Arts Awards in Burnley

Meet Caitlin and Charlotte who are working on their Bronze Arts Awards and need your help. They have written reviews of Souvenir d’Anne Frank which they watched at Burnley Youth Theatre. Please do read their reviews below and comment.

Caitlin and Charlotte developing their skills behind the camera.

Caitlin and Charlotte have been working with Steph and Lucy at MPA since last summer when they performed a piece of multi-media site-specific promenade theatre in Victoria Mill, Burnley as part of Project Pride.  Since then they have contributed to a youth consultation giving rich insight into their experience of arts and culture in Pennine Lancashire.

Here are their reviews. Please do comment with your thoughts.


This is the show that my drama class and I went to see at Burnley Youth Theatre. We hadn’t been told anything about this mysterious play, only that it was by a group called ‘Ensemble’ and that is was an abstract piece of art. I was a bit put out because I don’t generally like abstract things but I thought that, as an actress I should try to gain as much experience of all types of the performing arts industry that I can.

However, after I saw the performance I didn’t really like it and didn’t understand what some of the things the actors did were supposed to represent. However, the music (which was played on-stage, right in front of us!) was incredibly moving and somehow showed the story better than the actors! And the lighting and set up of the stage – though simple – created a very tense and subtle atmosphere. All of this I told the actors at the end in a questions and answers session, and told them politely how I thought they could improve their performance to enhance it. All in all I found the performance boring, moving and really contradictory all at once.


The event I went to was a performance of ‘Souvenir d’Anne Frank’. It was a theatre performance at Burnley Youth Theatre. I liked it because it was an abstract performance about Anne Frank and the rose named after her. It explored a period of history that I find particularly interesting. I thought the acting in the piece was amazing because it was a different way of performing that opened my eyes to a different style of acting. It was different from what I expected as it was far more abstract and stylized than I thought it would be.  I felt that the best bit was the stage. The simple use of plastic roses and shredded tires to create a circle, almost like a rose bush, it just had such a moving effect on me. It was a skill of using simple objects to create elaborate set is one that will help me in my art.  As part of the audience, it was slightly confusing in parts but was an overall very pleasing performance with strong emotive language and actions, as well as using music and dance in an effective performance. I would recommend it to people who have am interest in both Holocaust theatre and abstract. As it is both those things, it is also an overall very good piece of theatre.

This is my reaction to the piece and I hope you enjoyed reading about it.

What do you think of Caitlin and Charlotte’s views? Have you seen the show? Would you like to now?

You can see more of Caitlin and Charlotte in the Curious Voices film to which they contributed for Curious Minds.


6 responses to “Arts Awards in Burnley

  1. Really enjoyed reading both reviews – and seeing how the same piece of theatre can leave such different impressions on each person. I haven’t seen the piece, but the reviews have left me curious!

  2. From your reviews it seems that the music was very powerful I really regret not seeing the performance. I agree with Caroline, it’s fascinating that the same piece can affect its audience in such different ways.

  3. I was impressed by their confidence in judging the piece and their honesty in saying what did and did not work for them.

  4. I’d seen this piece of theatre advertised and wondered what it was like – interesting insight from you both into what sounds like a unique performance style. The set sounded good as well!

  5. It’s great the way you comment on the whole range of theatre arts & stagecraft in the production and don’t just focus on the acting. As you rightly suggest, they all combine to support out understanding. Your reviews make me want to see it.

  6. I love these two reviews. It is really interesting that both Charlotte and Caitlin has such different views about the performance. Both came in with an open mind to experience this performance and what your reviews show is that arts and culture is full of so many different tastes. What is perfect for one person is perhaps not the other persons cup of tea.

    What is also great to see in both reviews is the constructive criticism of the performance. The performance wasn’t perfect and was confusing at times and both reviews pinpoint why this was so. Great to see such mature and honest writing. Well done both.