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“a production that constantly distracts us from the work and ahead of it all is a director who seems to think she’s more important than the play she is directing…Is Keiley trying to establish that we are in a theatre and the actors are putting on a play? HUH? I know it’s billed as Schulick Children’s Plays and therefore part of the family experience, but have a bit of faith in the intelligence of your audience!”
“Each of the actors tells us which character he or she will be playing: a sort of counter-alienation effect that accords the experiences we are about to witness an additional layer of respect. By acknowledging that the people on stage are merely players, it paradoxically frees us to respond to the real people they represent.”
“This production – ordinary and extraordinary in every way – is part of the Schulich Children’s Plays series at Stratford Festival. I can’t imagine a child or an adult who won’t have their life deeply enriched by seeing it.”
“Anne is truly a self-centered teen, incapable of reading the dread and anxiety that is weighing down her mother – impeccably conveyed from start to finish by Lucy Peacock – and this makes her unlikeable and nowhere near the sentimentalized heroine we are meant to idolize…. Sara Farb delightfully recreates Anne’s spirit in both her flippant impertinence and later maturity.”
“Sara Farb continues her winning streak of Stratford performances with an Anne who is honest and feisty and totally real, someone we love because of her faults, not despite them. Shannon Taylor is fragile perfection as her sister Margot, Lucy Peacock has never seemed more touching or vulnerable than she is here as Mrs. Frank.”
“The task [director Jillian Keiley] gives herself is more demanding, more risky, but the rewards are commensurate with the challenge and effort…Keiley isn’t so much concerned with historical verisimilitude — how do you begin to tell the tragedy of six million deaths? — as with the metaphor of dream turned into nightmare.”
“The set by Bretta Gerecke is pure genius. Wooden slats that make up the walls and doors convey the sparsity of their living conditions… Farb is tasked with bringing the girl we all know so intimately to life on stage..In every moment she is really magnificent.”
“Each cast member wonderfully portrays the simultaneous hope and frustration of their sequestration, with Farb, tasked with the lion’s share of the work, winning us over with her eventually charming feistiness. Stratford has created a play that hits so deeply inside, it almost feels wrong to applaud at the end, and the impact of Anne Frank’s story remains just as powerful as when it was first published.”