Taken After Midnight
@ Royal Haymarket Theatre
Reality Rating: 3/5
Fidget Factor (1): 0.7
World War II is not usually a topic I jump at the chance to watch or read about, due to my schooling where the History of World War I & II were drummed into us repeatedly and current affairs were omitted from the curriculum. Taken At Midnight however, reengaged my interest; its stylised approach and short scenes gave each section a new burst of energy, an element often lacking in portrayals of War.
The audience are greeted with a bold opening set for Taken At Midnight; an isolated chair, beautifully lit through the windows of the large double doors behind – setting the tone of solitude, exile and detention that the piece revolves around. Set and Lighting caressed one another from beginning to end, the lighting transformed one space into several different settings only to be interrupted with out of place music that disrupted important, strong moments of action. Overly dramatic sounds of lashing whips during the ‘rope’ scene and a dominating whistling over a heart wrenching, tender moment sacrifices the sensational, sensitive snippets to poor choices of ‘stylised’ sound which don’t lend themselves to the moment.
Penelope Wilton’s performance of Irmgrad Litten was mesmerising, during her solitary moments of speech I was magnatised by her capability to effortlessly capture the whole audiences attention, pulling us into her fear, her love and complete devotion for her son. On the other hand, John Light’s delivery of Dr Conrad provoked frustration – I could see the script as he performed it and a lack of conviction led me to struggle to identify the character he was trying to portray. My dissatisfaction eased as the play continued but he never quite gained my full attention.
Although I enjoyed this performance more than I had expected, I can always rely on the fidget factor to give me a true representation on how successful a piece is, and for most part of Taken At Midnight I had ants in my pants. I mark my fidgeting on a scale of 0 – 1, as to be considerate to others I try to keep still but my legs have a mind of their own. 0.7 for Fidget Factor here, not a good sign…
Special Thanks to Master Class – education, inspiration and empowerment of young people.
Time: 2 Hours 30 minutes
Previously @ Chichester
Running: 15 Jan 2015 ►14 March 2015