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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.

Last chance to see the critically acclaimned European premiere of Late Company by award winning Canadian Playwright Jordan Tannahill

Late Company

Late Company

‘A terrific play. Go! This one deserves a West End transfer.’
The Times ★★★★

‘Late Company weighs heavily on your mind in the days following the performance. This is theatre in its purest form.’  The Independent ★★★★

‘Powerful new drama about the devastating aftershocks of cyber bullying. Superb.’
Time Out ★★★★

Audiences have just a few weeks left to enjoy the critically acclaimed European premiere of Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill’s play, Late Company. The production presented by Stage Traffic Productions has enjoyed a hugely successful run at the Finborough Theatre, as part of their celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday and must end on 20 May.

This is the second production for Stage Traffic Productions, following last year’s critical success with musical This Little Life of Mine, which ran at the Park Theatre.

The full cast for Late Company are Todd Boyce (Michael), David Leopold (Curtis), Alex Lowe (Bill), Lucy Robinson (Debora) and Lisa Stevenson (Tamara), and the production is directed by Michael Yale, with set and costumes by Zahra Mansouri, lighting by Nic Farman and sound by Chris Prosho.

One year after a terrible tragedy; 2 sets of parents, one dead son, one living son.  Who is to blame?

A suburban dinner party for closure after 17 year-old Joel commits suicide. The guests; his heartbroken mother and father, his so-called tormentor Curtis, and his parents.    

Far from finding the peace they seek, the dinner strips bare their good intentions to reveal layers of parental, sexual, and political hypocrisy.

Written with sensitivity and humour, Late Company explores restorative justice, cyber bullying, and the ever-changing complexities of parenthood in the 21st century.

LISTINGS
 
LATE COMPANY
FINBOROUGH THEATRE
WRITTEN BY JORDAN TANNAHILL
DIRECTED BY MICHAEL YALE
UNTIL SATURDAY 20 MAY 2017
Performances: TuesdaySaturday at 7.30pm & SaturdaySunday at 3.00pm

Ticket Prices:
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.

Address: Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London, SW10 9ED

Box Office: 0844 847 1652

Website: www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk

Twitter: @LateCompany

Facebook: @Late Company

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Late Company, at The Finborough Theatre: One in the eye for those who say theatre is afraid to take chances.

Stage Traffic Production present The European premiere of Late Company by award-winning Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill at Finborough Theatre

Late Company
Late Company

Late Company

As part of the Finborough Theatre’s celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday, Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill, “the hottest name in Canadian theatre”, will debut his play, Late Company, at the Finborough Theatre, for a strictly limited season from 25 April – 20 May 2017, with press nights on 27 April/28 April.

The full cast for Late Company are: Todd Boyce (Michael), David Leopold (Curtis), Alex Lowe (Bill), Lucy Robinson (Debora) and Lisa Stevenson (Tamara).

This production will be directed by Michael Yale, with set and costumes by Zahra Mansouri, lighting by Nic Farman and sound by Chris Prosho.

One year after a terrible tragedy; 2 sets of parents, one dead son, one living son.  Who is to blame?

 A suburban dinner party for closure after 17 year-old Joel commits suicide. The guests; his heartbroken mother and father, his so-called tormentor Curtis, and his parents.    

 Far from finding the peace they seek, the dinner strips bare their good intentions to reveal layers of parental, sexual, and political hypocrisy.

 Written with sensitivity and humour, Late Company explores restorative justice, cyber bullying, and the ever-changing complexities of parenthood in the 21st century.

Todd Boyce’s (Michael Shaun-Hastings) theatre credits includes The Exorcist (Birmingham Rep), The Last of the Boys (Southwark Playhouse), Hamlet (The Young Vic), The Women of Lockerbie (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), Glyn and It (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford), Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf (South Australian Theatre Company), The Normal Heart (Sydney Theatre Company), Limited Edition (Sydney Dance Company), Lovers from Hell (Ovalhouse), Dr Faustus (Sydney Theatre Company) andThe Exonerated (Riverside Studios). His TV credits include Mr Selfridge, Sherlock, The Crown, In Clear Sight, Coronation Street, Spooks, Beaver Falls, Hollyoaks, Adventures Inc, Broken News, Comfort Zone and The Restless Years. His film work includesFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, In Clear Sight, Kick Ass 2, The Gatekeeper, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Everest, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Spygame, Jefferson in Paris, The Punisher, Blue Ice, Penelope and The Delinquents.

