The Diary of Anne Frank

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The Diary of Anne Frank is a 1955 play by the American playwright couple Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. It is a stage adaptation of the the war-time diary of Anne Frank [1]. The play premiered at the Cort Theatre on Broadway on 5 October 1955 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama [2] in the same year.

Published in London by Blackie, 1970.

The original text

The play is based on the war-time diary of the 13-year old Dutch girl Anne Frank (born in June 1929 and died in February 1945, aged 15 years): Het Achterhuis: Dagboekbrieven 14 Juni 1942 – 1 Augustus 1944 ("The Annex: Diary Notes 14 June 1942 – 1 August 1944"), also known as The Diary of a Young Girl [3].

Translations and adaptations

Translated into Afrikaans as Die Dagboek van Anne Frank by Fred Nel in 1972.

Translated into Afrikaans also as Die Dagboek van Anne Frank by Hannes Horne in 1977.

Performance history in South Africa

1957: First staged in South Africa in two different productions, one in Cape Town and the other in Johannesburg: The production by the Cockpit Players opened in the Hofmeyr Theatre in Cape Town on the 7th of January, ran for seven weeks and broke every box-office and other theatre records at the time. It was directed by Leonard Schach and the cast included Joyce Bradley, Johann Nell, Joss Ackland and Felicity Bosman. The production was then taken on a national tour (including performances in March at the Port Elizabeth Opera House) with The Rainmaker.

The production for the Johannesburg Reps was directed by Minna Schneier with the following cast: Bodil Brink (Anne Frank), Victor Lucas (Otto Frank), Berdine Grünewald (Mrs Frank), Evelyn Frank (Margot Frank), Michael Turner (van Daan), Betty McKay (Mrs. van Daan), Edwin Quail (Peter van Daan), Arthur Hall (Dussel), Ester Stein (Miep) and Leonard Carey (Kraler). Significantly these two South African productions coincided with those in 24 other cities worldwide.

1972: Die Dagboek van Anne Frank, an Afrikaans translation by Fred Nel, was performed by the University Theatre of Stellenbosch in the H.B. Thom Theatre in May/June, directed by Fred Nel (assisted by Dawie Malan), with Pieter Bredenkamp (Mnr Frank), Brenda du Toit (Miep), Jeannine le Roux (Mev van Daan), Robin Malan (Mnr van Daan), Deon Bosman (Peter van Daan), Lois Malan (Margot), Ben Dehaeck (Mnr Kraler), Lottie Jansen van Rensburg (Mev Frank), Bettie Kemp (Anne) and Johann van Heerden (Mnr Dussel). Décor by Emile Aucamp, lighting by Marilyn Simpson and costumes by Elaine Aucamp.

1970-1975?: Performed at the Masque Theatre in Muizenberg, directed by Hymie Shapiro.

1977: Die Dagboek van Anne Frank, an Afrikaans translation by Hannes Horne, was staged by PACT in April, directed by Leonard Schach, with Nigel Vermaas (Mnr Frank), Trudie Taljaard (Miep Gies), Louise Mollett-Prinsloo (Mev van Daan), David van der Merwe Mnr van Daan), Gerben Kamper (Peter van Daan), Jan Prinsloo (Mnr Kraler), Petru Wessels (Mev Frank), Elise Hibbert (Margot Frank), Harriet Pienaar (Anne) and Don Lamprecht (Mnr Dussel). Decor by Frank Graves and costumes by Antoinette Lombaard.

1978: Produced by the Rhodes University Drama Department, directed by Roy Sargeant, with Janet Connor (Janet Buckland), Mary-Anne Naudé, Andrew Buckland and others in the cast, in August.

1979: The Diary of Anne Frank was directed by Roger Dwyer for CAPAB Drama at the Nico Malan Theatre starring Keith Grenville, Diane Wilson, Melanie-Ann Sher, opening 28 September. Designs by Penny Simpson, lighting by John T. Baker.


UTS theatre programme, May 1972.

PACT theatre programme, 1977.

Anastasia programme notes, 1979; CAPAB 1979.

Inskip, 1977. p 121, 127.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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