Time is precious. According to recent research, the average Briton’s attention span lasts just 14 minutes, with that number slashed in half when the person in question watches television. As sneaky phone checks and social media glances become more and more a regular part of everyday life, the ability to completely tune out and fully commit to a piece of content is in turn becoming a rarity. It shouldn’t be though, especially considering the vast majority of critically-praised content more often than not also boasts an extended run time that not only demands – but rewards – your time.
Need proof? Look no further than our upcoming production of theatre-epic Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Starring screen and stage icon George Costigan, this new co-production invited us to work with Glasgow’s Citizens’ Theatre on a new take of Eugene O’Neill’s Pulitzer Prize winning story of one family’s struggles with inner demons and a dark past. It’s an infamously long play, with previous productions clocking in at over three hours – and ours is no different. Head down to see Long Day’s Journey Into Night when it arrives here in early May and you can expect two 90 minute acts. Needless to say, pre-show toilet visits are advised.
However as history has shown, this commitment of time means more than just having to buy two bags of Maltesers before your visit instead of one. The award-winning Long Day’s Journey Into Night is widely considered an undisputed classic in the theatre-world and a must-see for stage fanatics who can’t get enough of live productions in the North. It joins the ranks of countless other long-form titles that transform lengthier-than-usual run-times into truly treasured and revered pieces of content. Francis Ford Coppola’s superior sequel The Godfather Part II, Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon – these are just a trio of celebrated stories that each clock in at around 180 minutes.
When it comes to the stage, the same applies. Earlier this year we hosted a six-hour stint from Action Hero Live in their tour-de-force show Slap Talk, much to the delight of Mancunian audiences. Before that we took the fun outside with Quarantine’s site-specific seasonal epic Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring at Manchester’s Old Granada Studios. Clocking in at approximately seven hours, this dynamic production quickly gathered glowing reviews from the likes of The Guardian. That said, this type of thing is nothing new. Theatre already has a long history of rewarding audiences who are unafraid of investing their time – want to see Shakespeare’s Hamlet done properly? It could set you back up to four hours. So it’s true – time is precious. Make sure you spend yours on something you’ll remember.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night shows from Thu 10 – Sat 26 May. Find out more and book tickets here.