Midnight Your Time, Donmar Warehouse online

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Diana Quicke stars as Judy, a middle class woman trying to reconnect with her estranged daughter Helen and the world around her. Set in 2010 Adam Brace’s monologue, directed by Michael Longhurst, it takes the issues of the Afghanistan War and the 2010 election.

Quicke gives a convincing performance of a caring but at times manipulative and controlling character who through video messages tries desperately to connect with her daughter after a falling out. It is a nice idea but this performance, recorded during lockdown, shows up the weaknesses of this format and the weaknesses of British theatre.

It isn’t remotely theatrical, when watching this shut your eyes and then reopen them. This piece feels better suited to radio 4 rather than the Donmar banner. The direction from Longhurst is uninspiring, not much different from many other homemade pieces from people who don’t have the resources that the Donmar do. It is completely at odds with the daring and challenging first season he introduced in 2019 with Appropriate and Teenage Dick (as well as his non-Donmar work such as Amadeus at the National or Caroline or Change).

Midnight your Time is boringly safe and it is possibly an indication of a Donmar in post-lockdown. No time to experiment (Teenage Dick did not sell well) when you have lost your income. The medium of screen is a useful one and it is a shame to not see it used more daringly.

Midnight Your Time is available to watch here via Youtube https://www.donmarwarehouse.com/production/10041/midnight-your-time/

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