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Casting Announced for Musical The Biograph Girl

The Biograph Girl
The Biograph Girl

The Biograph Girl

In a production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre as part of their acclaimed ‘Celebrating British Music Theatre’ series, the first professional UK production since its 1980 premiere, The Biograph Girl  by Warner Brown and David Heneker opens at the Finborough Theatre for a three week limited season on Tuesday, 22 May 2018 (Press Nights: Thursday, 24 May and Friday 25 May 2018 at 7.30pm)

From the composer of Half A Sixpence, a joyous musical celebration of Hollywood’s glorious era of silent film –  beginning in 1912 when disreputable “flickers” are shown in fleapits and no self-respecting actor will appear in them, and ending in 1928 with movies now a glamorous, multi-million dollar industry and the first talking pictures signal the doom of silent films.

In a breath taking sweep of just sixteen years, the great innovative directors created filmmaking as we know it today, ground breaking movie moguls laid the foundations of the entertainment industry, and trail blazing actors launched the Hollywood star system.

Weaving together the heartbreaks and triumphs of the flawed genius director D. W. Griffith and the first movie stars Lilian Gish and Mary Pickford, The Biograph Girl is a love letter to the stardust and scandals of the silent movie era.

The libretto has been especially revised for this production by its original co-writer Warner Brownand includes – for the very first time – the reintroduction of songs cut from the West End premiere production.

The Biograph Girl received its West End premiere at the Phoenix Theatre in 1980, directed by Victor Spinetti, with Lillian Gish in the audience. This production is directed by Jenny Eastop who returns to the Finborough Theatre following her production of Mr Gillie for which she received an OffWestEnd nomination for Best Director.

Composer David Heneker (1906-2001) remains best known for his classic British musical Half A Sixpence, recently revived to huge acclaim in Chichester and the West End. His other musicals include Expresso Bongo (with Monty Norman) (1958), wrote English lyrics for Irma La Douce(1958), Make Me An Offer (with Monty Norman) which won the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical (1959), Half a Sixpence (1963) starring Tommy Steele, which won Tony nominations for Best Musical and Best Original Score and was filmed, Charlie Girl  (with John Taylor) which ran in the West End for five years (1965), Jorrocks (1966), Phil the Fluter (1969), The Amazons (1970), Popkiss (1972), Hullabaloo (1972) and Peg (1984). He died in 2001.

Playwright and lyricist Warner Brown works on both sides of the Atlantic. As a bookwriter and lyricist, he has collaborated with the composers Angelo Badalamenti, Michael Feinstein, Tony Hatch, David Heneker, Michael Reed, Jimmy Roberts, Joshua Schmidt, Jim Steinman, Charles Strouse, George David Weiss and, by permission of the Cole Porter Trusts, the late Cole Porter. His work in the UK and London includes Son Of A Preacher Man (current UK National Tour), Cinderella (London Palladium), Six For Gold and The Black and White Ball (King’s Head Theatre), the play The Prospero Suite (Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham),The House On The Corner (Edinburgh Festival) and the new version of Half A Sixpence. Work in Europe and the US includes Garbo – The Musical and Flickers. For BBC Worldwide and Global Creatures, Warner wrote the arena show Walking With Dinosaurs – the Arena Spectacular which won many international awards, including the Billboard Magazine Creative Content Award. Warner has extensive writing credits for the BBC and was Script Associate of the BBC Classic Musical series for which he adapted fourteen musicals and directed such artists as Anthony Newley, Barbara Cook and Tyne Daly. He is co-sponsor of The S&S Award for new musical theatre writing.

Director Jenny Eastop returns to the Finborough Theatre following her production of Mr Gillie for which she received an OffWestEnd nomination for Best Director. She is Artistic Director of Mercurius Theatre for whom she has directed The Waiting Room (Leicester Square Theatre and Above the Arts Theatre), The AlchemistThe Devil Is An AssA Chaste Maid in Cheapside and A Trick to Catch the Old One (all at The Rose Playhouse, Bankside), Anton Chekhov’s Vaudevilles (Jermyn Street Theatre), and School for Wives (White Bear Theatre) for which she received an OffWestEndnomination for Best Director. Jenny has also directed for companies such as Shakespeare’s Globe, National Theatre Studio and London New Play Festival, including the premiere of Peter Nichols’ new play So Long Life (Tobacco Factory, Bristol), Warde Street (Park Theatre) for which she received an OffWestEnd nomination for Best Director, and Henna Night (Leicester Square Theatre). Jenny has worked as Associate Director to Michael Blakemore on The Life (Southwark Playhouse), Blithe Spirit, with Angela Lansbury (Gielgud Theatre and US Tour), Embers, with Jeremy Irons (Duke of York’s Theatre), Democracy (National Theatre, Wyndham’s Theatre, Broadway, and Sydney Theatre Company), Afterlife (National Theatre), Three Sisters, with Kristin Scott Thomas (Playhouse Theatre). Resident Direction includes working with Roger Michell on Blue/Orange (Duchess Theatre) and The Homecoming (National Theatre), and Matthew Warchus on The Devil Is an Ass (Royal Shakespeare Company).

The cast is:

Matthew Cavendish

Matthew Cavendish | Sennett

Trained at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Theatre includes Showstopper! (Lyric Theatre) the original Broadway cast of The Play That Goes Wrong (Lyceum Theatre, New York City), The Play That Goes Wrong (Duchess Theatre) Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Apollo Theatre and National Tour), Lights! Camera! Improvise!(Edinburgh Festival), Sleeping Beauty (Park Theatre), The Boys From Syracuse (Union Theatre), The Borrowers, winner of the TMA Best Children’s Show (Northern Stage, Newcastle), An Intimate Evening with Ruthie Henshall (Apex Theatre, Suffolk) and News Revue (Canal Café Theatre).

Television includes A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong.

Matt is a member of both the Olivier and Tony award winning companies Mischief Theatre and Showstopper – The Improvised Musical.  

Lauren Chinery

Lauren Chinery | Dorothy Gish

Trained at Performance Preparation Academy, Guildford.
Theatre includes Miss Nightingale (London Hippodrome), Beauty and the Beast (Cast, Doncaster), Dreamboats and Petticoats (National Tour), Gatsby (Leicester Square Theatre) and Can’t Stop It (London Theatre Workshop).

Joshua C. Jackson

Joshua C. Jackson | Epping

Trained at The Arts Educational School London.

Theatre includes Caliban (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), The Motherf**ker With the Hat and Icarus’s Mother (Andrew Lloyd Webber Theatre), Keeping It Real (Edinburgh Festival) andShowstoppers the Improvised Musical.

Television and Film includes Autopsy, Black Mirror and American Animals.

Commercials include Apple and Knorr.

Emily Langham

Emily Langham | Lillian Gish

Trained at Arts Educational Schools having been awarded an Andrew Lloyd Webber Scholarship.

Theatre includes Follies (National Theatre), Mrs Henderson Presents(Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto), Cats (National and European Tour), Mack and Mabel (Chichester Festival Theatre and National Tour) and Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre).

Television includes HelpStupid and Dead Ringers.

Radio includes Friday Night is Music Night.

Workshops include A Theory of Justice: The Musical and Absolute Hell (National Theatre).

Sophie Linder-Lee

Sophie Linder-Lee | Mary Pickford

Trained at Performers College where she was the winner of the Music Award and Third Year Award.

Theatre includes Big Fish (The Other Palace), The Rocky Horror Show (Italian Tour and Oxford Playhouse), The Rocky Horror Show (National Tour) and the 42nd anniversary gala performance of Rocky Horror Live (Playhouse Theatre), Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre), Mamma Mia (Prince of Wales Theatre), Silence! The Musical (Barons Court Theatre), Apollo Victoria 80th Anniversary Gala (Apollo Victoria Theatre), P and O Cruises (Stadium Theatre Company), Broadway’s Spirit of Christmas (US Tour), Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella(Towngate Theatre, Basildon) and Cinderella (QDOS).

Film includes Rocky Horror Live and Mamma Mia! The Movie (pre-production workshop).

Television includes dancer on The X Factor with Mamma Mia!, The SlammerTop of the Pops and Halifax commercial.

Recordings include Don’t Stop Believing’ (National Tour).

wew.sophielinderlee.com

Jonathan Leinmuller

Jonathan Leinmuller | D. W. Griffith

Trained at Drama Centre London.
Theatre includes Lucky Stiff (Union Theatre), Domestic Extremists (The Space), A Bright Room Called Day (Southwark Playhouse), Innovation (Park Theatre), Darling of the Day (Union Theatre), Billy Budd (Southwark Playhouse), Little Baby Nothing (Theatre503), Paradise (Arcola Theatre), Pericles (Rose Theatre) and Elegant Fowl (Old Red Lion Theatre).

