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Feb 20th

RADIUS Playwriting Competition 2018

By Carolin Kopplin

Spotlight on Humanity:
Radius Playwriting Competition 2018

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 info@radiusdrama.org.uk 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

Feb 20th

New Season for March-June 2018 Announced at the Finborough Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

Our second season of 2018 – the 150th year of the Finborough Theatre building – features new writing with two European premieres from award-winning playwrights from Canada and the United States, and a UK premiere from controversial German dramatist Rolf Hochhuth in his fourth production at the Finborough Theatre including a performance in German; two rediscoveries from the 1980s – the first professional UK production since 1980 of a musical from the composer of Half A Sixpence, and a classic feminist play by Sarah Daniels; and, as part of our 150th birthday series, a London premiere in English from celebrated French dramatist Paul Claudel who was born 150 years ago.

The season opens with the European premiere of American playwright Bruce Graham's White Guy on the Bus, a shocking new play which blows open the racial fault-lines of Trump’s America, playing for a four-week limited season from 27 March–21 April 2018. It is accompanied by the UK premiere of Rolf Hochhuth’s Death of a Hunter, playing Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays between 1-17 April 2018, including a performance in German on Tuesday, 10 April.

The season continues with the long-overdue rediscovery of the feminist classic Masterpieces by Sarah Daniels, last seen at the National Theatre as one of their '100 Most Significant Plays of the 20th Century', playing 24 April–19 May 2018. It plays alongside Gracie by Joan MacLeod, winner of Canada’s most prestigious literary award, the Governor General’s Award. The European premiere of this one-woman play about growing up in a religious cult plays Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays 29 April–15 May 2018.

The season culminates with the return of our ‘Celebrating British Music Theatre’ series with the first professional UK production since its 1980 premiere of The Biograph Girl, a joyous musical celebration of Hollywood's glorious era of silent film, by Warner Brown and David Heneker, the composer of Half A Sixpence, playing from 22 May–9 June 2018. It plays concurrently with the return of our Finborough150 series, celebrating the 150th birthday of our building, with the London premiere in English of Break of Noon (Partage de Midi) by Paul Claudel, the celebrated French author who was born 150 years ago. It plays Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays between 27 May–5 June.

By popular request, we have moved to a new ticketing provider, Spektrix, for all ticket bookings. The website address  remains www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk. Telephone bookings are now on a new number 01223 357851 which is free to call. There are no booking fees on online, personal or postal bookings, but there is now a 5% booking fee on telephone bookings.

Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson said: "Our new season features another eclectic season of work with writers from the UK, United States, Canada, France and Germany including hard-hitting new writing, musical theatre, and unique rediscoveries including another play celebrating our 150th birthday. Our work was also recognised in the recently announced shortlist of The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the prestigious award given annually to women who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre. Of ten finalists, three made their UK debut at the Finborough Theatre (Colleen Murphy, Fiona Doyle and Anusree Roy).” 

For full information, please visit www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk

Jan 9th

An Opportunity For All Creatives to Meet the Finborough Theatre Team

By Carolin Kopplin

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

 

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 us.

 

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 admin@finboroughtheatre.co.uk

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.

 

Dec 5th

JANUARY-MARCH SEASON AT THE FINBOROUGH THEATRE ANNOUNCED

By Carolin Kopplin

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.

We end the season with the world premiere of the first English-language adaptation of the classic novella by Ghassan KanafaniReturning to Haifa, adapted for the stage by Naomi Wallaceand 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 Nakbaor “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. This production marks the play's world premiere, following its banning by the Public Theater, New York City. 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 ofVibrant 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, we will be moving to a new ticketing provider, Spektrix, for all ticket bookings. The website address will remain www.finboroughtheatre.co.ukFrom 30 January 2018, telephone bookings will be on a new number 01223 357851 and will be free to call. There will no booking fees on online, personal or postal bookings, but there will be a 5% booking fee on telephone bookings.

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.

For full information, please visit www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk

 

Oct 20th

Winter Season at the Blue Elephant Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

Blue Elephant Theatre 2017 Winter Season

"The exciting fringe outpost that is the Blue Elephant"
Graham Watts, Dance Tabs

 
The Blue Elephant continues to offer a wealth of exciting performances by emerging artists across the arts. New writing, family shows and physical theatre feature strongly in the programme, tackling topics from immigration and aging to consent and mental health.
 
