Midnight Q&A video: What would you do during Joseph Stalin’s Great Terror?

In Features, Interviews, London theatre, Musicals, Native, Opinion, Quotes, Special Events, Ticket recommendations, Video by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

So often with the news these days, parallels are drawn with our turbulent political times and the fascism that swept across Europe in the 1930s, and the question is asked: what would you do if…?

Last week at the Union Theatre, I travelled back to the 1930s myself care of Midnight, in which the question is not only asked but set to musical refrain. This new British musical by Timothy Knapman (book and lyrics) and Laurence Mark Wythe (music and lyrics) is based on the 2007 play Citizens of Hell by leading Azerbaijani writer Elchin.

Get all social media for Midnight & its cast on www.stagefaves.com

It’s set in Azerbaijan on New Year’s Eve, in the very final minutes of 1937, during the communist purges of Stalin’s Great Terror. A man and a woman are at home alone when there’s a worrying knock on the door. Who is the mysterious Visitor? Is he the NKVD secret police or something worse? Who’s hiding what?

Incredibly, Debunk Theatre, and its Azerbaijani producer Sanan Aliyev, commissioned Knapman and Wythe to adapt Citizens of Hell four years ago – before Trump, before Brexit, before Corbyn’s Labour Party, before the rise of the alt-right in Europe, before we got quite so concerned here about Putin – and yet so many references drop like time bombs. Enemies of the people. Enemies of the party. Anti-elitism. If I call a lie a truth, it becomes true. What would you do?

For the post-show Q&A at Midnight, I was joined by the two writers, as well choreographer Chris Cuming (just Offie nominated), lighting designer Fridthjofur Thorsteinsson, and actor-musician cast members Colin Burnicle (Man), Norma Butikor (Woman), Leon Scott (the Visitor), Melania Maggiore, Tilly-Mae Millbrook and Luke Thornton.

Watch the full Q&A video below – we all tried very hard not to reveal the secrets of the plot, of which there are many! For more videos, photos and live-tweeting care of @StageFaves from the event, visit TerriPaddock.com.

Midnight continues at the Union Theatre until this Saturday 29 September 2018.

Q&A video

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Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs MyTheatreGroup, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.
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Terri Paddock on FacebookTerri Paddock on InstagramTerri Paddock on LinkedinTerri Paddock on TwitterTerri Paddock on Youtube
Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs MyTheatreGroup, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.