Film includes Latitude the Movie.

Television includes Argentine Tango.

Jason Morell

Jason Morell | Bitzer and Zukor

Trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama

Theatre includes Present Laughter (Theatre Royal Bath), The Merchant of VeniceThe Taming of the Shrew (Royal Shakespeare Company), Oliver! (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), Faustus; (Hampstead Theatre), The Prince and the Pauper (Unicorn Theatre), Lysistrata (Arcola Theatre), Rainsnakes (The Young Vic), The Reckless are Dying OutThe Cenci (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith); The Critic (Manchester Royal Exchange), Ritual in Blood (Nottingham Playhouse), The Duchess of MalfiRomeo and JulietThe Double InconstancyThe Rehearsal (Salisbury Playhouse), The Silver Lake(Wilton’s Music Hall), Swan White (Gate Theatre), The Artificial Jungle (Leicester Haymarket), The Leonardo ProjectThe Cutting of the ClothThe Difficult Man (National Theatre Studio), Hamlet(National and International Tour) and Gertrude, the Cry, Thirteen Objects (The Wrestling School at Riverside Studios and Elsinore Castle).

Film includes PhotocopierSecret LoveThe LakeThe GatheringMrs BrownWildeBiddyPrincess and Damage.

Television includes Doctor WhoAffinityUltimate ForceMy Dad’s the Prime MinisterHear the SilenceSecond SightAristophanesThe Gods are laughing, The Bill and J’Accuse Agatha.

Charlie Ryall

Charlie Ryall | Rose

Trained at Stella Adler Studio of Acting.

Theatre includes The Bashful Lover and The Elder Brother (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), NewsRevue (Canal Café Theatre), The Feigned CourtesansThe Alchemist and The Devil is an Ass (Rose Theatre), Bugsy Malone (Civic Hall, Stratford-upon-Avon), Much Ado About Nothing (New Wimbledon Theatre), King Lear (Cockpit Theatre), Macbeth (Lion and Unicorn Theatre), Hamlet (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Importance of Being Earnest (Brighton Festival), Buchwald and Friends! A Victoria Wood Revue (Leicester Square Theatre) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (New London Theatre and National Tour)

Film includes Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II.

Television includes First Men in the MoonJake’s Progress and A Touch of Frost.

Nova Skipp

Nova Skipp | Momma

Trained at the Arts Educational Schools, London.

Theatre includes Aspects of Love (Prince of Wales Theatre), The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre), Salad Days(Vaudeville Theatre and National Tour), Chess in Concert (Royal Albert Hall), The Sound of Music (London Palladium), Assassins(Pleasance London), FolliesMeet Me in St LouisDamn Yankees(Landor Theatre), Apartment 40C (The Other Palace), Anything Goes(Upstairs at the Gatehouse), Gentlemen Prefer BlondesAnnieThe King and IAcorn AntiquesThe Two Most Perfect ThingsAbigail’s PartyCarrie’s WarThe Smallest Show on Earth and Funny Girl (National Tours), Cats (Stuttgart), The Sound of Music (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield), Kes (Theatre Royal York and Derby Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s DreamTroilus and Cressida (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park), Oklahoma!The Rise and Fall of Little Voice,Bedroom Farce and Carousel (Octagon Theatre, Yeovil), Carousel(Perth Theatre, Scotland), The Rocky Horror ShowGrease (Gaiety Theatre, Isle of Man), Side by Side by Sondheim and Annie (Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage), Pardon Me, Prime Minister and Hay Fever(Theatre Royal Windsor).

Recordings include His ExcellencyOnce Upon a Dream and Children’s Musical Theatre.

www.novaskipp.com

The Finborough Theatre’s ‘Celebrating British Music Theatre’ series has seen a host of acclaimed productions of British music theatre including both rediscoveries and premieres. Rediscoveries include Leslie Stuart’s Florodora, Lionel Monckton’s Our Miss Gibbs, Harold Fraser-Simson’s operetta The Maid of the MountainsA “Gilbert and Sullivan” Double Bill featuring Gilbert’s play Sweetheartsand Sullivan’s opera The Zoo, Dame Ethel Smyth’s opera The Boatswain’s Mate, Sandy Wilson’s The Buccaneer, Oscar Asche’s Chu Chin Chow, Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley’s The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd, Ivor Novello’s Perchance to Dream, Gay’s The Word (which transferred to Jermyn Street Theatre), and Valley of Song, Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Grand Duke and Princess Ida, Edward German’s Merrie England, Rutland Boughton’s 1914 “music-drama” The Immortal Hour, Julian Slade and Dorothy Reynolds’ Free As Air, and Alan Price and Trevor Peacock’s Andy Capp – The Musical. Premieres have included Grant Olding’s Three Sides, Charles Miller and Kevin Hammonds’ When Midnight Strikes, Paul Scott Goodman’s Rooms: A Rock Romance, Phil Willmott’s Princess Caraboo and Lost Boy (which transferred to Charing Cross Theatre), and Craig Adams and Nona Sheppard’s Thérèse Raquin (which transferred to the Park Theatre). The Finborough Theatre cast recordings of When Midnight StrikesGay’s The Word, Valley of Song and Thérèse Raquin are all available on CD.

The press on the 1980 West End premiere of The Biograph Girl

“A most excellent, delicate and perceptive entertainment…after fifty years of play going I was taken by delighted surprise. I would ask all London to go and see it.” Sir Harold Hobson, Drama

“Tuneful, witty and sophisticated.” Francis King, Sunday Telegraph

“A sweet lament for lost innocence … this delightfully unassuming show contains the same naive charm as those early flicks’ themselves. A minor miracle.” Jack Tinker, Daily Mail

“A joyous celebration of the silent screen … a delight. It captures moments of sheer exuberant nostalgia.” Sheridan Morley, International Herald Tribune.


The Press on director Jenny Eastop

“Beautifully brought to light in the detailed direction of Jenny Eastop” ★★★★ Four Stars, The Arts Desk on Mr Gillie

“Eastop’s production is warm and big-hearted” Broadway World on Mr Gillie

“Great credit to the show’s director Jenny Eastop” ★★★★★ Five Stars, LondonTheatre1 on Warde Street

“Bang on direction by Jenny Eastop” ★★★★ Four Stars, WhatsOnStage on Warde Street

“A very tight production” ★★★★★ Five Stars, LondonTheatre1 on The Devil Is An Ass

“Director Jenny Eastop…distilled whisky-strong, plastic-melting performances”

★★★★ Four Stars, QX Magazine on The Waiting Room

“This production is further proof of the exceptional theatre we have in the UK” ★★★★★ Five Stars, The New Current on School for Wives

 

Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED

Book online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk

Box Office 01223 357851. (Calls are free. There will be a 5% booking fee.) Lines are open Monday– Saturday 10.00am-6.00pm

Tuesday, 22 May – Saturday, 9 June 2018

Tuesday to Saturday evenings at 7.30pm. Sunday matinees at 3.00pm. Saturday matinees at 3.00pm (from 2 June 2018).

Prices until 27 May 2018 – Tickets £18, £16 concessions, except Friday and Saturday evenings £18 all seats.

Previews (22 and 23 May) £14 all seats.
£10 tickets for Under 30s for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only.
£14 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on Saturday, 26 May 2018when booked online only.

Prices from 29 May 2018 – Tickets £20, £18 concessions, except Tuesday evenings £18 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £20 all seats.

Performance Length: Approximately two hours with one interval of fifteen minutes.

New season announced at the Finborough Theatre

Finborough Theatre
Neil McPherson

Neil McPherson

“Under Neil McPherson, possibly the most unsung of all major artistic directors in Britain, the Finborough has continued to plough a fertile path of new plays and rare revivals that gives it an influence disproportionate to its tiny 50-seat size.” Mark Shenton, The Stage

The 150th birthday year of the Finborough Theatre building continues with three plays – Finishing the PictureArthur Miller’s final play in only its second production anywhere in the world; But It Still Goes On by poet and novelist Robert Graves which has never been performed anywhere in the world; and Homos, or Everyone in America, the European premiere of a new American play by Jordan Seavey in his UK debut.

