EPT Win with Frank

Mar 27 2018 | By More

EPT celebrates 75 years with full length play win

Edinburgh People’s Theatre has started its 75th anniversary year with the news that its production of The Diary of Anne Frank has won the Scottish Community Drama Association Eastern Division’s full length play competition.

Directed by Niloo-Far Khan, the production won the recently re-inaugurated competition for the Fraser Neal Trophy. The award was made at the Eastern Divisional Final of the 1-Act Festival at the Mclaren Hall, Killin, on Saturday 24 March 2018.

Niloo-Far Khan with the Fraser Neal Trophy. Pic: EPT

EPT was founded in 1943 by well known Scottish playwright Andrew P. Wilson. Minutes from EPT’s very first meetings between 1943 and 1946 show that at conception, the group were closely affiliated with the Labour Party, and the Co-operative Movement. The club was for workers who were not away fighting, and for service men on leave or home because of injuries.

The company’s 2018 productions kick off this week, with a production of Alan Ayckbourn’s Ten Times Table at the Church Hill Theatre, opening on Wednesday 28 March. In May it will stage Takin’ Over The Asylum at the Church Hill and then Cambusdonald Royal by James Scotland during the fringe.

The Diary of Anne Frank was staged at the Chuch Hill Theatre in May 2017, with Carol Bryce playing Anne Frank, the gauche teenager who kept a diary of the time she, her family and four others spent in hiding in an annexe above her father’s business in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.

smooth handling

In his review of the production, Hugh Simpson said Bryce managed to embody all of the contradictions of the character, by turns optimistic and sullen, resentful of her family yet utterly devoted to them, infuriating and sympathetic.

Graham Bell, Alix Spinks, Anne Mackenzie and Kyle Sutherland in The Diary of Anne Frank. Pic: Ian Mcnaught

He praised it on many levels, including a set which used several playing levels to evoke the claustrophobic and ramshackle air of the annex, saying: “The smooth handling of this complicated acting area is just one of the things director Niloo-Far Khan gets spot on.”

He continued: “The tone of the piece seems right; the comic moments are given due weight without being laboured, and the pacing of the show is ideal. This has the effect of making it doubly atmospheric – there are moments when you would swear the temperature in the theatre has suddenly dropped a few degrees.”

Speaking of the award, Niloo-Far Khan said that her directing experience started with Edinburgh People’s Theatre.


She said: “Without any experience at all in directing, they had taken me on as an assistant under the wing of the award winning director Irene Beaver in 2013. The trust, support and love I received seemed exactly what I needed to flourish in this new direction.

Carol Bryce and Kyle Sutherland in The Diary of Anne Frank. Pic: Ian Mcnaught

“For my first piece I directed an in house production of Yellow Moon by David Grieg. It was never my intention to enter it into the SCDA One Act competition until the club members saw it and had encouraged myself and the team to put it forward.”

The production Yellow Moon won two awards in the Edinburgh round of the competition and went through to the next round.

“I knew The Diary of Anne Frank was going to be very special indeed,” she added. “But once again I had never expected it to win such an award. For an aspiring director such as myself to have won awards with the only two plays I have directed with EPT, it says a lot about how incredible this club is. I am very proud to be part of such a creative family.”

Listing & links:

Ten Times Table 
Church Hill Theatre, 33a Morningside Road, EH10 4DR
Wednesday 28 – Saturday 31 March 2018
Weds-Fri evenings: 7.30pm; Sat, matinee only: 2.30pm.

EPT Website: www.ept.org.uk.
Facebook: @EdinburghPeoplesTheatre.
Twitter: @EPeoplesTheatre.


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