Sketch: Penelope Wilton in Taken At Midnight, Theatre Royal Haymarket

penelope wilton

Returning to the West End after a five year absence, Downton Abbey star Penelope Wilton reprised her role as Irmgard Litten in Taken at Midnight when it transferred to the Theatre Royal Haymarket from a sold out season in Chichester last month.

Putting maternal love on centre stage, Mark Hayhurst’s 2014 play is based on the life of the young German Jewish lawyer Hans Litten who’s brilliant cross examination of Adolf Hitler in the trial of a band of murderous SA men in 1931 led to his arrest by the Nazis in 1933.

The play explores Irmgard’s five year struggle to secure her son’s release. The Guardian said, “Gripping, Penelope Wilton shines in Mark Hayhurst’s deeply engrossing drama about the high price of resisting tyranny.”

Penelope has been nominated for six Olivier Awards, including this year’s shortlist for her “profoundly moving performance” (The Sunday Times) as Litten’s mother.