London: Catholic actors summer gathering |  Catholic Association for Performing Arts, Catholic Stage Guild), Corpus Christi, Fr Alan Robinson,  Breda McKinney, David Hoyland, Martha Van der Bly

Afterwards, there was a reception at the Club for Acts and Actors.   Michael Slater and Dutch actress Martha Van der Bly, 'And Then They Came for Me - Remembering the World of Ann Frank and Eva Schloss',

Jonathan Coote and Martha Van der Bly with Michael Slater
Members of the  Catholic Association for Performing Arts,  (formerly the Catholic Stage Guild), met for their annual summer gathering in Covent Garden on Wednesday evening. Mass at Corpus Christi's in Maiden Lane, was celebrated by Fr Alan Robinson, with soloist Breda McKinney accompanied by David Hoyland. 
Afterwards, there was a reception at the Club for Acts and Actors.   Michael Slater and Dutch actress Martha Van der Bly read two scenes from the play 'And Then They Came for Me - Remembering the World of Ann Frank and Eva Schloss', and then Martha gave a talk about about her recent tour of South Africa, with the play 
Produced by Nic Careem for the Blue Sky Network,  'And Then They Came For Me' tells the story of Eva Schloss, a Holocaust survivor and Ann Frank’s stepsister, who had very similiar childhoods.  Martha described how Eva, now an energetic 84 year-old, accompanied the tour and took part in  Q & As after the show.  She said: "Eva told me: 'when we came back we wanted to talk but no one wanted to listen. Later when people wanted us to talk we couldn't speak." But, she said, 'reading Ann Frank's diary had helped her to find her voice, and more importantly, to use it to speak up.'" Eva has also recently published a book about her experiences.
Performing the play in front of multi-racial audiences in South Africa felt particularly poignant, Martha said, because of the themes it deals with. Just a few years earlier, it would not have been possible.  Nelson Mandela himself read the Ann Frank's diary when he was in prison. He said the fact that a 13 year-old in such circumstances could write so positively and  with such courage, helped him to cope.
The play was performed in a number of venues in Cape Town,  in Port Elisabeth and in the Apartheid Museum and in the Woman’s Gaol on Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. "We had hoped to peform it on Robbin Island, Martha said, 'But it was too windy so instead we performed it on the coast."
The show has also been staged in England  at the Dulwich Prep theatre with Martha performing in the lead role, winning excellent reviews.
Martha is now working on a documentary on religious tolerance entitled:  'The Secret of Salona',  produced by Nic Careem on the  Blue Sky network. 
Another guest at the evening was actor Jonathan Coote, who has recently been performing in the West End show The Audience, with Helen Mirren.  He is now developing a film project:  'Ranny Gazoo'  based on a PJ Woodhouse comedy.

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Shared from Ind. Cath. News