The season opens with the European premiere of Arthur Miller’s last play, Finishing the Picture, playing 12 June7 July 2018. A razor sharp psychological study of an abused, misunderstood female star and the havoc her unpredictability brings to a film set in 1961, based on Miller’s relationship with Marilyn Monroe. This European premiere is only the play’s second production anywhere in the world, and is directed by Phil Willmott, following his acclaimed Finborough Theatre productions of Arthur Miller’s The American Clock and Incident at Vichy.

The season continues with a unique rediscovery from 1929 – the never previously performed But It Still Goes on by poet and novelist Robert Graves, playing 10 July–4 August 2018 as part of the Finborough Theatre’s THEGREATWAR100 series. Influenced by the drawing room comedies of Noël Coward and W. Somerset Maugham, it explores themes of adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, gender politics, casual sex, and inter-generational conflict, but with a surreal dark twist. This long-overdue world premiere is directed by Fidelis Morgan, returning to the Finborough Theatre following her sell-out adaptation of Patrick Hamilton’s Hangover Square, and her direction of Irish classic Drama at Inish starring Celia Imrie and Paul O’Grady.

The season culminates with the European premiere from exciting American playwright in his UK debut, Jordan Seavey’s Homos, or Everyone in America, playing 7 August–1 September 2018. In a supposedly ‘post-gay’ America on the brink of passing marriage equality, a first date at a New York bar starts two men on a fearless, funny and fragmented journey leading up to a historic moment of change. This raw and provocative love story is directed by award winning Josh Seymour returning to the Finborough Theatre following his sell out production of Adding Machine: A Musical.

Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson said: “Our new season brings you three theatrical treats – the long-overdue opportunity to finally see Arthur Miller’s very last play; another of our truly unique rediscoveries with a play by poet and novelist Robert Graves that has never previously been performed anywhere in the world; and, as always, we haven’t forgotten the new – with a European premiere from an American playwright in his UK debut. This season we also offer Sunday evening performances for our productions.”

– Neil McPherson, Artistic Director

June to August 2018 | Press Nights and Photocalls

Tuesday, 12 June – Saturday, 7 July 2018

The UK premiere

FINISHING THE PICTURE

by Arthur Miller. Directed by Phil Willmott.
Press Nights: Thursday, 14 June 2018 and Friday, 15 June 2018 at 7.30PM.

Photocall: Tuesday, 12 June 2018 at 1.00pm–1.30pm.

Tuesday, 10 July – Saturday, 4 August 2018

The world premiere
BUT IT STILL GOES ON

by Robert Graves. Directed by Fidelis Morgan.

Press Nights: Thursday, 12 July 2018 and Friday, 13 July 2018 at 7.30PM

Photocall: Tuesday, 12 July 2018 at 1.00pm–1.30pm.

Tuesday, 7 August – Saturday, 1 September 2018

The European premiere

HOMOS, OR EVERYONE IN AMERICA

by Jordan Seavey. Directed by Josh Seymour.

Press Night: Thursday, 9 August 2018 at 7.30pm

Photocall: Wednesday, 8 August 2018 at 4.00pm–4.30pm
(NB – PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE TO OUR NORMAL PHOTOCALL TIME)

Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED

Book online here

No booking fees on online, personal or postal bookings

Box Office 01223 357851. (Calls are free. There will be a 5% booking fee.)
Lines are open Monday – Saturday 10.00am-6.00pm


PERFORMANCE TIMES AND PRICES
Tuesday to Sunday evenings at 7.30pm. Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3.00pm.
Prices for Weeks One and Two – Tickets £18, £16 concessions, except Tuesday evenings £16 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £18 all seats. Previews £14 all seats.
£10 tickets for Under 30s for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only.
£14 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on Saturday, when booked online only.

Prices for Weeks Three and Four – Tickets £20, £18 concessions, except Tuesday evenings £18 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £20 all seats.

Casting Announced for White Guy on the Bus

Marina Bye
Marina Bye

Marina Bye

“Do you want that money to get your son to a nice safe neighbourhood, or are you going to make some noble, moral stand which means absolutely nothing?”

In a production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre, the European premiere of American playwright Bruce Graham’s White Guy on the Bus opens at the Finborough Theatre for a four-week limited season on Tuesday, 27 March 2018 (Press Nights: Thursday, 29 March and Friday, 30 March 2018 at 7.30pm).

Ray and Roz are a white, liberal couple living in the safe, staid suburbs of Philadelphia. He is a financial consultant who makes “rich people richer”. She is a passionate teacher who commutes every day to educate the mainly black students of an inner-city school.

On the face of it, life runs smoothly. But Ray seems to hanker after change. He leaves his Mercedes in the drive, and takes to riding the public bus through the African-American neighbourhoods of the city – the only white guy on the bus.

Ray becomes a regular on the same route as Shatique – a young, black single mother who is studying to become a nurse, and determined to make a different life for her 9-year-old son. They strike up a relationship. But what does Ray really want from Shatique?

Bruce Graham’s excoriating and shocking play blows open the racial fault-lines of Trump’s America. With an all too familiar resonance here in the UK, it questions us all – what deals are we willing to make, and with which devils?

White Guy on the Bus, a Critics’ Pick in The New York Times for its New York City production, is a European premiere from award-winning American playwright Bruce Graham. It is directed by Jelena Budimir, a former Associate Director at Chickenshed Theatre.

Playwright Bruce Graham plays include Burkie, Early One Evening at the Rainbow Bar and GrilleMoon Over the Brewery, Minor Demons, Belmont Avenue Social Club, The Champagne Charlie Stakes, Desperate Affection, Coyote on a Fence (winner of The Rosenthal Prize and seen at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, and in the West End), According to Goldman, Something Intangible (winner of seven Barrymore Awards including Best New Play), Any Given Monday(Barrymore winner for Best New Play), The Outgoing Tide (Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Play), Stella and Lou, North of the Boulevard, Rizzo and Funnyman. Fully Accessible and The Happy [email protected]#$%G Blind Guy have been published in Best Ten Minute Plays of 2013 and 2014. His one man show The Philly Fan plays semi-continuously throughout the Philadelphia area. He has received grants from the Pew Foundation, the Princess Grace Foundation (Statuette Award Winner), the Rockefeller Foundation and the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative. Along with Michele Volansky, he is the author of the book, The Collaborative Playwright. Graham is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He teaches film and theatre courses at Drexel University, and also works as an actor. He divides his time between South Philly and Elkton, Maryland.

Director Jelena Budimir returns to the Finborough Theatre after directing Athena Stevens’ new play Genie for Vibrant 2017 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights. Jelena was Associate Director at Chickenshed Theatre for 22 years where she developed the Studio Theatre, and led on Chickenshed’s emerging writers’ programme Write Here, Write Now. Direction includes Benjamin Zephaniah’s Refugee Boy adapted by Lemn Sissay, Sarah Daniels’ The Gut Girls, The Comedy of Errors, Dario Fo’s Can’t Pay! Won’t Pay!, Lysistrata, Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker, Yard Gal by Rebecca Prichard and Ariel Dorfmen’s Widows (Chickenshed) and Life After Death by Antuneil Thompson (Camden People’s Theatre). She has worked on projects with Clean Break Theatre Company and Hampstead Theatre, and was a member of the Crescent Theatre Ensemble. She has also written extensively for young people and children. Jelena originally trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama – her performance work includes fringe, rep and West End alongside film, TV and radio.

The cast is:

Marina Bye  | Molly

Trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Film includes Breathe, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, How to Talk to Girls at Parties and A Caribbean Dream.

Marina and her sister have also formed a comedy duo Siblings Comedy, performing at various festivals around the UK.

Samantha Coughlan  | Roz

Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Footprints on the Moon, His Greatness and Blue Surge.

Trained at Circle In The Square Theatre School, New York.

Theatre includes A View From the Bridge  (The Young Vic and Wyndham’s Theatre), National Anthems (The Old Vic), The Shape of Things (Ambassadors Theatre), The End of Longing (Playhouse Theatre), Vieux Carre (King’s Head Theatre and Charing Cross Theatre), Death of A Salesman(Lyric Theatre), Problem Child (New End Theatre, Hampstead)The Big Sleep (The Mill at Sonning), The Children’s Hour (Harold Pinter Theatre), Orpheus Descending(English Theatre of Berlin), Rain Man (Apollo Theatre), Steel Magnolias (Octagon Theatre, Bolton), The White House Murder Case (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond),The Dutchman (The Crate Gallery), The Slave (Tristan Bates Theatre – Black History Month).

