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Donmar Warehouse to present an online production of Midnight Your Time

Diana Quick

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE Donmar Warehouse has announced that Artistic Director Michael Longhurst will direct a special online production of Midnight Your Time by writer Adam Brace.

Starring acclaimed stage and screen actor Diana Quick, Midnight Your Time will premiere on the Donmar Warehouse’s YouTube Channel at 7.30pm on May 13, 2020. The production will then be available to watch for seven days.

Originally commissioned by HighTide Theatre and staged by Michael Longhurst in 2011, this new production has been conceived for online broadcast whilst the Donmar Warehouse is closed during the coronavirus shutdown.

Diana Quick will revive the role she originated and has recorded her performance via webcam at her home directed remotely by Michael Longhurst.

I’m sure you’ll joke this is not the first one way conversation we’ve ever had.

Every Thursday, Judy tries to talk to her daughter online. Judy calls from Islington; her daughter is in Palestine.

It’s 2010 and retired lawyer Judy is stuck at home, casting around for ways to occupy herself: with a women’s peace league; with local politics; with her daughter’s life.

Midnight Your Time is a wryly comic and ultimately heartbreaking exploration of what it really means to communicate remotely.

Speaking about the Donmar’s first online premiere, Artistic Director Michael Longhurst said:

“I am thrilled to be able to share this remotely rehearsed and filmed version of Adam’s exquisitely crafted portrait of a distanced mother-daughter relationship. I had the great joy of directing Diana Quick a decade ago in this role, written especially for her, and wanted to revive this play as soon as Lockdown began.

“Adam’s prescient presentation of a then-burgeoning method of digital communication is so entirely a part of our lives under lockdown; and its commentary on ageing and isolation resonate even more profoundly at this time.

“It has been a privilege to revisit the role of Judy with Diana – a formidable and funny retired European lawyer, struggling to understand why her refrain of ‘drop us a line and stay safe’ is falling on deaf ears – and a delight to capture her performance in this new medium and in the intimacy of her own home.

“I am determined that the Donmar continue to tell important stories that offer us connection in this moment when we cannot gather together in our theatre.”

Adam Brace’s first full-length play, Stovepipe, transferred to London in collaboration with the National Theatre and the Bush. His second full length play, They Drink it in the Congo, was produced and premiered at the Almeida Theatre in 2016. Other plays include The Four Stages of Cruelty, a co-written piece based on Hogarth’s engravings and Taking Part, a response to the Olympics that was performed at the Criterion Theatre. His first script for film, Best, won the 2013 Sundance London Short Film contest and was critically selected for Sundance Festival 2014 in Utah.

Michael Longhurst is an award-winning stage director and became Artistic Director of the Donmar in 2019. He launched his tenure with a revival of David Greig’s visionary early play Europe and staged the UK premiere of Mike Lew’s Teenage Dick. Prior to becoming Artistic Director his previous work for the Donmar included the UK premiere of Amy Herzog’s Belleville, starring James Norton and Imogen Poots, in December 2017.

His acclaimed National Theatre production of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus with the Southbank Sinfonia returned for its second run in the Olivier in 2018. He also directed the celebrated Chichester Festival Theatre revival of Caroline, or Change by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori which transferred to Hampstead Theatre and then to the West End, winning Sharon D Clarke the Olivier for Best Actress in a Musical, and will open on Broadway in autumn 2020.

Longhurst’s Royal Court production of Nick Payne’s Constellations starring Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall transferred to the West End, winning the 2012 Evening Standard Award for Best Play and receiving four Olivier Award nominations, and ran on Broadway starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson, who was Tony-nominated. He also directed Gyllenhaal in his American stage debut at the Roundabout Theatre, New York in Nick Payne’s If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet.

Diana Quick makes her Donmar Warehouse production debut in Midnight Your Time. She joined the National Youth Theatre after leaving school, and at Oxford was the first female president of O.U.D.S. Since 1966, she has acted in the British premieres of works by Edward Bond, Howard Brenton, Jean Genet, Doug Lucie, Tony Harrison, David Hare, Amanda Whittington, Jim Cartwright, David Mamet, Diane Samuels, Helen Edmondson, Polly Teale, Milo Cruz, Martin Sherman, Adam Brace, Richard Greenberg, Dan leFranc, Glyn Maxwell, David Lewis, Thea Smiley and Ella Hickson.

Best known on television as Julia in Brideshead Revisited, Quick has recently been seen in The Missing and Houdini and Doyle. Her films include The Death of Stalin, Mother’s Milk, Revenger’s Tragedy, The Discovery of Heaven, A.K.A., Saving Grace, Vigo: Burning Up, Nostradamus, Wilt, Vroom, The Duellists, 1919, Max Mon Amour and Nicholas and Alexandra. She has recorded many audio books and is a regular on the radio.

The Donmar Warehouse is a charity, and public funding makes up only 7% of its income. The generous support to-date from ticket-buyers, members, trusts, foundations and corporate partners has enabled it not only to deliver much loved productions but also to work with thousands of young people and communities each year, to develop industry leading artists and to nurture the next generation of theatre audiences.

For the Donmar, audience support is more crucial than ever as they look ahead to how they can sustain the organisation over the coming months without any ticket income. To support the Donmar Warehouse and donate during this difficult time, more information can be found at www.donmarwarehouse.com/support/.