David Leopold’s (Curtis Dermot) theatre credits include Muted (Bunker Theatre), Burnt Part Boys (Park Theatre), Soho Young Playwrights (Soho Theatre), Little Sure Shot (Theatre Royal Bath), Uncle Vanya (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Polar Bears (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and The Crucible (West Yorkshire Playhouse).

 Alex Lowe’s (Bill Dermot) theatre work includes Fatal Attraction (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Changeling (Young Vic), The Girlfriend Experience (Royal Court Theatre/Young Vic), Blue Orange (Watford Palace Theatre), The Missing Hancocks (The Assembly Rooms Edinburgh), The New Power Generation (Live Nation), The Trial of Dennis the Menace (Purcell Rooms), The Barry from Watford Show (Watford Palace Theatre), The Tempest (Stafford Castle) and Uncle Vanya (Renaissance Theatre Company). His TV work includes Open All Hours, Unforgotten, Cheap Cheap Cheap, The Job Lot, Pompidou, Barry’s Bucket List, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, The IT Crowd, Casualty, Peep Show, Peter Kay Project, Lead Balloon, French and Saunders, Bremner Bird and Fortune, Saxondale, The Thick of It, Documental, New Tricks. His film work includes The Devil Outside, Grimsby, My Week with Marilyn, Haunted, Much Ado About Nothing and Peter’s Friends. Alex’s radio work includes Barry’s Lunch Club, Before They Were Famous, Clare in the Community, Trapped and The Brothers.

 Lucy Robinson’s (Debora Shaun-Hastings) theatre work includes Waste (National Theatre), The Hard Problem (National Theatre),Handbagged (Vaudeville Theatre), Sweet Bird of Youth (The Old Vic), In the Next Room (Theatre Royal Bath), Cause Celebre (The Old Vic), Blithe Spirit (Nottingham Playhouse), Happy Now? (Gate Theatre), Macbeth (Octagon Theatre, Bolton), An Ideal Husband(Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Top Girls (Octagon Theatre, Bolton), The Hypochondriac (West Yorkshire Playhouse) andThe Miser (Chichester Festival Theatre). Her film credits include Highway to Dhampus, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Bridget Jones, The Edge of Reason and The Biographer. Her television work includes Cold Feet, The Hollow Crown, Call the Midwife, Being Human, Missing, Doctor Who, New Tricks, The IT Crowd, Holby City, Coronation Street, Doc Martin. Rosemary and Thyme, Casualty, The Royal and Lewis.

 Lisa Stevenson’s (Tamara Dermot) theatre includes Warhorse (National Theatre), Measure for Measure (Royal Shakespeare Company), Richard III (Royal Shakespeare Company), A Streetcar Named Desire (The Young Vic),Romeo and Juliet (Globe Theatre), Henry V (Globe Theatre), Autumn and Winter (Globe Theatre), The Mikado(Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), Boston Marriage (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), Comfort Me With Apples (Hampstead Theatre), Hayfever (Oxford Stage Company), Factors Unforeseen (Orange tree Theatre, Richmond), Comedy of Errors (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Rita Sue and Bob Too (Out of Joint), Explicit Polaroids(Out of Joint) and King Lear (Bristol Old Vic). Her television work includes Dixi, Obsession: Dark Desire, EastEnders, Doctors, Holby City, Murder in Mind, The Message, Casualty, The Bill, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, John Judge Deed, Keen Eddie and Heartbeat. Her film credits include Dead House Six and The Football Factory and radio work includes Listening to the Dead: Ruby’s Shoes/Tuesday’s Child, Being Brave and Listen to the Words.

