The Globe and Mail – New play looks at Anne Frank – alive and well and living in 1950s Brooklyn
Winnipeg Free Press – Winnipeg playwright imagines teen Holocaust diarist as a young woman who survived
Winnipeg Free Press ★★★★
“Sobler skilfully wed the power of historical fact with the allure of a what-if scenario. Readers of the diary will be fascinated, if not occasionally taken aback, at witnessing their beloved Anne in her underwear prior to premarital sex, dancing the frug and being referred to as “baby doll.”
“Is living well really the best revenge? Or is the disturbing truth that we prefer a martyred hero to a survivor?
These are some of the provocative questions behind The Secret Annex – a new play by Winnipegger Alix Sobler that starts from an intriguing, but risky, premise.”
“Sobler’s treatment of these questions is thoughtful and compelling. It’s a slow-burner of a play, taking its time to establish its characters and their complicated relationships. And it makes its protagonist an imperfect hero, but one whose conflict we feel viscerally – and who becomes all the more real to us for it.”
“The Secret Annex” has moments of humour delivered by an evenly-talented cast that are all properly settled into their characters. The audience, however, never forgets that moments of love and laughter on stage only exist as moments of theatre, since reality has stolen the potential for these moments from the real people. This also means that the darker moments of the play are that much more poignant. Similarly to fictional Anne’s struggle to write stories where characters die, have cancer, live heartaches, we, as the audience, feel the weight of the choices Sobler has taken in giving holocaust survivors moments typical to any adult life.”