Exciting theatre companies Original ImpactThe Dot Collective and Moon on a Stick return to the Blue Elephant this season and their work alone demonstrates the breadth of the programme. Original Impact are a performance collective with a strong actor-musician focus who present new work and contemporary retellings of classics. The Dot Collective creates high-quality work with and for older people, especially those with dementia. Moon on a Stick creates original shows for children, using puppetry and live music.
 
This is Blue Elephant Theatre’s first season to be announced since learning in June that it is to be added to Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations from April 2018. Blue Elephant Theatre was amongst just five new theatre organisations in London to be added to the portfolio, offering the theatre more stability and greater opportunities to develop its work.
 
Theatre
The Man, The Myths, The Legends

Original Impact
19 – 20 October
 
A night of new work from men, tackling the myths, bringing you the legends.
 
Following the successes of Female Intuition and Tit for TatOriginal Impact returns to the Blue Elephant to showcase more works of new writing, this time from a male perspective.
 
Rat King by Bram Davidovich tells the story of Kelly and Jacko, whose worlds collide on the streets of East London.
 
Delicacy by Mark Jones charts the aftermath of an unusual dinner party as a family discover their neighbour is a serial killer who has fed them human flesh.

Cubicle Confessions by Darrel Draper places pressure on toilet attendant Samarge to reach out and support a stranger contemplating suicide.

In The Rental by Mark Harvey Levine, Sonya receives an extraordinary birthday present - a rented boyfriend. He's the perfect man for her - but he's only there for a day.

Croydon Ho Yo Yo Yo by David Zaman is best described by character Lizzi as “a torrid tale of sisterly deceit, a will to power, and what happens when messed up Esta and me screwed with the wrong President in the wrong time, wrong place”.

In The Red Telephone by Alasdair Melrose, a man sits alone at a table. A telephone sits in front of him. This is an antique red rotary telephone made by Siemens, engraved with an eagle, a swastika, and a name...
 
“Original Impact proves what is possible with a strong cast and some directorial creativity”
Culturised on Original Impact’s Twelfth Night

Directors: Sean Hollands, Stephen Bailey, Dan Burman, Joshua Jewkes, Kris Witham & Dinos Psychogios
Cast: Stanley Eldridge, Victoria Hitchin, Jessica Kearney, Katie Turner, Alasdair Melrose, Will Anderson, Katie Capello, Katie Spencer- Blake, Darrel Draper, Dan Burman, Georgina Bennett, Kris Witham, James Morley, Joshua Jewkes & Zac Wancke
 
Theatre
The Actualisation Show
Ephemeral Ensemble
26 – 28 October
 
Professional Optimists Harley & Pedro bring you The Actualisation Show:
We’ll forget you your troubles and believe in your dreams! Offered now at bargain prices - special rates negotiable! We’re optimistic that you won't be disappointed!
 
The Actualisation Show is the first fully realised production of Ephemeral Ensemble, an international physical theatre company founded by Ramon Ayres and Eygló Belafonte. They co-direct following Belafonte’s recent return from performing in Theatre Re’s sell-out The Nature of Forgetting at the Edinburgh Fringe. Combining the skilled physicality, playful stage craft and vibrant music, Ephemeral Ensemble strives to create original, sincere and ambitious work that is inspired by human stories.
 
The Actualisation Show was created following interviews with those affected by suicide and Ephemeral Ensemble has worked with Papyrus and LAS.

Supported by Arts Council En
 
Directors: Eygló Belafonte & Ramon Ayres
Set, Prop & Costume: Rob Evison
Music, Sound & Lyrics: Alex Paton
Collaborators for research: Professor David Mosse, PAPYRUS & L.A.S.
Cast: Ramon Ayres & Rob Evison
 
Theatre
The Dance Hall
1 – 2 November
 
Caught between the past and the presentThe Dance Hall touches on themes of immigration, loss, loneliness, family and, most importantly, (in)dependence.
 
When Annie dies far too young, Jimmy struggles with getting older and losing his independence. His family ‘try to visit’ when their lives allow, with his daughter and granddaughter supporting him as best they can.
 