Film includes Heaven, Kingsman – The Golden Circle, Criminal, Survivor, Kick Ass 2,The Bends, Rabbit Fever, Love Me Do for which she was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Award at the IIFC Awards and The German Lullabyfor which she won Best Actress Award at the London Film Festival.

Television includes Deep State, Absentia, Wallis: The Queen That Never Was, Obsession: Dark Desires, A Poet in New York, Jonathan Creek, Dead or Alive, Stella, Above Suspicion (Silent Scream), Absolute Power, Spooks, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and Deadman’s Gun.

Samantha is also a successful voiceover artist working in commericals, gaming and narration. She is the North American voice of Nike Training Club.

Donald Sage Mackay  | Ray

Trained with a MFA, Acting at the University of California at San Diego and the Moscow Art Theatre.

Theatre includes A Moon for the Misbegotten (Lyric Theatre, Belfast), Linda (Manhattan Theatre Club, New York City), Fred’s Diner (Magic Theatre), Angry Alan (Edinburgh Festival, Aspen Fringe and Shri Ram Centre, Delhi), Our Town (Actors Theatre of Louisville), stop. reset. (Signature Theatre, New York City), Blood and Gifts (La Jolla Playhouse), His Girl Friday (La Jolla Playhouse) and Six Degrees of Separation(Old Globe Theatre).

Film includes Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Television includes Deep State, The Looming Tower, Modern Family, Mad Men, Masters of Sex, Elementary, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, House, The West Wing, NCIS, Law and Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, The Shield, Frasier, Star Trek Enterprise, According to Jim, ER, The Amazing Mrs. Novak, Scrubs, The Practice and Providence.

This production marks Donald’s London theatrical debut. He is also making his UK television debut this April in a major recurring role in Deep State opposite Mark Strong and Samantha Coughlan.

Joanna McGibbon | Shatique

Trained at National Youth Theatre REP.

Theatre includes Cosmic Jive (The Albany), Jekyll and Hyde(Ambassadors Theatre), Mrs Dalloway (Ambassadors Theatre), Othello (NYT REP and Frantic Assembly), The Fall (Criterion Theatre) and Focus E15 (Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh).

Carl Stone | Christopher

Trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Theatre includes Love’s Labour’s Lost (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), The Tale of Januarie (Silk Street Theatre) and Four Score Years and Ten (National Tour) and Saved (Milton Court Studio Theatre).

Television includes Future Tense – The Story of H. G. Wells.

Spotlight on Humanity: Radius Playwriting Competition 2018

Radius
Radius

Radius

Radius Playwriting Competition 2018 has now been launched in tandem with the Radius YouTube Channel. Judges of the competition are Neil McPherson and Sue Healy, Artistic Director and Literary Manager of London’s Finborough Theatre, and the winning script is guaranteed a reading in the Finborough’s prestigious Vibrant 2018 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights. There will be a prize of £500. Entry is free.

Radius provides high-quality drama scripts to churches and community groups. In addition to a collection of original takes on the Christmas and Easter stories, we specialize in plays that ask searching questions about how life should be lived, and we avoid offering easy answers.  Past winners of Radius playwriting competitions include Cell Talk by Dana Bagshaw, about the medieval women mystics Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe, and Red Star by Les Ellison, exploring the astronaut Yuri Gagarin’s failure to cope with the pressures of celebrity.

Submissions should be emailed to [email protected] by 5 pm on 1 May, 2018.  The winner will be announced on 23 July 2018. Entries should last between one and two hours in performance and may be on any subject. Entrants should be UK residents and the winner will work with a dramaturg at the Finborough Theatre to develop the play for the Vibrant Festival in October 2018.

More information about Radius’s playwriting competition, YouTube Channel, our unique script collection and other initiatives can be found here.

 Introduce yourself to the Finborough Theatre – an opportunity for all creatives to meet the Finborough Theatre team

Finborough Theatre
Finborough Theatre

Finborough Theatre

To ensure that their  work remains accessible to all, and following the success of Introduce Yourself for playwrights during their annual Vibrant– A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, Finborough Theatre is now extending Introduce Yourself to provide an opportunity for emerging creatives (other than writers) to engage with them.

Introduce Yourself is for new directors, designers, lighting designers, sound designers, choreographers, movement directors, actors etc etc etc from the UK who have never previously worked at the Finborough Theatre and who would like to meet them.

On Tuesday evenings during February 2018 Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre (13, 20, 28 February), and Alex Marker, Resident Designer of the Finborough Theatre (6 February), will be in the Finborough Arms pub below the theatre between 6.00pm and 9.00pm for you to Introduce Yourself personally.

Bookings will open for each fifteen minute slot at the Finborough Theatre on Thursday, 1 February 2018 by email to [email protected]

Following a discussion on social media which can be read on Facebook here, both Neil and Alex will be accompanied by a female member of staff, and you are welcome to bring someone along with you if you would like to.

Casting announced for 150th anniversary play at the Finborough Theatre

Cyril's Success
Cyril's Success

Cyril’s Success

“If ever you publish that volume of poetry which you threaten us with, I will not only review itfavourably, but damme, I’ll read it.”  

During 2018, the Finborough Theatre celebrates 150 years of the Finborough Theatre building with an anniversary selection of the best plays from 1868. The FINBOROUGH150 series opens with the first London production since 1890 of Cyril’s Success by playwright and local resident Henry J. Byron playing for nine Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees from Sunday, 4 February 2018 (Press Night: Monday, 5 February 2018 at 7.30pm).

London, 1868. Young playwright Cyril Cuthbert is at the beginning of what promises to be a triumphant career. Eagerly pursued by theatre managers, critics and star actors, and lovingly supported by his wife, Cyril is happier than ever.

But as his career takes off, his newly-won fame takes a toll on his marriage until Mrs Cuthbert discovers proof that Cyril’s attention and heart have wandered…

First staged in November 1868 in London, and the following year in the United States, and filled with pungent – and still very apposite – satire of critics, writers, actors and theatre folk, Cyril’s Successwas one of Henry J. Byron’s biggest successes – a semi-autobiographical romantic comedy about the trials and joys of marriage and of a life in the theatre.

Playwright Henry James Byron (1835-1884) was a prolific playwright, producing over 150 dramatic works, as well as being an editor, journalist, actor, theatre manager and director. Among his many successful plays was Our Boys (1875) which broke the records for London’s longest-running play with 1,362 performances of the original production. He is possibly best remembered today for his work in pantomime where he created the character of Widow Twankey in Aladdin, or, The Wonderful Scamp(1861), and adding both the Ugly Sisters and Buttons to Cinderella (1860). He was the editor of Funmagazine (1861), showcasing the talents of the young W. S. Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan fame. He is buried in Brompton Cemetery, close to the Finborough Theatre.

Director Hannah Boland Moore returns to the Finborough Theatre where she directed Veterans Dayin 2017. Direction includes The Provoked Wife (White Bear Theatre, and transfer to the Hope Theatre), The One (Lion and Unicorn Theatre), The Broken Circle Breakdown (Karamel Club),Confetti (LOST Theatre) and As You Like It (Royal Shakespeare Company Open Stages). Assistant Direction includes the Olivier Award nominated It Is Easy To Be Dead (Finborough Theatre and Trafalgar Studios) and The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Greenwich Theatre). Hannah has also worked as Text Assistant to the Master of Words at Shakespeare’s Globe on The Merchant of VeniceAs You Like ItMuch Ado About NothingKing JohnRichard II and Measure for Measure. Hannah trained Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.

FINBOROUGH150. 2018 marks 150 years of the Finborough Theatre building, originally designed by prominent Victorian architect George Godwin. We will be celebrating our birthday throughout the year with an anniversary selection of the best plays from 1868. #finborough150

The cast is:

Tim Gibson | Cyril Cuthbert
Trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
Theatre includes A Woman of No Importance (Vaudeville Theatre), The Provoked Wife (Hope Theatre and White Bear Theatre), The Importance of Being Earnest (Italy Tour), Richard III (National Tour) Homo- (Rosemary Branch Theatre), Pygmalion (English Theatre, Vienna), Night Without Luz (Festival Off, Avignon), Letters from Everyone (Drayton Arms Theatre), Another CountryAngels in America: Millennium Approaches and Mephisto (Oxford Playhouse) and Swan Song (Edinburgh Festival). Theatre whilst training includes As You Like ItEarthquakes in LondonThe House of Blue Leaves and Cock.
Film includes NoteWays of Seeing and I Love London. 

