary of a girl called Anne Frank. It was certainly a memorable experience and below readers can try a small taste of that night.
On arrival, the setting creates a modest first impression. You wonder if it was worth the money as you join the people loitering behind the arts block.
7:10. Being this early gets you the privilege of milling around in the crowd on the back driveway in gathering darkness, waiting for some confirmation that you have indeed come to the right place.
7:20. You can hand over your ticket to the front of house girls, find your seat, scan the program and make small talk.
7:30. You become gradually aware of a subtle dimming of the lights. All attention is drawn to the stage and a hush descends over the fidgety audience. It begins.
Our little Performing Arts Centre has been transformed, carried to a time and place very different from our own – war ravages Europe, displacing thousands, costing many their very lives. The Nazis are in control, and to rebel could cost you dearly.
This is where we meet our characters: two families and a dentist, Jews displaced and in hiding. The story begins with the Frank family of Otto, Edith, Margot and Anne, the first to try to find comfort and reassurance in the cramped secret attic. While the rest of the family appear anxious and fretful, Anne exudes naivety and fun, calling it “an adventure” and skipping around her new home without a care in the world.
Our cast played their parts expertly, well-researched in their characters. The audience could sense the emotions: anxiety and apprehension, amusement and celebration, tension and frustration, peace and fear in all the right places. The result was a moving performance that made the audience feel less like they were watching the story unfold and more like they were a part of what went on in those dark days.
The casting was excellent, the acting was flawless, the atmosphere was perfect for the story. We are blessed with some incredible talent in Nayland College drama and it’s well worth the $5 to go see a show.
By student contributer Holly Rowe