The light/trite ONE Show slot is occupied for a week by this gloomy/doomy drama and that’s fine as far as we’re concerned.
What was good about it?
• “The chatterings of a 13-year-old girl” remain powerful 60 years on – and pertinent at a time that thousands of Palestianian families are in hiding, fearing for their lives.
• Deborah Moggach’s five-part adaptation brings alive the fear of the Frank and Van Daan families as they hide from the Nazis in an annex above Otto Frank’s workshop, quiet as mice during the day so they remain undetected, but coming alive at lunchtimes, the evenings and weekend.
• Ellie Kendrick is appealing as Anne, showing spirit amid the misery, and Lesley Sharp strikes a wonderfully ghastly note as Mrs Van Daan, but the best acting performance is the sunken-eyed trauma and terror of Tamsin Greig as Anne’s mother, Edith.
• The cautious friendship of Anne and Philip Van Daan, a rather precious lad who clings to his cat and isn’t averse to dressing in drag.
What was bad about it?
• We’re unsure that chopping the tale into five bitesize episodes is the best approach; it may be hard to get soaked up by the serious mood five nights in a row.
• The incidental music was an unnecessary dollop of sadness.