Jordan Tannahill (writer) is a Canadian playwright and filmmaker and has been described as “the future of Canadian theatre” byNOW Magazine. His work has been presented in theatres, festivals, and galleries across Canada and internationally.

Jordan’s plays have been honoured with various prizes including the 2014 Governor Generals Award for Drama for his book Age of Minority: Three Solo Plays, the 2014 John Hirsch Prize for directing, and Dora Awards for ‘Outstanding New Play’ forrihannaboi95 in 2013 and Concord Floral in 2015. Concord Floral also received the 2015 Carol Bolt Award and was shortlisted for the 2016 Governor General’s Award for Drama. In 2016 Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom won the Toronto Theatre Critics Award for ‘Best New Play’ and it’s production at Canadian Stage received the Dora Award for ‘Outstanding Production’.

Jordan is currently working on new projects with the National Theatre (UK), the National Film Board of Canada, and the Stratford Festival.

From 2012 – 2016, in collaboration with William Ellis, Jordan ran the alternative art space Videofag out of their home in Toronto’s Kensington Market neighbourhood. Over the four years of its operation, Videofag became an influential hub for queer and avant-garde work in Canada. Jordan’s production of Sheila Heti’s All Our Happy Days Are Stupid, produced and directed with Erin Brubacher, premiered at Videofag in 2013 and went on to sold-out productions at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage and New York City’s The Kitchen in 2015.

From 2008 – 2016, Jordan wrote and directed plays through Suburban Beast a Toronto-based theatre company he founded with Rae Powell and later ran with Erin Brubacher. The company’s work was staged in theatres, art galleries, a car garage, Honest Ed’s discount emporium, a frat house, and YouTube, and frequently involved performances by non-traditional performers.

His book Theatre of the Unimpressed: In Search of Vital Drama published by Coach House Press in 2015, was called “essential reading for anyone interested in the state of contemporary theatre and performance” by The Globe and Mail. It is currently on the curriculum of several North American universities.

As a filmmaker, Jordan’s work has been presented in festivals and galleries the world over including the Toronto Int. Film Festival, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Tribeca Film Festival. He is currently working with filmmaker Stephen Dunn on adapting his play Botticelli in the Fire for the screen.

Jordan has also worked in dance, choreographing and performing with Christopher House in Marienbad for the Toronto Dance Theatre in 2016 and choreographing House in the 2014 solo Rough House, also for the Toronto Dance Theatre. In 2015 he wrote the text for The Dietrich Group’s This Is a Costume Drama, which premiered at Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage.

 

Late Company is produced by Stage Traffic Productions.  Stage Traffic is a dynamic new UK/US theatre production company. Based in London, but looking at inspiration from around the globe, it is committed to creating productions with a strong emphasis on contemporary storytelling that truly resonate with modern audiences. Their inaugural production was the musical This Little Life of Mine, which ran at the Park Theatre in 2016.

Eilene and Michael first met as actors 17 years ago and since then both have worked additionally in the role of writer, director and producer both in the States and the UK. 

 Michael Yale (Director) Recent production of This Little Life of Mine at Park Theatre was multi-award-nominated at this year’s Broadway World and OffWestEnd Awards, including for Best Direction and Best New Musical. Recent and notable work: Henry IV: Part One (The Rose and St. James Theatre), Thrice Ninth Kingdom (Soho and Tristan Bates), Maternity (Riverside Studios), The Disappeared (Theatre 503), Wicked Will (BAC and tour), and Hell’s Kitchen (Midlands Art Centre). Late Company is the fourth Canadian play that Michael has given the European premiere. He previously directed the award winning Monsieur D’Eon (Union Theatre) and produced A Woman’s Comedy (Wimbledon Theatre) and Mrs Ruskin (Warehouse Theatre). Michael trained at LAMDA and continues to act and write for theatre and television.

