#FinboroughForFree Strictly Limited Online Release For August


SCROUNGER by Playwright in Residence at the Finborough Theatre Athena Stevens

The world premiere

Directed by Lily McLeish.

Design by Anna Reid.

Lighting by Anthony Doran.

Sound by Julian Starr.

Presented by Sarah Lawrie for Aegis Productions in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre.

Cast: Leigh Quinn. Athena Stevens.

The video is free to view, and will be available from the Finborough Theatre YouTube channel here.

Available from 9am on Saturday, 1 August until midnight on Monday, 3 August 2020, and again from 9am until midnight on Monday, 31 August.

On the streets of Elephant and Castle, everyone likes to make speculations about Scrounger. She needs help, she must not be aware of the complexities of the world, she is sent from the demons to torture her mum… at least according to her Nigerian Uber driver.

Scrounger doesn’t care. A successful online personality, she’s got more power from her bedroom than anyone on the Southwark estates could dream of. She’s educated, she’s ballsy, and with a huge network of online allies, Scrounger is a woman who knows how to make change happen.

That is, until an airline destroys her wheelchair.

Inspired by real events and a lawsuit initiated by Stevens herself, Scrounger drives towards the realities of how Britain is failing its most vulnerable and the extreme cost paid by those seeking justice.

Originally seen as part of Vibrant 2019 – A Festival of Finborough PlaywrightsScrounger received its world premiere at the Finborough Theatre in January 2020 where it received rave reviews, was nominated for six OffWestEnd Awards and a London Pub Theatres Standing Ovation Award, and was named one of The Stage’s Top Five Theatre Shows and Time Out’s Show of the Week.

As part of the Finborough Theatre’s #FinboroughForFree initiative, the theatre will be releasing a new play every month for as long as they can during their closure to watch online for free. For more information about this and other Finborough Theatre productions currently available to stream online, visit their website here.

Follow the Finborough Theatre on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more updates about upcoming releases as part of #FinboroughForFree.

Audiences can contribute to support the future of the theatre by donating or becoming a Friend of the Finborough Theatre, more information on their Support Us page here.

Playwright Athena Stevens returns to the Finborough Theatre where she is a Playwright in Residence, and wrote and performed in the Olivier nominated world premiere of Schism. She is an associate artist at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. She is currently writing the book for a new musical, and is under commission for the National Youth Theatre. She was the first actor in a wheelchair nominated for an OffWestEnd Award for her performance in Schism, as well as appearing at the Barbican Theatre as Juliet last year. Her radio plays include Reluctant Spirit (BBC Radio 3). Stevens is also a spokesperson for the UK’s Women’s Equality Party.

Press acclaim for the Finborough Theatre production of Scrounger

★★★★ Four Stars, Time Out

★★★★ Four Stars, London Living Large

★★★★ Four Stars, Close-Up Culture

★★★★ Four Stars, Reviewsgate

★★★★ Four Stars, The Spy in the Stalls

★★★★ Four Stars, The Upcoming

★★★★ Four Stars, A Younger Theatre

★★★★ Four Stars, London Pub Theatres

★★★★ Four Stars, Breaking the Forth Wall

★★★★ Four Stars, The Londonist

The Stage – Top Five Theatre Shows

Time Out – Show of the Week

Nominated for six OffWestEnd Awards and a London Pub Theatres Standing Ovation Award

“Athena Stevens’s excellent new play…provocative, smart and calls out its liberal audience…and that’s something so little of the theatre that’s on stage is doing right now. Instead of preaching to the converted…it sinks its teeth into the hypocrisies of people who tell themselves they’re doing good without actually doing anything.” Rosemary Waugh, Time Out

“Some great moments of humour and two cracking performances.” Andrew Curtis, London Pub Theatres

“A stimulating, challenging evening it makes an admirable opening to the theatre’s fortieth season…a terrific polemic.” William Russell, Reviewsgate

“A notable step ahead in terms of representation and the tackling of a major issue.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

Scrounger refuses to pander to the audience and will leave them questioning themselves afterwards.” Andrew Curtis, London Pub Theatres

“An impassioned – and provocative – piece of work.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“The brilliance of Stevens’s work is that it directly angles its comments about how disabled people are routinely treated at those lovely, left-leaning, Guardian-reading, petition-signing people most likely to be sitting in the audience.” Rosemary Waugh, Time Out

“Her voice rings out loud, true and scathing as she digs the dirt on the congratulatory liberal frame of mind.” Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor

“She takes no prisoners as she calls out “woke culture” and the well-meaning people who actually get it very wrong and refuse to acknowledge it.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“It would be easy to read Scrounger as a simple David and Goliath story. But writer and performer Athena Stevens makes it far more interesting than that.” Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor

“Great comic moments.” Rob Warren, Everything Theatre

“Leigh Quinn dextrously performs multiple characters.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

“Played impressively by the very energetic Leigh Quinn.” Keith McKenna, British Theatre Guide

“Quinn’s talent for multi-roling and aptitude for accent and dialect is remarkable.” JN Benjamin, The Stage

“A delightfully non-realist staging here from director Lily McLeish and designer Anna Reid.” Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

The press on previous #FinboroughForFree online releases

“Utterly gripping drama – political, personal and perceptive, with a strong sense of story.” ★★★★ Arifa Akbar, The Guardian on Continuity

“A very welcome digital revival from a lifeblood theatre we simply cannot afford to lose.” ★★★★ Mayer Wakefield, Morning Star Online on It Is Easy To Be Dead

“Unmissable is a word too often carelessly used, and I did miss the production at the Finborough being away at the time, so this came as a revelation. It is exactly that. Not to be missed.” ★★★★ William Russell, ReviewsGate on It Is Easy To Be Dead

Continuity is an excellent 75 minutes of tense theatre, which continues the venue’s great track record of presenting great new writing.” Aleks Sierz on Continuity