Midnight Your Time
Theatres have been ensuring during lockdown that we are getting our theatre fix. Andrew Lloyd Webber gives us shows for 48 hours each weekend, The National Theatre put out a new show each Thursday while there are other shows continuously available like Eugenius.
Now the Donmar Warehouse have got in on the act by taking it a step further and recording a new play for us. Being recorded at home during lockdown it could be classed as a TV show but something about Michael Longhurst’s direction makes it feel very theatre.
The play, Midnight Your Time, is a one woman show about a mother connecting with her daughter through video messaging. The 30 minute play is a series of video messages she leaves for her daughter with her giving her updates on her life since the last message. It feels in some ways like a recorded diary, with plenty of details of her work in the Women’s Peace League and discussion of the politics of the time (it’s set in 2010 and makes you feel for nostalgic for that simpler time).
The role is taken on by Diana Quick (also credited with wardrobe, hair and make-up) and she creates a character that is instantly recognisable. The way she performed the role I could see so many different people I know in her and is the type of person most people will have met. While only being 30 minutes long you really get to know the woman in that time. A tribute to the acting and direction.
The play has a lot of quiet comedy, in particular a scene where she deletes the message several times and re-records it, but it also has an underlying sadness as this woman desperately wants to connect more with her daughter. While you are aware she lives with her husband, being the only one on camera evokes a sense of loneliness.
This a great way to spend 30 minutes and it reminds you how special the Donmar Warehouse is. It’s a difficult time and we hope the Donmar can survive this and continue to deliver innovative and challenging theatre. If you can please consider donating here. The theatres need out help now so they can there when we need them.
You can watch Midnight Your Time on their YouTube page here. It’s available until May 19th so be quick.