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PRESS RELEASE
WORLD PREMIERE
PENELOPE WILTON
TAKEN AT MIDNIGHT
A new play by MARK HAYHURST
Director JONATHAN CHURCH
26 September – 25 October
Minerva Theatre, Chichester
A season of new plays exploring little-known true stories continues at Chichester with a
drama featuring acclaimed actress Penelope Wilton. She plays Irmgard, the mother of
celebrated lawyer Hans Litten who puts Hitler on the witness stand in 1930s Germany with
devastating consequences.
Irmgard’s relationship with her son and her courageous efforts to help him are at the heart of
Taken At Midnight, a world premiere by Mark Hayhurst. Hans is famed for the brilliance with
which he defends opponents of the Nazi movement. When he calls Hitler as star witness in
the trial of a band of murderous Nazi paramilitaries, the politician feels the full force of
Litten’s intellect, wit and courage. Two years later, Hans is arrested, held without trial and
tortured, leaving his indomitable mother to confront his captors at enormous personal risk.
This compelling new play is the final production to be staged as part of Chichester Festival
Theatre’s Hidden Histories season which has also included Pressure and Pitcairn.
Penelope Wilton plays Irmgard, Litten’s mother. She makes a long-awaited return to
Chichester following Vita and Virginia (also West End). Other recent credits include A
Delicate Balance (Almeida Theatre), a West End production of Hamlet and screen roles in
Downton Abbey and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Martin Hutson plays Hans Litten. Chichester credits include If Only, Taking Sides and
Collaboration (also West End). Other credits include the highly praised recent TV drama
series The Honourable Woman.
Allan Corduner plays Fritz Litten. Credits include Serious Money (Royal Court Theatre,
West End and Broadway), the West End production of A View from the Bridge and the Mike
Leigh film Topsy Turvy in which he played Arthur Sullivan.
Pip Donaghy plays Erich Mühsam. Chichester credits include Rattigan’s Nijinsky and The
Deep Blue Sea, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby Parts I and II (also West End)
and Taking Sides and Collaboration (also West End).
Mike Grady plays Carl von Ossietzky. Credits include Festival 2014’s Black Comedy and
screen roles in Last of the Summer Wine and Citizen Smith.
John Light plays Dr Conrad. Credits include Luis Miller (Donmar Warehouse), The Master
Builder (Almeida Theatre), Julius Caesar and The Tempest (both for the RSC).
David Yelland plays Lord Clifford Allen. Chichester credits include A Marvellous Year for
Plums, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby Parts I and II (also West End). Other
credits include his role in the iconic British film Chariots of Fire.
The cast also includes Marc Antolin who plays Gustav Hammerman, Christopher Hogben
as Hotelier and Dermot McLaughlin as SA Officer.
Taken At Midnight is written by Mark Hayhurst. He 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. Hayhurst has also written and produced numerous other drama documentaries which
explore key historical moments.
The production is directed by Jonathan Church, Chichester’s Artistic Director. Chichester
credits include Festival 2014’s Amadeus, The Last Confession (Toronto, Los Angeles and
Australia tour), Singin’ in the Rain (also West End and tour), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui
(also West End) and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (also West End). Other
credits include Of Mice and Men (West End and tour) and The Witches (West End and tour).
Design is by Robert Jones whose Chichester credits include Kiss Me, Kate (also Old Vic)
and Calendar Girls (also UK tour, Australia and Canada). Other credits include West End
productions of A Chorus of Disapproval and Much Ado About Nothing.
Lighting Design is by Tim Mitchell, Chichester’s Associate Lighting Designer. Chichester
credits include Festival 2014’s Amadeus, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (also West End),
Kiss Me, Kate (also West End), Singin’ in the Rain (also West End and UK tour),
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (also West End) Bingo (also Young Vic) and Yes,
Prime Minister (also West End and UK tour).
Sound Design is by Mike Walker whose Chichester credits The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui
(and West End). Other credits include Crazy for You,The Glass Menagerie, Caroline or
Change (National Theatre), and Jerry Springer – The Opera (Battersea Arts Centre,
Edinburgh Festival, National Theatre and UK tour) for which he won the first Olivier Award
for Best Sound Design.
The composer is Matthew Scott, Chichester’s Associate Composer. Chichester credits
include Festival 2014’s Amadeus, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (also West End), Private
Lives (also West End), A Marvellous Year for Plums, The Deep Blue Sea and Rattigan’s
Nijinsky, The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound, Taking Sides and Collaboration (which
transferred to the West End), The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby Parts I and II
(also West End), Entertaining Angels and Pravda.
Taken At Midnight is sponsored by Hentys Corporate.
Events
Writer Mark Hayhurst will be in conversation with author and broadcaster Kate Mosse on
Wednesday 1 October at 6.00pm. Tickets free, but advance booking is essential.
Mark Hayhurst will also take part in a panel discussion It’s All In The Telling which brings
together participants from the worlds of theatre, heritage and oral history to explore why
some stories fall out of history and what makes them so fascinating to theatre makers and
audiences. The panel will also include Kate Wheeler, Archiving The Arts, and Rib Davis, oral
historian and playwright, and the discussion will be chaired by Kate Mosse. This event takes
place on Tuesday 7 October, 5.15pm, Minerva Theatre. Tickets are free, booking essential.
There will be the chance to meet some of the Taken At Midnight company at a post-show
discussion on Thursday 9 October.
Penelope Wilton will be in conversation with author and broadcaster Kate Mosse for a short
post-show interview on Thursday 16 October.
Booking information
Taken At Midnight is at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester, from 26 September – 25
October. Evenings 7.45pm (except for Press Night, Thursday 2 October, 7.00pm),
matinees 2.45pm. Tickets: Previews/Press Night: £18, £22, Monday evening and
weekday matinee £24, £33, Tuesday – Saturday evening and Saturday matinee £24,
£38. To book, go to cft.org.uk or contact the Box Office on 01243 781312.
Special Prices for 16 – 25s
An allocation of tickets for 16 – 25 year olds priced at just £8.50 for all performances
of Taken At Midnight are now on sale. These may be booked on 01243 781312, online
at cft.org.uk/850 or in person.
ENDS
For further information contact Debbie Plentie on 01243 812917 or
[email protected]
NOTES TO EDITORS
Press Night: Thursday 2 October, 7.00pm
Listings
Penelope Wilton plays the mother of a celebrated lawyer who puts Hitler on the witness
stand with devastating consequences in the world premiere of Taken At Midnight.
Performance times
Evenings: 7.45pm (except Press Night, Thursday 2 October, 7.00pm)
Matinees: 2.45pm
Tickets
Previews/Press Night: £18, £22
Monday evening and weekday matinee: £24, £33
Tuesday – Saturday evening, and Saturday matinee: £24, £38
Website and Social Media
cft.org.uk
twitter.com/ChichesterFT @ChichesterFT #Amadeus
facebook.com/chichesterfestivaltheatre
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