An intimate story about an Irish family living in England, The Dance Hall delves into Jimmy's journey from Ireland, how he met his beloved Annie in the dance hall and the loneliness of his life without her.
 
The Dance Hall is presented as a work-in-progress production.
 
Writer: Eve Niker
 
Theatre
The Conversation
8 November
 
A performance exploring the topic of consent
 
In The ConversationLauren Burch considers the language of consent and how we talk about it. Or - how we do not talk about it.
 
Don’t worry, she’s not looking to shock you and she’s definitely not angry at you. She just wants to impress you.
 
Lauren attempts to create a safe space where you feel relaxed and invited to enjoy yourself with the help of her hosting. All of this is for you, and she won’t let you forget it. She’s pulling out all the stops on this special night. She’s setting herself high expectations, and she may fail to meet them. You may feel the urge to leave, and you are welcome to, whenever you want.
 
But oh baby, please don’t go. She just wants you to stay.
 
Writer and Performer: Lauren Burch
 
Age guidance: 15+
 
Family Theatre
Shakespearience

Debbie Hicks Productions
 10 November

"Utterly hilarious... a wildly successful all-family show"
The Stage ☆☆☆☆☆
 
Join Shakespeare's Men as they fly through the Bard's Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet and Twelfth Night in a whirlwind hour of mischievous storytelling. With tons of audience interaction, more than a dash of mayhem and a star turn from one lucky adult (shhh don't tell!), Shakespearience is the perfect treat for all the family. 
 
Theatre
How to Cope with Embarrassment

Two Pale Ladies
15 – 18 November
 
An irreverent showcase of what makes us tick, blush, cringe and silently scream
 
The Two Pale Ladies, and their new pale mate, explore what it is to be embarrassed and how it happens, in hopes of finding a way of coping with it.
 
So that we can reduce the number of times a day we wish that the ground would open up and lose us within its burning furnace.
 
So that we may sleep better, with a clearer conscience.
 
So that we may be less embarrassed.
 
How to Cope with Embarrassment is part forum theatre, live art, cabaret, wanna-be comedy and a little bit of karaoke. Deliberately adopting a disloyal frame, it stomps between genres and styles as a reaction to the fickle and capricious nature of Embarrassment, with a focus on failure and error.
 
The Tricycle
Bright South Theatre
21 – 25 November
 
What would you do for the chance of a better tomorrow?
 
 Apal and Climando have to pay for the tricycle they hired but they don´t have the money. How far will they go to survive in a world where all hope of a future is lost?
 
Three teenagers and an old man try to survive in a hostile, unintelligible and alienating world. They’re just four marginal characters looking for their place in a system which forgot them.
 
The Tricycle was the first play by renowned Spanish playwright Fernando Arrabal. Written in 1952, is a strangely light-hearted tale of poverty and murder. In this perfect example of Absurd Theatre, the writer questions the limits of freedom and the relationship between our acts and their consequences in a rotten society where children commit sinister acts to survive.
 
Bright South Theatre, under the direction of Jesús Chavero, presents the London premiere of a new adaptation of The Tricycle. This young Spanish company presents its first project in English, portraying a playful yet disturbing world and posing questions as relevant now as when The Tricycle was first written.
 
Writer: Fernando Arrabal
Translator & Director: Jesús Chavero
 
Theatre
The Invisible
30 November – 1 December
 
A storyteller stands alone on the stage, sharing a story about an invisible character.
 
She waits for airplanes to cross the sky. She wants to see the outside world. She folds paper planes. She takes a flight. She leaves home. She arrives in a foreign country. She feels invisible. She asks why.
 
What happens when East Asian culture lands at Heathrow Airport? How much do you know about the invisible? How little do you know? The Invisible is a one-woman show by Yuyu Wang, drawing on real experiences of living in a foreign country, incorporating story-telling, music and movement. It aims to explore the vulnerability, homesickness and otherness of Asian communities overseas, offering a new perspective on current contemporary discussions around immigration, alienation and home.
 
