TAKEN AT MIDNIGHT
WORLD PREMIERE. A new play by MARK HAYHURST
26 Sep - 1 Nov 2014
BEST AVAILABILITY w/c 27 October
'In your quest for respectability I think we can say you have been talking out of both corners of your mouth. One corner talks to your rich backers, the other to your street-fighters.’
1931. Hans Litten is one of the most celebrated lawyers in Berlin, famed for his brilliant mind and the rhetorical flair with which he defends those fighting back against the rapidly growing Nazi
movement. So, when he calls Herr Hitler as star witness in the trial of a band of murderous SA men, the politician feels the full force of Litten’s intellect, wit and courage.
It arouses in Hitler a feeling he can’t abide or forget. Two years later, on the night of the Reichstag fire, Litten is arrested. He is held without trial, beaten, tortured, and threatened as ‘an enemy of human society’.
As Litten disappears into the Nazi system, his indomitable mother, Irmgard, confronts his captors and, at enormous personal risk, fights to secure his release.
This riveting drama explores her struggle, her son’s resistance and the heroic battle of the weak against the powerful, truth against lies and mothers against murderers.
Mark Hayhurst wrote the BBC film The Man Who Crossed Hitler and 37 Days, a major factual drama series for the BBC’s WW1 Centenary in 2014. Penelope Wilton makes a longawaited
return to Chichester to play Irmgard Litten, following her performance as Vita Sackville-West in Vita and Virginia (1992). Jonathan Church is Chichester Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director.
Supported by The Taken at Midnight Commissioning Circle
'Penelope Wilton gives a profoundly moving performance'
The Sunday Times
'Gripping. Penelope Wilton shines in Mark Hayhurst’s deeply engrossing drama about the high price of resisting tyranny'
'Church’s production is strongly cast all round. Martin Hutson conveys all of Hans Litten’s uncompromising defiance, John Light gradually allows us to see the ideological rigidity that underlies Dr Conrad’s smoothly polite surface and there is fine support, among Litten’s fellow-captives, from Mike Grady as a truculent newspaper editor and Pip Donaghy as a free-speaking anarchist'
The Guardian - View the full review
'Martin Hutson is terrific as the brave Litten'
Mail on Sunday
'Hayhurst’s drama, inevitably harrowing, is nevertheless permeated with Litten’s own ineradicable wit and passionate sense of the importance of art'
Daily Telegraph - View the full review
'Jonathan Church directs a still and elegant production with notable confidence. Penelope Wilton (gives a) magnificent stage performance'
Evening Standard - View the full review
'Words do not do full justice to Mark Hayhurst’s most powerful play nor to Jonathan Church’s riveting production and his company of actors. Penelope Wilton is magnificent. Martin Hutson gives a superlative portrayal as Litten. Great theatre – high drama, moral debate that informs and entertains, with excellent acting throughout'
The Argus - View the full review
Running Time: 2 hours 30 mins including a 20 minute interval
BOOK EARLY FOR THE BEST PRICES
Prices are guaranteed until Thursday 22 May and are then subject to change.
£18 & £22
Monday evenings/weekday matinees
£24 & £33
All other performances
£24 & £38
Aged 16-25? An allocation of tickets priced at just £8.50 for all performances will be released one month before each production opens. Find out more.
Christopher Hogben (SA Guard), Martin Hutson (Hans) and Marc Antolin (SA Guard)
Penelope Wilton (Irmgard)
Martin Hutson (Hans) and Dermot Mclaughlin (SA Officer)
Pip Donaghy (Erich), Martin Hutson (Hans) and Mike Grady (Carl)
John Light (Dr Conrad)
David Yelland (Lord Clifford Allen)
Allan Corduner (Fritz Litten)
David Yelland and Penelope Wilton
Penelope Wilton and Allan Corduner
Jonathan Church, John Light, Christopher Hogben and Penelope Wilton
Dermot McLaughlin and Marc Antolin
Mike Grady, Martin Hutson, Pip Donaghy
Martin Hutson and Pip Donaghy
Martin Hutson (Hans Litten)