Adapted by Christopher Hampton from Austrian playwright Ödön von Horváth’s play, Judgment Day was written and is set in 1937, in a small village in Austria. Diligent railway station master Thomas Hudetz is a well respected member of his local community. That is until the charms of flirtatious young Anna distract him momentarily from the operation of the signals. There are no survivors from Express Train 405. The small town seeks a culprit but it seems only Anna knows the truth about the conscientious station master.
Written during the rise of Fascism, the question of moral responsibility lies at the heart of Judgment Day.
Hampton, who adapted Judgment Day from von Horváth’s original, has previously adapted three of the Austrian playwright’s other works, notably Tales From The Vienna Woods. A long-time collaborator with French playwright Yasmina Reza, Hampton has translated several of her plays including Conversations After A Burial, which was staged at the Almeida theatre, Art and God Of Carnage. Hampton’s own plays include Tales From Hollywood, White Chameleon, The Talking Cure and Les Liaisons Dangereuses. He also wrote the screenplay for recent film Atonement.
Judgment Day is directed by James Macdonald, who previously directed The Triumph Of Love at the Almeida theatre. His other recent credits include The Hour We Knew Nothing Of Each Other at the National Theatre, Drunk Enough To Say I Love You? at the Royal Court and David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross at the Apollo theatre.
For more about Judgment Day at the Almeida theatre, read the First Night Feature.