In a new production by Christopher Hampton
By Ödön von Horváth
It’s just another normal day at a small town station where a handful of passengers are waiting for the stopping train. Then Thomas Hudetz, the well-liked station master, is momentarily distracted by a young woman and seconds later eighteen people are dead.
Standing in the wreckage of the 405 Express train, can Thomas accept the truth that is hurtling towards him and if not, how long can he postpone the day of judgment?
Ödön von Horváth’s penultimate play is a vividly characterised portrayal of a society that refuses to take responsibility for its actions.
Christopher Hampton is one of Britain’s leading playwrights and translators. His previous adaptations include von Horváth’s Tales from the Vienna Woods (National Theatre), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (for stage and film), the West End hits Art and God of Carnage by Yasmin Reza, and the screenplay for Atonement. His own plays include The Philanthropist, Tales from Hollywood and The Talking Cure.
James Macdonald previously directed The Triumph of Love at the Almeida. He was associate director at the Royal Court for 14 years, premiering works by among others Sarah Kane, Caryl Churchill and Martin Crimp; since then he has directed A Number for HBO/BBC, and plays for the National Theatre, the Lincoln Center and Public Theater in New York, in the West End, on Broadway and at the Schaubühne Berlin.
Performances are approx. 1hr 45mins. There is no interval.
Latecomers may not be admitted.
Evening performances 7.30pm
Midweek matinees 2.30pm on 30 Sept and 14 Oct
Saturday matinees 3.00pm from 12 Sept
David Annen’s theatre credits include A Disappearing Number for Théâtre de Complicité, Chains of Dew and Suppressed Desires for the Orange Tree, Henry VIII for the RSC, Guantanamo Tricycle Theatre and West End, After Mrs. Rochester for Shared Experience and in the West End, and Andorra and Demons and Dybbuks for the Young Vic. His screen credits include The West Wittering Affair, Something For Nothing, Criminal Justice, The Commander, Tales from the Jungle, The Chatterley Affair, Gideon’s Daughter, Mile High, Doctors, Dream Team, The Bill and Casualty.
★★★★ “A gripping moral fable… a fine translation and a stunning production”
★★★★ “A fascinating drama… brought to life in a creepily atmospheric production which powerfully communicates the play’s thriller-like tension, haunted soul, and mordant humour”
★★★★ “Measured, atmospheric, and thoroughly hypnotic…a wonderful restoration of a great play”
What's On Stage
★★★★ “James Macdonald’s fine production brings a whole community to vivid detailed life…a moral thriller…superb performances in even minor roles… Joseph Millson, Laura Donnelly and Sarah Woodward shine especially brightly. One leaves the theatre impatient to see more”
The Daily Telegraph
★★★★ Critics’ Choice: “A thought-provoking play… James Macdonald directs with a sure hand… an evening to savour”
★★★★ “Spellbinding drama… a fine cast… Joseph Millson excels”
Christopher Hampton - Translator
James Macdonald - Director
Miriam Buether - Designer
Moritz Junge - Costume Design
Neil Austin - Lighting
Matthew Herbert - Music
Christopher Shutt - Sound