Souvenir d'Anne Frank

History of the project:

‘Development sessions’ for Souvenir d'Anne Frank were held at the Farnham Maltings, during July and August 2009, funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Spelthorne Borough Council, and Ensemble. We explored the interplay of live music, text, song, movement, light and moving imagery, to create an original theatre language.

The development period was highly experimental, and tested the relationship of the performance of music with text, movement and image. Using a Brechtian ‘Epic Theatre’ form, documentary was interwoven with metaphor, and a poetic sense of memory, time and space. Musical pathways and arcs were drawn with Noh and Kabuki techniques. We told the fascinating stories of Mr Yamamuro and the ‘Souvenir d’Anne Frank’ rose, Anne’s own story in her words, and the stories of her rescuer Miep Gies, and of her father, Otto.

Audience feedback from the presentation of development work

“Congratulations on this piece... I have seen many Anne Frank inspired productions but this was something different and special. It was also an extremely enlightening feedback session. Great to hear a genuine and honest response from members of the audience, especially young people, really understanding why Anne's story should still be told...really getting it's relevance to here and now. It was also pleasing to hear their praise for an excellent piece of work. The Brechtian influence was inspired and the music is tremendous...This is such a timely piece. We (The Anne Frank Trust UK) have been searching for a creative piece to get behind for many years...the right piece just hasn't materialised but that has changed with this.”

Jamie Arden: National Programmes Manager, The Anne Frank Trust UK

“...The whole thing was very powerful and emotional and I thought the theatrical style enhanced the music, which is wonderful...”

Rina Rosselson: Aged 76

“...The tenderness with which Miep regards Anne is so moving; as if in some way by holding this precious child in her consciousness she could save her. As an audience we know what fate has in store for Anne, but she doesn’t. Her diary, although specific to the situation she is in, also reflects the universal hopes and dreams of any young girl, at any time in history on the brink of womanhood. The play must surely resonate with all young girls who have their “annex”, a private place within which they dream their life to come.”

Pauline Hodson: Psychotherapist

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A word from Buddy Elias

“I am deeply impressed by Ensemble's Souvenir d'Anne Frank project. It is in my opinion not only an educational production of high value to young people, but an amazingly fascinating theatrical and musical event, that I will never forget. The collaborative painting workshop is another addition to this project, which will surely influence everyone attending it in a most humanistic way in the ideals of my cousin Anne Frank. I wish Souvenir d'Anne Frank all the success it deserves.”

Buddy Elias
Präsident ANNE FRANK-Fonds
Steinengraben 18, CH-4051 Basel

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  • Production

Souvenir d'Anne Frank is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England www.artscouncil.org.uk, Spelthorne Borough Council, the Anne Frank Fonds, and our project partners the Anne Frank Trust UK, Zion Arts Centre and York Theatre Royal.

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  • Spelthorne
  • Anne Frank Trust UK
  • Zion Arts Centre
  • York Theatre
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