October 15, 2007

New Anne Frank drama to air on BBC

The BBC is to dramatise the diary of Anne Frank, the German Jewish girl forced to hide from the Nazis in an Amsterdam attic, in a series that will be shown across a week.

BBC1 will schedule the five 30-minute episodes of The Diary of Anne Frank - which will be made by Darlow Smithson Productions, the company behind Oscar-winning documentary Touching the Void - in pre-watershed slot early next year. The drama will follow the scheduling model of Bleak House, which was broadcast in the same way after EastEnders in December 2005 and proved a success, pulling in 6 million viewers.

Deborah Moggach, whose credits include the recent film version of Pride and Prejudice, wrote the new Anne Frank drama. It will tell Frank's story from before the days she was forced into hiding with her family and friends in a secret annex above a warehouse and through the two years they spent in the cramped and increasingly harsh conditions.

Frank will be played by relative newcomer Ellie Kendrick, with her father Otto played by Kingdom of Heaven's Iain Glen. Green Wing's Tamsin Gregg will play Frank's mother Edith, while Cape Wrath's Felicity Jones will star as Frank's sister Margot Frank.

Executive producer John Smithson said: "This is one of those wonderful iconic stories that resonates to this day and we are thrilled to have secured the rights. The Diary of Anne Frank is an intimate portrayal of a family living through the most horrifying times but yet managing to maintain a sense of hope. We wanted audiences to identify with all the characters in the story - particularly Anne, who as a bright, funny, energetic teenager, today still seems entirely modern."

The BBC commissioning editor, Polly Hill, added: "Despite the horrors of the time and the ultimate tragedy of this family, Anne was a teenage girl, recognisable the world over, having to cope with the usual problems of growing up - albeit in extraordinary circumstances. We hope this drama will bring Anne alive to viewers of all generations."

Darlow Smithson acquired the rights to the diary from the Anne Frank Fonds, the body that administers the copyright to Frank's writings.

The Diary of Anne Frank is said to be the world's most widely read work of non-fiction after the Bible.

Media Guardian

1 comment:

Mr McVitie said...

Excellent. Should be required viewing for everyone.