Lewis Hart | Titeboy
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Cornelius.
Theatre includes Dunsinane (Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre of Scotland),Hedda Gabler and Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off (Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh,and Dundee Repertory Theatre), This Much (Soho Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream,The Taming of the ShrewTwelfth NightThe Comedy of Errors and Pocket Dream (Propeller Theatre Company), Longshore Drift (Old Vic New Voices), The Enlightenment Café (Old Vic Tunnels), Life Support (York Theatre Royal), Miller (Etcetera Theatre), The Cage and Turning to the Camera (Edinburgh Festival). 

Will Kelly | Major Treherne
Trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Theatre includes A Woman of No Importance (Vaudeville Theatre), The Provoked Wife (Hope Theatre and White Bear Theatre), Hansel and Gretel (St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden), Romeo and Juliet(Young Shakespeare Company), King Lear (Bristol Old Vic), The Trojan Women and The Madame Macadam Travelling Theatre (Bristol Old Vic Studio), The Ugly One (Alma Tavern, Bristol) and The Babysitter (Pleasance Edinburgh). Theatre whilst training includes As You Like ItThe Country Wife,LadybirdPoshSeparate TablesOur Country’s GoodCapitalThe Last Days of Judas Iscariot,Pornography and The Shape of Things. 

Allegra Marland | Mrs Bliss
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include After October.
Trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
Theatre includes Romeo and Juliet (Union Theatre), Wine Over Clementine (Cockpit Theatre) andLove’s Labour’s Lost (Neuss Globe Theatre).
Film includes Goodbye Christopher Robin and Sunday Tide.
Television includes Father Brown.

Isabella Marshall | Mrs Cuthbert
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Caste.
Trained at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes Woyzeck (The Old Vic), Hamlet and All’s Well That Ends Well (Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol and Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham), Cinderella: A Fairytale (The Tobacco Factory, Bristol, and Travelling Light), Peter PanDancing at LughnasaShe Stoops to ConquerAn Inspector Calls and Vincent in Brixton (Theatre by the Lake, Keswick) and Flowers of the Field (White Bear Theatre).
Television includes Shakespeare and Hathaway: Private Investigators and Grantchester.
Radio includes The Real George Orwell.
Short film includes La Entrevista and Amygdala.

Stephen Rashbrook | Mr Pincher
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include After October.
Theatre includes WasteLutherThe Winter’s TaleHamlet and Certain Young Men (National Theatre), The Lady in the Van and Jackie (Queen’s Theatre), Talk of the Devil (Bristol Old Vic), Forty Years On and Robert and Elizabeth (Chichester Festival Theatre), Nicholas NicklebyPeter PanThe Merry Wives of WindsorThe Knight of the Burning PestleOthelloJulius Caesar and Twelfth Night(Royal Shakespeare Company), Knots and Bumps (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), Hamlet (Donmar Warehouse), A Private Treason (Palace Theatre, Watford), As You Like It (Greenwich Theatre), A Fool and His Money (Nottingham Playhouse and Birmingham Rep), Sweeney Todd and The Remains of the Day (Union Theatre), The Tempest and Much Ado About Nothing (US Tour), The Sound of Music (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry), The Rat Pack: Live from Las Vegas (US Tour and West End),The Rat Pack Christmas Show (Scandinavian Tour and West End) and Who Killed Agatha Christie (National Tour).
Television includes The RoyalsHollyoaksHolby CityDoctorsMy Dad’s the Prime MinisterFrost,New TricksPowersUrban GothicLook and ReadEmmerdale and over five hundred documentaries as narrator.  

Susan Tracy | Miss Grannet
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Variation on a Theme and Dream of a Perfect Sleep.
Theatre includes The Wars of the Roses (Rose Theatre, Kingston), A Day by the Sea (Southwark Playhouse), Nijinsky, The Deep Blue Sea and Playhouse Creatures (Chichester Festival Theatre),Three Sisters for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award, Anna Christie for which she was also nominated for an Olivier Award, The Relapse, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Othello (Royal Shakespeare Company), Much Ado About Nothing (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park), Long Day’s Journey into Night (Cambridge Theatre Company), The Old Wives Tale (New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme), Denial (Bristol Old Vic), Anything Goes (National Theatre and Theatre Royal Drury Lane), A Passage to India (Shared Experience, National Tour and BAM Harvey Theater, New York City), Richard II and Inherit the Wind (The Old Vic) and A Chorus of Disapproval (Harold Pinter Theatre).
Film includes The Death and Life of John F Donovan.
Television includes The TrialMidsomer Murders, Casualty, DoctorsThe Stars Look Down, Born and Bred, Inspector Lewis, The Diary of Anne Frank and Poirot.

The press on playwright H J Byron
“A master of genial wit and humour” The Times
“A true power of fun that makes itself felt high and low.” Journal of a London Playgoer on Punch andFun
“Mr Byron will certainly be pointed out by future historians of the stage as one of the most prolific authors of our time… Verbal shots follow each other so quickly that one laugh has scarcely died away when another is raised…Of the success of Our Boys there can be no doubt.” The Times on Our Boys
“Mr Byron has succeeded admirably…a storm of applause interrupted the performance.” Pall Mall Gazette on Dearer Than Life
“Seldom has a success been more complete on the occasion of a first representation.” Advertiser Gazette on Dearer Than Life
“The most perfect and genuine success.” Daily News on Dearer Than Life
“A paragraph must suffice at present to record the complete success of a new and original drama, written by Mr H J Byron, and entitled Dearer than Life, produced here last evening before a most appreciative audience…equally due to excellence of acting and to cleverness of construction.” Daily Telegraph on Dearer Than Life
“Clever and creditable drama.” Sunday Times  on Dearer Than Life

The press on director Hannah Boland Moore
On The Provoked Wife –
“Hannah Boland Moore’s direction is spot on…creating moments of true comic genius.” ★★★★★ Five stars, The Spy in the Stalls 
“Fantastic…talented director Hannah Boland Moore has secured an ensemble who work beautifully together.” ★★★★★ Five stars, London Theatre 1
“It takes something special to make a 320-year-old play feel fresh, funny and entirely up-to-date, and Marooned Theatre do exactly that.” ★★★★★ Five stars, London Pub Theatres
“Skilfully directed by Hannah Boland Moore.” ★★★★ Four stars, Act Drop
On Veterans Day –
“Hannah Boland Moore directs her perfectly-cast production with finely-calibrated sensitivity.” ★★★★ Four stars, Jewish Renaissance
“Hannah Boland Moore’s direction counterpoints the action with a score that confirms the play’s dictum that “military music is to music what military justice is to justice.” Michael Billington in The Guardian
PRESS NIGHT: MONDAY, 5 FEBRUARY 2018 AT 7.30PM
PHOTOCALL: MONDAY, 5 FEBRUARY 2018 AT 5.00PM–5.30PM

Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Book online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk
No booking fees on online, personal or postal bookings
By Telephone –
Until 29 January 2018 – Box Office 0844 847 1652 (Calls will cost 7ppm plus your network access charge.)
From 30 January 2018 – Box Office 01223 357851. (Calls are free. There will be a 5% booking fee.) Lines are open Monday– Saturday 10.00am-6.00pm
Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 February 2018
Sunday and Monday evenings at 7.30pm. Tuesday matinees at 2.00pm.
Tickets £18, £16 concessions.
Performance Length: Approximately two hours including one interval of fifteen minutes.

Casting announced for Imaginationship

“Sex is nothing. It’s relationships that’s a poison. It’s love what does the damage.”

Originally seen as a staged reading as part of Vibrant 2017 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, the world premiere of Imaginationship by Sue Healy runs at the Finborough Theatre, playing Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees from Sunday, 7 January 2018 (Press Night:Monday, 8 January 2018 at 7.30pm).

Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. 59-year-old Ginnie attempts to seduce her unrequited love, the nymphomaniac Brenda. Attila is from Hungary but has ended up scraping an existence in Yarmouth – and pursues Melody who is obsessed with her cold and distant evening-class tutor, Tony. Power-plays and relationships clash until a seduction too far leads to mass murder.

Set in a marginalised Brexit town, Imaginationship explores obsession, sex addiction, and the devastating effect of imbalanced relationships, not least between immigrants and locals, London and the regions.