Writer and Performer: Yuyu Wang
 
Family Theatre
Little Red Riding Hood

Moon on a Stick
7 – 9 December
 
A much-loved story reinvented as a playful pantomime
 
Moon on a Stick combine enchanting puppetry and imaginative storytelling with traditional pantomime elements to create a fun and engaging show designed especially for tiny audience members.
 
Featuring live music, dance and audience interaction, Little Red Riding Hoodwill have everyone singing and laughing along but most importantly helping Little Red on her big adventure through the forest.
 
Packed full of silliness, a sassy heroine and sparkles, this is the perfect introduction to panto for children aged 3+ and their families.
 
Both performances on Saturday 9 December will be relaxed performances.

Supported by Arts Council England, Apples & Pears Foundation and the Wakefield & Tetley Foundation
 
Theatre
Once Upon a Christmas Song
The Dot Collective
13 December
 
Framed around popular Christmas themes, familiar music and memories, Once Upon a Christmas Song is an alternative Christmas show, guaranteed nonetheless to make you feel festive.
 
Once Upon a Christmas Song is new play by Alexander Moschos, written following The Dot Collective’s storytelling workshops with people living with dementia which were held at dementia friendly cafes, day care centres and activity groups for the elderly.
 
Characters, places and poetry were created. Memories, music and thoughts were shared between the service users and the artistic team. These one-hour workshops revealed many magical stories springing from the dynamic minds of the clients, regardless of age, disability or dementia. Moschos has responded to the memories and ideas around Christmas shared to write Once Upon a Christmas Song.
 
This play is truly a collaboration between the many minds met during the workshops and the playwright.
 
Writer: Alexander Moschos
 
Listings Information:
Venue: Blue Elephant Theatre, 59a Bethwin Rd, Camberwell, SE5 0XT (entrance on Thompson Ave)
Nearest tube: Oval (Northern Line)
Wheelchair accessible
Box Office: 020 7701 0100

www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk
info@blueelephanttheatre.co.uk
Twitter: @BETCamberwell
Oct 7th

VIBRANT 2017 – A FESTIVAL OF FINBOROUGH PLAYWRIGHTS

By Carolin Kopplin

THE NINTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

VIBRANT 2017 –
A FESTIVAL OF FINBOROUGH PLAYWRIGHTS

Curated by Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson.
Produced by Lynne McConway.

Plays by
June Carryl, Sue Healy, Adam Hughes, Iain Finlay Macleod, Joe Marsh, Carmen Nasr, Jeff Page, Avin Shah and Athena Stevens

Directed by
Charlie Barker, Manuel Bau, Jelena Budmir, Liz Carruthers, Shane Dempsey, Fay Lomas, Ali Pidsley, Tricia Thorns and Oscar Toeman.

Supported by
The Richard Carne Trust. Oberon Books. Hogarth Estates. Samuel French Limited.

Now in its ninth consecutive year, the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre – the coalface of British Theatre – presents Vibrant 2017  A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, its annual explosion of new writing, performing on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays, 8, 9, 12, 15, 16, 19, 22, 23, 26 October 2017

As always, this year's festival features an intriguing selection of staged readings of new works by UK and international playwrights, both established and new, discovered, developed or championed by the Finborough Theatre.

Concentrated solely on full length works for the stage, Vibrant 2017  A Festival of Finborough Playwrights continues to introduce you to some of the fascinating diverse vibrant voices the theatre has nurtured.

Since the first festival in 2009, Vibrant festivals have included over 100 new plays, 26 of which have gone on to be produced in full productions at the Finborough Theatre including Mirror Teeth by Nick Gill, The Man by James Graham, And I And Silence by Naomi Wallace, Black Jesus by Anders Lustgarten, Carthage by Chris Thompson, Nona Shepphard and Craig Adams' musical version of Thérèse Raquin, This Heaven by Nakkiah Lui, Continuity by Gerry Moynihan, and Dubailand by Carmen Nasr. Many other plays first seen in Vibrant have also gone on to be produced by other theatres.

Despite remaining completely unsubsidised, the Finborough Theatre has an unparalleled track record of discovering new playwrights who go on to become leading voices in British theatre. Under Artistic Director Neil McPherson, it has discovered some of the UK's most exciting new playwrights including Laura Wade, James Graham, Mike Bartlett, Chris Thompson, Jack Thorne, