An intriguing new play is about to hit London’s West End, Taken At Midnight, by Mark Hayhurst. It stars one of Britain’s greatest living actresses, Penelope Wilton, as a desperate mother fighting for the life of her son. Wilton plays Irmgard Litten, the mother of real-life German Jewish lawyer Hans Litten, who put Hitler on the witness stand in the 1930s and won. But when Hitler became Reich Chancellor in 1933, Litten suffered devastating consequences.
We interviewed Penelope Wilton and writer Mark Hayhurst, who has already written films about the story, during a break in their rehearsals, to find out more:
Hayhurst’s play received consistently high reviews when it had its first run at the celebrated Chichester Festival Theatre. Michael Billington, for The Guardian, described Penelope Wilton as ‘superb and quietly implacable’. Fiona Mountford, for Evening Standard, heralded in an ‘important new play’, acknowledging ‘another magnificent stage performance’ from Wilton. Jane Shilling, for The Telegraph, said that Taken At Midnight was ‘inevitably harrowing but is nevertheless permeated with Litten’s own ineradicable wit and passionate sense of the importance of art.’