 Eilene Davidson (Producer) trained at Guildford School of Acting and worked as an actress in London performing on stage and screen in her twenties. She then moved to the States where she studied playwriting and screenwriting at Harvard and started working as a freelance writer in a variety of disciplines, from magazines to short screenplays.  Her first full-length screenplay Don’t Look Back was optioned by a top studio.  She has worked as a creative producer for stage traffic on the multi-award nominated This Little Life of Mine at the Park Theatre last year. She has also worked as a producer on the critically acclaimed Speech and Debate at Trafalgar Studios, London and Significant Other on Broadway. She is an associate producer on War Paint (Broadway) and The Philanthropist (Trafalgar Studios) both due to open in Spring 2017. She is currently on the board at the award winning Huntington Theatre in Boston.

LISTINGS

 LATE COMPANY

25 APRIL – 20 MAY 2017

WRITTEN BY JORDAN TANNAHILL

DIRECTED BY MICHAEL YALE

FINBOROUGH THEATRE

Press Night: 27 April

Performances: TuesdaySaturday at 7.30pm & SaturdaySunday at 3.00pm

Ticket Prices:

Prices until 7 May – Tickets £16, £14 concessions, except Tuesday evenings £14 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £16 all seats. Previews (25 and 26 April) £12 all seats.

£10 tickets for Under 30’s 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 Saturday, 29 April 2017 when booked online only.

Prices from 9 May – 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.

 Address: Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London, SW10 9ED

Box Office: 0844 847 1652

Website: www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk

Twitter: @LateCompany

Facebook: @Late Company

Interview: Adrian Lukis & Jill Winternitz,’I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard'(Finborough Theatre)

Adrian Lukis

Adrian Lukis

Halley Feiffer’s black comedy, ‘I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard’ has received its UK premiere at the Finborough. Feiffer’s play is about an actress who wants to make her famous playwright father proud. Jill Winternitz and Adrian Lukis are the cast members – playing the dysfunctional father and daughter.

I thought it would be nice to catch up with Adrian and Jill to see exactly what’s happening. And I was right – it was very nice indeed.

Here is our chat.

Why should we come along to see ‘I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard’?
The play should be seen because it is an extraordinary piece of writing. It deals with the anxieties and hopes of the ‘artist’, the sheer difficulty of facing down the opinions of others and surviving in an often hostile world, not only as actors and writers but as people.
The Finborough Theatre is quite nice isn’t it. 
The Finborough is a small intimate theatre. It is alarming to look up and see the audience sitting three feet away, but that too is the strength of the space. There is nowhere to hide!
What’s the play about?
What’s the play about? It’s about how to survive as an artist and also how to survive as a human being. How much do we allow ourselves to be affected by the judgement of others? David chooses survival by force, by belittling the critics, by powering through and believing in his own genius. Of course, he is vulnerable to those critics but the question is, how to deal with that.
We, as actors, are particularly familiar with this dilemma. We are dependent to some extent on the praise and good opinion of others while at the same time being aware that we still have to have the balls to do the play despite the reviews!
The play is quite blistering in the way it examines the dynamic of a father-daughter relationship. 
David has got by on furious egotism, coming from a severely fractured childhood and a bullying, abusive father. But there is a price. He makes huge demands on his daughter to ‘man up’ as he has done and when she fails, he loses all respect for her. The sins of the father are passed on to the next generation.

As a creative person, if you have had your sights set on something and then you get there, can it be dangerous?
If you work your balls off to serve a play and render up as true and engaging a performance as you can and you succeed, then that is about as good as it gets. Of course you want to feel that you have honestly and successfully portrayed the character. The danger for actors and for all of us in life, is that we depend on the kind words of others for our self esteem and that is dangerous, because we put ourselves in the hands of other people (and other people do not always have our best interests at heart!

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Jill Winternitz

Jill Winternitz

How was the rehearsal process? 
I love rehearsing as I find it such a free and creative time.  Working on a two-hander meant that there were only a few of us in the room everyday.  We really bonded, experiencing so much together in a relatively short space of time.  It’s been a joy to work with Jake Smith as he has an amazing instinct for story and nuance.  It’s also worth noting that we rehearsed above a coffee roastery, which was pure aromatic bliss.

