Writers Abroad Magazine 6 May 2017 - Page 28

WRITERS ABROAD MAGAZINE: THE THIRD SPACE ‘WHO ELSE BUT ME IS EVER GOING TO READ THESE LETTERS?’ BY ANGELA WILLIAMS STREET ART BY EDUARDO KOBRA These were the ironic words written by the most famous diarist of all times, Anne Frank. A recent showing of ‘Anne’, the theatre production inspired by Anne Frank’s life sparked controversy. The press got hold of the theatre's marketing ploy of offering a dinner & show combi, and this was the final straw for many who considered Anne's memory sacred and above being served up as entertainment. How dare people go out and enjoy a slap-up meal before watching a young life being snuffed out by a Fascist regime! This whole brouhaha around Anne made me think about the concept of making entertainment from someone else’s suffering. All fiction is based on conflict of some kind. It’s not engaging to read about someone who is happy, healthy, well-off and loved by family and friends. Our imagination is captured by someone who misses something in their lives and this absence causes them emotional pain. This schadenfreude is made acceptable by the fact that the character is fictional. We don’t feel it’s wrong to go and enjoy shows such as ‘Oliver’, or ‘Cinderella’, stories both centring on social injustice and child abuse. W