Playwright Sue Healy was born in Ireland. Her work has been supported and developed by the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, the Peggy Ramsay Foundation and Arts Council England. She has won the Sussex Playwrights’ Award and the Escalator Award, and been a finalist for BBC Scriptroom 12, the Eamon Keane Playwriting Prize, the Nick Darke Award and Old Vic 12. Plays include Cow (Etcetera Theatre) and Brazen Strap (King’s Head Theatre), both funded by Arts Council England. Her work has also been performed at the Hackney Attic, Claremorris Festival (New Writing Award winner), Brighton Festival and Sterts Theatre. Radio plays include nine plays which have broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (‘Opening Lines’ winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm. A UEA Creative Writing MA alumna, Sue spent eleven years in Budapest, editing the newspaper Hungary A.M. She is now based in London, and is completing a Ph.D. in theatre history. Sue is currently Literary Manager at the Finborough Theatre.

Director Tricia Thorns returns to the Finborough Theatre where she directed Red Night and London Wall that subsequently transferred to the St James Theatre. She is Artistic Director of Two’s Company. Tricia began her career as an actor in the West End as part of John Neville’s company at the Fortune Theatre, after a Classics BA from Nottingham University. Direction includes A Day by the SeaThe Fifth ColumnThe Cutting of the Cloth and What the Women Did (Southwark Playhouse), her own plays Breakfast on the Beach and Creation with casts of 40, (St Barnabas Church, Dulwich),A Hard Rain (Above the Stag Theatre), My Real War 1914-? (Trafalgar Studios and National Tour),The Searcher (Musical Futures at Greenwich Theatre), Forgotten Voices from the Great War(Pleasance London), Ex and Black ‘Ell (Soho Theatre), Twelfth Night (Dulwich Picture Gallery), Peer Gynt (Alleyn’s Theatre) and Passion Play 2000, a huge community play which she also wrote. As an actress, theatre includes End of Story (Chelsea Theatre), Harry and Me (Warehouse, Croydon),Façade (Dingley and Dulwich Festivals) A Kind of Alaska (Edinburgh, National Tour and USA Tour),Time’s Up (Windsor Theatre Royal), The Libertine and The Man of Mode (Royal Court Theatre and Out of Joint Tour), Betrayal (Battersea Arts Centre and National Tour), Run For Your Wife (West End) and leading roles in theatres in Salisbury, Ipswich, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Guildford, Derby and many more. Television includes Dangerfield, A Touch of Frost, Keeping Up Appearances, The Darling Buds of May, The Bill, London’s Burning and Captives. Film includes The Turn of the Screw.

The cast is:

Joanna Bending | Melody
Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes Shadows Of The Evening (Bridewell Theatre), Waiting For God (National Tour),Outings (Lyric Theatre), The Sound of Murder (National Tour), Kingmaker (Arts Theatre and St. James Theatre), Macbeth (U.S. Tour),The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (National Theatre), Under The Mulberry Tree (Festival Theatre, Edinburgh), Mountain Language (Royal Court Theatre), Phallacy(King’s Head Theatre), Two Women For One Ghost (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park), Hand Over Fist for which she received The Stage Best Solo Performance nomination, Boris: World King,KingmakerTrolling, Sex Lives of Others (Pleasance Edinburgh), Blithe Spirit and Intimate Exchanges(Frinton Theatre) and The Master and Margarita (National Theatre Studio).
Film includes To the Grave, Second Coming, Tick Tock Lullaby and The Holiday.
Television includes EastEnders, DoctorsHolby City, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Angel of Death,Love SoupPMTVThe Bill and Coronation Street.

Jilly Bond | Ginnie Atkins
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include I Wish to Die Singing.
Trained at Drama Studio London.
Theatre includes Island (National Theatre), Jump! (Birmingham Rep), Othello and Mrs Warren’s Profession (English Theatre, Hamburg), Transmissions (Lowry Theatre, Manchester), Juvenilia(Winchester Festival) and Criminology 303 (Edinburgh Festival).
Television includes DoctorsJudge John DeedComedy NationPeople Like UsMy Hero andAlastair McGowan’s Big Impression.
Radio includes over 100 radio plays for the BBC, including appearances in The Archers.
Audiobooks include recording over 350 audiobooks, winning four Audiofile Earphones Awards. She is about to direct her first radio drama podcast for Bison Arts Theatre.

George Howard | Gediminas
Trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Theatre includes King Lear (Bristol Old Vic), The Comedy of Errors (National Tour for The Lord Chamberlain’s Men), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Greenwich Theatre) and Child of the Nineties(Theatre West).
Film includes Crawl.

John Sackville | Baz Canham
Productions for Two’s Company include A Day by the Sea (Southwark Playhouse).
Theatre includes William Wordsworth (English Touring Theatre), The Trial of Jane Fonda (Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh and London), An Inspector Calls (National Theatre and PW Productions), The Winslow Boy (Rose Theatre, Kingston), A Man For All Seasons (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Othelloand Volpone  (Royal Shakespeare Company), A Cloud in Trousers (York Theatre Royal and Southwark Playhouse), Plunder (Watermill Theatre, Newbury), Our Country’s Good and Cyrano de Bergerac (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton), Party (Arts Theatre) and Hamlet (Oxford Stage Company).
Film includes Lost and FoundThe HoarderFossilThe Lost City Of ZHampstead and The Wedding Date.
Television includes Genius: EinsteinThe Crown (Series 1 and 2), Royal Wives at War, Doctors,CasualtyHouse of AnubisThe Secret of Crickley HallDark MattersYoung John Paul IITheSunday Night ProjectBrief Encounter of an Ordinary WomanRosemary and ThymeMidsomer MurdersThe Royal, Heartbeat and The Bill. 
John was awarded the McEuen Rosebowl for Acting for the title role in Hamlet at the Scottish Student Drama Festival.

Bart Suavek | Attila
Trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Theatre includes This Might Be It (Theatre N16), The Rattler (Royal Festival Hall), To the Bone (Rich Mix London), Telo (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art Festival), DrySync (Hackney Showroom), The Improvised History of the World (Platform Theatre) and Citizen Puppet (New Diorama Theatre).
Television includes Doctor Who, No Offence and New Blood.

Patience Tomlinson | Brenda Sullivan
Productions for Two’s Company include Black ‘ell, part of Forgotten Voices of the Great War(Pleasance London).
Trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes She Stoops to Conquer (National Theatre), The Comedy of Errors (The Young Vic),Once A Catholic (Wyndham’s Theatre), The Norman Conquests (National Tour), Façade (National Portrait Gallery), The Heart of Things (Jermyn Street Theatre), A Tale That Is Told (Gatehouse Theatre and National Tour), Ring Round the Moon, You Never Can Tell, The Importance of Being Earnest and The Real Thing (Salisbury Playhouse).
Film includes The Wars and The Mannions.
Television includes NannyThe Comic Strip, The Day TodayFriday and Saturday Night Armistice, In the Red and Shadowplay.
Radio includes The Cherry OrchardThe Winter’s TaleOthelloProust: The Screenplay,Metamorphosis, A Dance to the Music of TimeRoots, Poetry Please, Austen, Sitwell Letters andThis Sceptr’d Isle, and Book at Bedtime including Christmas with the SavagesPaula and Gal Audrey,and  Book of the Week including Giving Up the Ghost and Five Tales of Victorian Norfolk. Patience was twice a member of the BBC Radio Drama Company.
Audiobooks include recording over 200 audio books, including Charles Dickens: A Life, Wives and DaughtersA Glass of Blessings, Some Tame Gazelle, Robert Browning Poetry, The Aeneid, A Train in Winter, Last Letters Home WW2 and Waterslain Angels.

Rupert Wickham | Tony
Trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Theatre includes Stalin’s Favourite (National Tour), Private Lives (Nottingham Playhouse), Defying Hitler (National Tour and 59E59 Theaters, New York City), Quartermaine’s Terms (Salisbury Playhouse), Journey’s End (Comedy Theatre), Henry V (National Theatre), The Winslow Boy(Chichester Festival Theatre and National Tour), Not About Heroes (National Tour), Death and the Maiden (King’s Head Theatre), Othello (National Tour), Hamlet (Greenwich Theatre), King Lear(Ludlow Festival), Romeo and Juliet (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park) and The Importance of Being Earnest (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester).
Film includes Journey’s End, Woman in Gold, Mission Impossible 5Stand Off and The Bourne Identity.
Television includes Silk, The Spacerace, Waking the Dead, A Dance to the Music of Time and Band of Brothers.
Radio includes Betsie and the Emperor and Poetry Please.

