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24 September 2014
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The Diary Of Anne Frank
Tamsin Grieg as Edith Frank

The Diary Of Anne Frank

Tamsin Greig plays Edith Frank

Award-winning actress Tamsin Greig, who is well known for her roles in The Archers, Love Soup and The Green Wing, plays Edith Frank, Anne's troubled and often misunderstood mother.


Speaking about the role, Tamsin says: "Being asked to play Edith Frank, Anne's mother, was an enormously exciting challenge and responsibility. The script by Deborah Moggach was utterly faithful to the spirit of Anne's writing in her diary, but also captured the reality of difficult and strained parental relationships in extraordinary circumstances."


Anyone who has ever read Anne's diary will be well aware of the tensions between mother and daughter, but Tamsin says she wanted to delve deeper into Edith's character: "In her diary, Anne mostly writes with dislike and frustration about her mother, so it was important for me to draw on other contemporary accounts in order to paint a fuller picture of Edith.


"Personal accounts from survivors of the death camps agreed that however troubled their relationship had been, in Auschwitz, Edith and her daughters were inseparable.


"I had the privilege of meeting Anne Frank's only surviving cousin, Buddy Elias, who had known her as a child, when he visited the set during filming. He commented that Edith was 'a very good mother', despite Anne's contradictory opinion, and this helped me enormously in finding a fuller perspective on this unhappy woman."


Taking part in a series where everyone knows the outcome of the story is not always easy for actors, as Tamsin explains: "As actors, we needed to remind ourselves always that our characters did not know the end of the story. This adaptation only covers the weeks and months in the annex and ends on the day of their arrest. But these eight people lived as though this was a temporary horror from which they would at some point be freed.


"The annex of Otto Frank's business, where the two families hid for more than two years, was faithfully rebuilt as a set in studio. It became our living and working space. None of the walls could be removed to make filming easier, which established a tangible sense of a real living space, contained and claustrophobic.


"This was an extraordinary experience, unforgettable in many ways, and a real honour to be part of the telling of such a poignant and powerful story."






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