I thought everything would change, after the war. And now, no one even mentions it. It is as if we all got together in private and said whatever you do don't mention that, like it never happened.
It's the late 1940s. Calm has returned to London and five people are recovering from the chaos of war.
In scenes set in a quiet dating agency, a bombed-out church and a prison cell, the stories of these five lives begin to intertwine and we uncover the desire and regret that has bound them together.
Sarah Waters's story of illicit love and everyday heroism takes us from a dazed and shattered post-war Britain back into the heart of the Blitz, towards the secrets that are hidden there.
Olivier-nominated playwright Hattie Naylor has created a thrilling and theatrically inventive adaptation of a great modern novel.
The stage adaptation of The Night Watch was premiered at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, on 16 May 2016.
Waters begins Night Watch at the end of her tale in 1947 and works her way backwards to 1941. Since she ensures that characters don't spoil the freshness of earlier events by leaking important information, the first part includes a series of conversations that coyly allude to the characters' pasts and make the narrative slightly difficult to comprehend. The feat of entering this tale aurally is compounded by having to follow three separate narrative lines, which Waters later connects with clever Dickensian precision. Juanita McMahon performs the work persuasively. What she lacks in vocal range, she makes up by endowing characters with accents and speech patterns to reflect distinctions of social class. She gives the character Kay's voice such deep Dietrich-like sexual innuendo that one wonders why her lovers abandon her. Recorded Books politely reminds listeners which disk they have started and repeats the last sentence of the previous. Both are welcome features. Despite the initial challenge, Night Watch is a skillfully written historical account of love of all persuasions trying to survive the dark prospects of London during the blitz. Simultaneous release with the Riverhead hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 12).