The play is sponsored by the Netherlands embassy which is celebrating 400 years of Dutch presence in India. They landed in Surat before the Brits. Anne Frank was a 13-year-old Dutch girl of Jewish descent who was taken by train by the Nazis to die in a concentration camp. Does The Spirit of Anne Frank have echoes of Godhra? You bet. It will be performed in Ahmedabad later this month. Amdavadis have limited experience with the English language but even they will get the message. The Gujarat government is not happy that the play is coming its way but it so happens that the Netherlands is the largest bilateral aid donor to the state.
The 90-minute play is done without interruption on a single train set. At the cast party afterwards, I suggested to the British High Commissioner that it should travel to the Edinburgh festival. I hope he follows it up. For the record, The Spirit of Anne Frank is directed flawlessly by Roysten Abel.