Below is our preview, which explains the background of the show. Click here to read our Taken at Midnight, Theatre Royal Haymarket review.
Putting on a play about Hitler may seem a little been-there-done-that, yet the latest West End transfer from the Chichester Festival Theatre Taken at Midnight does the remarkable and gives us a little-told tale from Nazi Germany. Part of Chichester’s Hidden Histories season, the play follows lawyer Hans Litten who, after putting Hitler on the stand in 1931 and interrogating him for three hours about an attack orchestrated by the SA, found himself on the wrong side of the Nazi leader. Litten was arrested in 1933 and subsequently imprisoned and tortured for five years before committing suicide in Dachau concentration camp.
Writer Mark Hayhurst seems to have single-handedly taken it upon himself to ensure that Litten’s story is heard - in 2011, he penned a BBC drama about the lawyer entitled The Man Who Crossed Hitler and a documentary To Stop a Tyrant. Taken at Midnight is Hayhurst’s first foray into writing for theatre.
Veteran of stage and screen Penelope Wilton takes on the role of Irmgard Litten, the mother who campaigned tirelessly for her son’s release. Perhaps now best known for her role as Isobel Crawley in Downton Abbey, Wilton was last seen on the West End as Gertrude opposite Jude Law’s Hamlet. The role of Irmgard was specifically written with her in mind.
Following on from a sell-out run in Chichester, we predict that Taken at Midnight will do rather well on the West End. Wilton’s star power will be an attraction, yet for all that her performance is set to be characteristically understated and thought provoking – her expertise lies in portraying grace under fire. With a simple set and shadowy lighting, this is a production that allows the story to speak for itself, and we think that it is most definitely a story worth hearing.
|What||Taken at Midnight|
Theatre Royal Haymarket
18 Suffolk Street, London, SW1Y 4HT | MAP
|Nearest tube||Piccadilly Circus (underground)|
15 Jan 15 – 14 Mar 15, 19:30, (15:30 matinee)
|Price||£15 - £75|
|Website||Click here to book via the Theatre Royal Haymarket’s website|