Set against the backdrop of a post-war, damaged London Sarah Waters’ evocative novel The Night Watch has been beautifully adapted for the stage by Olivier-nominated writer Hattie Naylor. Commissioned by the Royal Exchange Theatre and the first of five world premiere’s this season, this reworking of Waters’ award-winning novel paints captivating portraits of characters caught in the upheaval of wartime Britain and runs from Thursday 19 May – Saturday 18 June.

Theatrically inventive and emotionally gripping, The Night Watch is directed by Rebecca Gatward whose production of Maxine Peake’s Beryl has delighted audiences across the country. The production is designed by Georgia Lowe who returns following her designs for Yen and Pomona, and features sound design and composition by a BAFTA and Ivor Novello Award-winning Dan Jones and lighting design by Elliot Griggs.

It’s the late 1940s. Calm has returned to London and five people are recovering from the chaos of war.

Fractured and lost, Kay wanders the streets searching for purpose; in a quiet dating agency Helen and Viv unpick the details of other people’s love-lives, unable to speak of their own. Duncan, Viv’s fragile brother, finds solace in the mundane routine of factory life and Julia’s strength is a façade she cannot let slip. The stories of five ordinary lives intertwine as we uncover the passions, desires and regrets that have bound them together through the upheaval of wartime London.

The Night Watch stars Jodie McNee, who returns to the Royal Exchange to take on the role of Kay.  Her previous appearances at the Royal Exchange include Orpheus Descending and A Taste of Honey.  The cast also includes Ben Addis, Lucy Briggs-Owen, Christopher Ettridge, Kelly Hotton, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Joe Jameson and Thalissa Teixeira.

The Night Watch runs at the Royal Exchange Theatre 19 May to 18 June 2016.

Royal Exchange Theatre image credit University of Salford Press Office/flickr under creative commons licence.