You played Baby in ‘Dirty Dancing’, how different is this role? 
My gut reaction to this question is that they couldn’t be further apart.  But on second thought, both Baby and Ella have complex relationships with their fathers and both strive to make them proud, whilst also trying to assert their own voice and be independent people in their own right.  Stylistically though, it goes without saying, that they are very different roles with very different requirements for me as the actor.  Though I suppose I could ask Adrian if he fancies adding in ‘The Lift’ during our bows… 😉

Your character, Ella is a ‘precocious and fiercely competitive actress’. Was it hard to get into character? Definitely not.  In many ways, this play feels uncannily close to home which is why I am so passionate about doing it.

What is your best advice for auditions?
The advice I give myself is: prepare, prepare, prepare, then throw away your preparation, open your heart, and enjoy the moment.  When you’re in the room, that is your chance to play the character.  Relish it.  And if more chances come to play that character again, fantastic!  If not, at least you threw yourself into it when you had the opportunity.

What do you hope your audiences take away from this show?
I hope our audiences will enjoy the brilliance of Halley Feiffer- a bright, brave, thrilling voice of theatre today.  I hope we can give them a funny, moving, and thought-provoking evening.

‘I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard’ runs at the Finborough Theatre from 2 to 25 March, with previews from 28 February.

Halley Feiffer’s hit Off Broadway play “I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard” to star Adrian Lukis and Jill Winternitz

“Everything I did – every decision I made – led me right here – right to this moment, here with you.”

I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard

I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard

The UK premiere of an award-nominated black comedy from American playwright Halley Feiffer, I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard opens at the Finborough Theatre for a four week limited season on Tuesday, 28 February 2017 (Press Nights: Thursday, 2 March and Friday, 3 March 2017 at 7.30pm) with  Adrian Lukis and Jill Winternitz.

Ella is a precocious and fiercely competitive actress whose sole aim in life is making her famous playwright father, David, proud. Over the course of a wickedly intense evening, Ella and David deliberate whether to read the reviews of her off- Broadway debut. But that decision could shatter their relationship forever.  

A hilarious and gut wrenching black comedy which sheds new light on the eternal struggles of family life. I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard reminds us that you don’t have to be part of a theatrical family to know that life is filled with drama. And for that, there’s no dress rehearsal.

I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard received its critically acclaimed Off-Broadway premiere in 2015, breaking box office records and earning Feiffer a nomination for an Outer Critics’ Circle Award. It is directed by Jake Smith, previously Staff Director on Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Theatre Royal Haymarket and National Tour), who returns to the Finborough Theatre following his sell-out revival of Andy Capp the Musical.

Playwright Halley Feiffer began her writing career at a young age when she won the National Young Playwrights’ Contest in 2002. Full-length plays include How to Make Friends and Kill Them (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater) and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of New York City (MCC Theater). Theatre as actor includes The House of Blue Leaves (Walter Kerr Theater, Broadway) for which she won a Theatre World Award, Tigers Be Still (Roundabout Theatre Company), Some Americans Abroad, suburbia and Election Day (2ST), Still Life (MCC Theater) and None of the Above (Lion Theatre).

Director Jake Smith began his career at Hull Truck and was a founding member of Assemble Fest, a large-scale theatre festival launched following Hull’s winning City of Culture campaign. He was the Trainee Director in Residence at Chichester Festival Theatre from 2014-2016. Jake is currently Resident Director at the Almeida Theatre and was recently Staff Director on Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Theatre Royal Haymarket and National Tour). Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Andy Capp the Musical. Direction includes The Tempest (Petersfield Shakespeare Festival), Citizenship (National Theatre Connections, Chichester Festival Youth Theatre and The Capitol Theatre, Horsham), The Boy Who Built Clock (Arts Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Chichester Festival Theatre), Smoke (and mirrors) (Derby Theatre for Theatre Uncut), The Little Match Girl (Assemble Fest, Hull), Alice’s Site (Hull Truck) and The Coronation of Poppea (Middleton Hall, Hull). Readings include Arthur (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Swan Song (Minerva Theatre, Chichester, and Chichester Festival Theatre), I am Scratch (Old Red Lion Theatre) and Betjeman with Edward Fox (Chichester Festival Theatre). Jake has worked as Assistant Director with Howard Davies on For Services Rendered and Jamie Glover on Miss Julie and Black Comedy (Minerva Theatre, Chichester, and Chichester Festival Theatre), Nadia Fall on Way Upstream, Dale Rooks on The Hundred and One Dalmatians and Jonathan Kent on Gypsy (Chichester Festival Theatre), Max Stafford-Clark on Pitcairn (Chichester Festival Theatre and Out of Joint), Christopher Morahan on Stevie (Hampstead Theatre), and Sarah Louise Davies on Whale Music (Hull Truck).

