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Last Updated: Monday, 7 January 2008, 12:37 GMT
Anne Frank story musical to open
Anne Frank
Anne Frank died in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945
The Diary of Anne Frank is to be made into a Spanish musical.

The show, to be performed by a 22-strong cast including a 13-year-old girl in the lead role, will open at Madrid's Calderon Theatre in February.

The show's director, Rafael Alvero, said the "emotional" staging was comparable to a tragic opera.

Anne Frank wrote her diary - since read by millions of people - while she and her family hid from the Nazis in an attic in Amsterdam during World War II.

When I first came here, they had this doubt about how somebody can do a musical of a story like this
Director Rafael Alvero

Ultimately, the family was betrayed and arrested in 1944.

Anne Frank, whose diary was preserved and later published, died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

Mr Alvero said initial plans for the musical met with a mixed reaction.

"When I first came here, they had this doubt about how somebody can do a musical of a story like this," he said.

"Of course this is emotional. The thing we want to do is through the music, to understand the story better."

'Important detail'

Last week, staff at the Anne Frank Museum, which has endorsed the project, showed members of the cast around the tiny attic apartment in Amsterdam where the Frank family hid.

Thirteen-year-old Isabella Castillo, who plays Anne Frank in the musical, said it had been even smaller than she had imagined.

"If you're doing a musical of the family and how they lived and the house and everything, I think it's very special and a very important detail to come to this house," she added.

Rocio Leon, who is playing the part of Anne's sister, Margot, said: "When I was coming in, I started to feel touched by everything I saw and I thought that wouldn't happen."

The cast members also sang numbers from the musical to museum staff.



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