The Press on director Tricia Thorns
“Unearthing John Van Druten’s forgotten London Wall would have been enough, but helmer Tricia Thorns’ goes one better. Her beautifully judged, immaculately acted revival isn’t just theatrical archaeology, it’s a treat.” David Benedict, Variety on London Wall
“Thorns’s production manoeuvres a cast of 10 with great skill around the tiny Finborough stage.” Michael Billington, The Guardian on Red Night
“Tightly and fluidly directed by Tricia Thorns.” Daisy Bowie-Sell, Time Out on What the Women Did
“A production so exact you can smell it. The thrill is in the documentary detail, marvellously realised in Tricia Thorns’ terrific production.” Susannah Clapp, The Observer on The Cutting of the Cloth
“Tricia Thorns’s sensitive production.” Michael Arditti, Sunday Express on A Day by the Sea

PRESS NIGHT: MONDAY, 8 JANUARY 2018 AT 7.30PM
PHOTOCALL: MONDAY, 8 JANUARY 2018 AT 5.00PM-5.30PM

Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Book online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk
No booking fees on online, personal or postal bookings
By Telephone –
Until 29 January 2018 – Box Office 0844 847 1652 (Calls will cost 7ppm plus your network access charge.)
From 30 January 2018 – Box Office 01223 357851. (Calls are free. There will be a 5% booking fee.) Lines are open Monday – Saturday 10.00am-6.00pm
Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 January 2018
Sunday and Monday evenings at 7.30pm. Tuesday matinees at 2.00pm.
Tickets £18, £16 concessions. (Group Bookings – 1 free ticket for every 10 tickets booked.)
Performance Length: Approximately 90 minutes with no interval.

In 2018, Finborough Theatre celebrates 150 years of the Finborough Theatre building with the FINBOROUGH150 series, an anniversary selection of the best plays from 1868

During 2018, the Finborough Theatre celebrates 150 years of the Finborough Theatre building with the FINBOROUGH150 series, an anniversary selection of the best plays from 1868. Our first season of 2018 features the first rediscovery from 1868 in the FINBOROUGH150 series, alongside five premieres of new writing – three from brand new British and Irish writers in their formal professional debuts, and two multi-award-winning American playwrights with two hard-hitting and controversial new plays.

Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson said: “A recent article in the press bemoaned the lack of new British playwrights at some of London’s funded “new writing” theatres. As always, it is up to venues such as ours to redress the balance. This season features three new debut plays from British and Irish playwrights, alongside two new plays from multi-award-winning American playwrights. Three of the new plays this season were first seen in our acclaimed Vibrant – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights seasons which will celebrate its tenth consecutive year in 2018. As always, too, we celebrate the old alongside the new, and this season we begin celebrating the 150th anniversary of our building with the first in our new FINBOROUGH150 series.”

Commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Nanking massacre, the season opens with the European premiere of Into the Numbers by the multi-award-winning playwright Christopher Chen, commemorating the 80th anniversary of ‘The Rape of Nanking’, one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century, playing for a four week limited season from 2-27 January 2018. It is accompanied by the world premiere of Imaginationship by Sue Healy, a new play on love, sex, obsession and death in Great Yarmouth, originally seen as a staged reading as part of Vibrant 2017 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, playing on Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees between 7-23 January 2018.

The season continues with the world premiere of a debut by Cornish playwright Henry Darke, Booby’s Bay, a passionate, comic fable about the housing crisis in Cornwall and beyond, and a maverick’s mission to turn the tide, playing 30 January-24 February 2018. It plays alongside the opening production of the FINBOROUGH150 series – the first London production since 1890 of the 1868 hit, Cyril’s Success, a semi-autobiographical satire on playwrights and theatre folk, by local resident Henry J. Byron, playing for nine Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees from 4 February 2018.

The season  ends with the world premiere of the first English-language adaptation of the classic novella by Ghassan Kanafani, Returning to Haifa, adapted for the stage by Naomi Wallace and Ismail Khalidi, a compelling story of two families – one Palestinian, one Israeli – forced by history into an intimacy they didn’t choose. It concides with the 70th anniversaries of both the Nakba or “catastrophe” (the mass dispossession of the Palestinians in 1948) and the foundation of the State of Israel, and plays from 27 February-24 March 2018. It plays concurrently with the world premiere of Checkpoint Chana by Jeff Page, a new play examining the point where pro-Palestinian criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism blur. Originally seen as a staged reading as part of Vibrant 2017 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, it runs on Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees between 4-20 March 2018.

From 30 January 2018, by popular request, they are  moving to a new ticketing provider, Spektrix, for all ticket bookings. The website address will remain www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk. From 30 January 2018, telephone bookings will be on a new number 01223 357851 and will be free to call.

The Finborough Theatre has had a superlative year to date with acclaimed sell-out productions, transfers in London and to New York City, our tenth Channel 4 Playwrights Scheme Playwright in Residence Bursary, and nominations for both The Stage Debut Award and an Olivier Award.

– Neil McPherson, Artistic Director

January to March 2018 | Press Nights and Photocalls

Tuesday, 2 – Saturday, 27 January 2018

The European premiere

INTO THE NUMBERS

by Christopher Chen. Directed by Hannah Price.
Press Nights: Thursday 4 and Friday 5 January 2018 at 7.30pm

Photocall: Wednesday, 3 January 2018 at 1.00pm-1.30pm

 Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 January 2018

The world premiere
IMAGINATIONSHIP
by Sue Healy. Directed by Tricia Thorns.

Press Night: Monday, 8 January 2018 at 7.30pm

Photocall: Monday, 8 January 2018 at 5.00pm-5.30pm

 

Tuesday, 30 January – Saturday, 24 February 2018

The world premiere
BOOBY’S BAY

by Henry Darke. Directed by Chris White.

Press Nights: Thursday, 1 February and Friday, 2 February 2018 at 7.30pm
Photocall: Tuesday, 30 January 2018 at 1.00pm-1.30pm

 

Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 February 2018

The first UK production in over 120 years
CYRIL’S SUCCESS

by Henry J. Byron. Directed by Hannah Boland Moore.

Press Night: Monday, 5 February 2018 at 7.30pm
Photocall: Monday, 5 February 2018 at 5.00pm–5.30pm

 

Tuesday, 27 February – Saturday, 24 March 2018

The world premiere
RETURNING TO HAIFA

by Ghassan Kanafani. Adapted by Ismail Khalidi and Naomi Wallace. Directed by Caitlin McLeod.

Press Nights: Thursday 1 and Friday 2 March 2018 at 7.30pm

Photocall: Tuesday, 27 February 2018 at 1.00pm-1.30pm

 Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 March 2018

The world premiere

CHECKPOINT CHANA

by Jeff Page. Directed by Manuel Bau.

Press Night: Monday, 5 March 2018 at 7.30pm

Photocall: Monday, 5 March 2018 at 5.00pm-5.30pm

Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED

Book Online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk
UNTIL 29 JANUARY 2018 – BOX OFFICE 0844 847 1652 (calls will cost 7ppm plus your network access charge.)
FROM 30 JANUARY 2018 –
BOX OFFICE 01223 357851 (calls are free.)


PERFORMANCE TIMES AND PRICES

For Into the Numbers, Booby’s Bay and Returning to Haifa
Tuesday to Saturday evenings at 7.30pm. Sunday matinees at 3.00pm. Saturday matinees at 3.00pm (from the second week of each run).
Prices for Weeks One and Two – Tickets £16, £14 concessions, except Tuesday evenings £14 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £16 all seats. Previews (first two performances) £12 all seats.

£10 tickets for Under 30s for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only.
£12 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on on the first Saturday evening of each run when booked online only.

Prices thereafter – Tickets £18, £16 concessions, except Tuesday evenings £16 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £18 all seats.

Group Bookings – 1 free ticket for every 10 tickets booked.

For Imaginationship, Cyril’s Success and Checkpoint Chana

Sunday and Monday evenings at 7.30pm. Tuesday matinees at 2.00pm.

Tickets £18, £16 concessions.

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Finborough Theatre, Neil McPherson: ‘Fringe theatre is undergoing a lasting change… I don’t want it to become a rich kid’s playground.’

The Finborough Theatre has had a remarkable year; acclaimed sell-out productions, London and New York transfers, the tenth Channel 4 Playwrights Scheme Playwright in Residence Bursary, nominations for The Stage Debut Award and an Olivier Award.

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Neil McPherson

Since 1998, Neil McPherson has been artistic director of the Finborough pub theatre. It’s fair to say he knows what he’s doing on the theatre front and if you’re in the market for a chat about that then today is your lucky day.