The cast is: Adrian Lukis | David

Trained at Drama Studio London.

Theatre includes The Seagull (Chichester Festival Theatre and National Theatre), Dinner (Wyndham’s Theatre), The Philadelphia, Cloaca (The Old Vic), The Taming of the Shrew (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Relapse, Sleep with Me (National Theatre), Versailles (Donmar Warehouse), Dead Funny, The Front Page, (Chichester Festival Theatre), Sherlock Holmes – The Best Kept Secret (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Orson’s Shadow (Southwark Playhouse), Pygmalion (Theatre Royal Bath), As You Like It, Hay Fever (Rose Theatre, Kingston), The Winslow Boy and Arthur and George (Birmingham Rep).

Film includes City Slacker, Victim, Nine Miles Down, Innocent, Nightwatching, 7 Seconds, Me Without You, Young Blades and The Trench. Television includes The Crown 2, Grantchester, Red Dwarf, Judge John Deed, Downton Abbey, Death in Paradise, Silk, Pride and Prejudice, Midsomer Murders, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Silent Witness, Doctors, Fresh Meat, Outnumbered, Lewis, Heartbeat, A Touch of Frost, The Bill, Spooks and Foyle’s War.

Jill Winternitz | Ella

Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

West End Theatre includes Girl in Once (Phoenix Theatre) and Baby in Dirty Dancing (Piccadilly Theatre).

Other theatre includes Dark Tourism (Park Theatre), A Handful of Soil (Drayton Studio Theatre), Hamlet, The Canterbury Tales (Cunard Queen Mary 2) and The Seagull (Moscow Art Theatre School).

Film includes 10×10, A Streetcat Named Bob, Relics, The Sorrows and The Replacement Child.

The press on the 2015 production of I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard “Bone-chilling… A potently acted, punishing drama by Halley Feiffer” Charles Isherwood, The New York Times “Viciously funny… Brutally effective… Feiffer takes a tough look at the forces that can bring us to our knees” ★★★★ Four Stars, Time Out New York “One of the best plays I’ve seen this season… Provocative, sensitive, shocking… The writing is polished and probing… A tense thriller that left me shaking” New York Observer “Spectacular tension and real danger” Entertainment Weekly “It’s a fearless piece of work, riveting and hilarious!” Bergen Record

The Press on Director Jake Smith “The young director Jake Smith is one to watch.” Terri Paddock “A moment of artistic genius by director Jake Smith. Mirrors loveable rogue is brought to life in stunning style” Daily Mirror on Andy Capp The Musical “Jake Smith’s witty production on the tiny Finborough stage gives it plenty of warmth, and a versatile cast frequently double as actor musicians to give the two person band added heft” Mark Shenton, The Stage “Wonderfully inventive staging by Dale Rooks and Jake Smith” ★★★★★ Five Stars, The Argus on A Christmas Carol “It is rare to see such a stunning piece of theatre among professional productions nowadays… A charming retelling of Dickens’ classic tale” ★★★★★ Five Stars, The Reviews Hub on A Christmas Carol

PRESS NIGHTS: THURSDAY, 2 MARCH 2017 AT 7.30PM and FRIDAY, 3 MARCH 2017 AT 7.30PM