Anyway I hopped on the phone with Neil to find out what he’s got to say for himself.

In 2018, the Finborough celebrates 150 years of the Finborough Theatre building with the FINBOROUGH150 series, an anniversary selection of the best plays from 1868. McPherson may be approaching twenty years in post but he shows no signs of losing enthusiasm. “Next year is the 150 Anniversary of our building so we are going to be doing an anniversary selection of the best plays of 1868 – our new season, for example, features one play from 1868 alongside five pieces of new writing,” he says, excitedly.

Last week, Lyn Gardner wrote about the state of play of the London fringe, saying: The days when the London fringe was a place where the penniless and the radical could find a nook of cranny, where they could thrive, have long gone. Does he agree? “Sadly, Lyn is absolutely right.  Fringe theatre – as it is now – is on the cusp of a massive change,” he says. “Almost as big as the shift of print media vs the internet. For many years in London – the number of fringe theatres stayed constant – then suddenly over the last five or six years – a dozen theatres or more popped up. And that brings its own challenges for a 50-seat venue paying market rent,” McPherson says.

He continues, “I’ve never been a subscriber to the belief that “fringe” means amateurish. I’ve always tried to take the best of the fringe – the ability to find new and exciting writers, directors, designers, actors theatre; the ability to respond to events quickly; and to be radical and controversial; and marry that with the best of the commercial theatre’s values – a respect for training, and high production values, for example,” he says.

“It’s got to be good – just because it’s a fringe theatre doesn’t mean it can’t be world class.”

We talk about the renewed discussion of masculinity in crisis and the constant developments around sexual harassment. “I think the best thing we can do is shut up, listen – with humility – and do and be better. It’s time for a big change. And, it goes hand in hand with bullying which also needs to be addressed,” says McPherson emphatically.

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What steps has he taken to ensure that he is doing all that he can within the organisation? “Just this very last week we’ve altered our production manual we give to companies’ clear guidance. We also have the Royal Court code of conduct on display in working areas. The awareness is all, and, as my favourite teacher at drama school used to say “N.T.T.” which stands for “Nobody’s That Talented,” he says, laughing.

Earlier this year McPherson was nominated for an Olivier Award for his play Is It Easy to be dead – a play is about a remarkable WWI poet, Charles Hamilton Sorley. The play received solid reviews and transferred to Trafalgar Studios. McPherson is realistic about the sustainability. “In terms of critical acclaim and commercial sales – we could transfer 1 in 3 of our shows; however, we only transfer 1 in 7. And perhaps not always the most deserving ones. I always go back to the Noel Coward quote “Just do what you like and believe in and just hope to God other people like it too,” he says.

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Alexander Knox in It Is Easy To Be Dead. Photo: Scott Rylander.

McPherson is deeply aware of the importance of seeking out diverse voices and not being dependent on playwriting competitions. “I’ve judged some playwriting competitions in the past and personally I think it’s best to just do the new writing development work I’m doing anyway and then put on the plays when they are ready,” he says.

“I’m not altogether convinced by decision by committee, and I think quite often with competitions, we know something has to win and so we pick one that is the least bad,” he tells me, before adding, “They can be a good thing and an important thing but it should only be part of it the process, not the whole process for getting new voices discovered.”

What are the biggest challenges for the Finborough in 2017? “The Equity low pay – no pay campaign is hugely important, and we’re doing all we can to do our part. But nothing happens in a vacuum, and the campaign does have serious knock-on effects which in the long run may mean a lot less opportunities for actors and creatives,” says McPherson, adding that 9 out of 12 Finborough main shows paid at least Equity Fringe Agreement minimum this year.

“It’s slow progress, but we’re not being lazy,” he says. “The people now putting on shows are coming from a much more moneyed background than, say, five years ago. But, as an example, one of the best directors I’ve ever worked with – a female working class director/producer – she should be having a really successful career now but she’s more or less had to give up because she can’t work in the current climate as she is terrified of being sued if she was to do another fringe show.”

Is there anything that he’d like to add, I ask. “Fringe theatre is undergoing a massive and lasting change and I don’t know where it’s going to go yet, and we’re confronting those new challenges on a daily basis. I don’t want it to become a rich kid’s playground,” McPherson replies.

The Finborough’s 2018 season is now on sale 

 

Coverage of the above interview in The Stage

Coverage of the above interview in The Stage

 

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Out of Joint Co-Director, Kate Wasserberg, Interview: “I want to work with new people and I want to open doors.”

Kate Wasserberger

Kate WasserbergKate Wasserberg’s new job as co-Artistic Director of Out of Joint sees her joining founder Max Stafford-Clark to helm the company. Out of Joint have performed in six continents and co-produced with leading theatres globally, led from the start by Stafford-Clark.  So, how will the new management structure work? “Max was very central to the recruitment process and we had really honest conversations about the fact that I was already an Artistic Director. I made it clear that I was interested in running the company with him as a partnership, that I wanted us to have a genuine relationship as co-directors and that we would find a way to run it shoulder-to-shoulder,” she says. “Audiences can expect a commitment to political work, alongside a commitment to an aesthetic”, she says. “I want to find a language for my work that is complimentary with Max’s work with Out of Joint, but also distinct, so that we are increasing our breadth as a company. I want us to engage young audiences. I want us to be the hot ticket in town, and I think that often we are – but I want to build on that.”

Variety is the key both to her work and her artistic tastes. “I want to work with new people and I want to open doors. If we all keep working with people we know then there is no way for new people to break in,” she says. Wasserberg wants to be part of a wider conversation that reaches beyond theatre. “One of the reasons that I had to apply for the job was because of the political climate. Out of Joint is one of those companies that directly affects discussions around the kitchen table all up and down Britain. That doesn’t mean that all our work will be political with a capital ‘p’ but it means I’m going to engage with those conversations on a national level.”

There’s no question that Wasserberg has put in the work to reach where she is now. She was Associate Director at Theatr Clwyd and the Finborough Theatre and has directed plays for the Traverse, Soho TheatrePaines Plough and HighTideThe shape of my career is that I’ve made a lot of shows and sometimes I’ve learned by doing it wrong. My work hasn’t been as diverse at it could have been and I probably should have tried harder. That is something that I will be doing,” she says. “I feel like I’ve taken the slow road. It wasn’t my choice and when I was in my twenties and I saw my contemporaries excel I was, at times, envious.”

In 2014, Wasserberg founded and ran the Cardiff pub theatre the Other Room. She and her team achieved some remarkable things in a very short space of time. (The Other Room was named Fringe Theatre of the Year by The Stage in 2016). I ask her what she’ll miss most“Oh God, everything. They are the most remarkable group of people I have ever had the privilege to work with in my life. Every single day we did the impossible. Their standards are really high, they are so passionate, so talented.” She is satisfied with her achievements but looking to the future. “I doubt I’ll have that precise experience again in my life. It was so profound and special. The things that run through The Other Room like a stick of rock: an absolute commitment to artistic excellent, always thinking about the audience first and paying everyone properly. I’m really proud of that.”

When it comes to influences, she cites Emma Rice, Tamara Harvey and Neil McPherson: “Neil taught me that excellence is the only option,” she smiles. I think it’s really important to remain a fan of theatre and stay in love with it.”

We discuss Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s extraordinary play An Octoroon, which is both an adaptation of a 19th-century melodrama and a postmodernist critique of it. “It blew me away – I felt really fired up by it,” she pauses. “I’m quite conflicted too though because I’ve read the Exeunt response and it was so intelligent and considered. It made me question my easy response. My reaction to that work, though, was as a white audience member. I thought it was gloriously bold, I thought the company was incredible. I found it really bracing… the Orange Tree Theatre is a fireball of ingenuity.”

Wasserberg bluntly describes the challenges of being a working mother in this industry. “I struggle with it constantly; it’s a scramble,” she says, “The thing I was unprepared for was the emotional toll of being away from them. I have two extraordinary, resilient and optimistic children, but I still struggle with it. I’m excited to get them to London and as they grow – they may not be interested in the arts at all – but they will meet all sorts of people and their world will be large. I wish I could do all of that and put them to bed every single night… OSunday night I was a bit tearful about being away from home and my husband, who is a very wise man, said: try and enjoy this, you’ve worked so hard for it. If I’m away from them and I feel guilty then there’s no point in doing it”, she declares “so, when I go home I’m going to turn the phone off and live both parts of my life fully.” 

Rita, Sue and Bob Too, A revival of the play, directed by Max Stafford-Clark, tours from September.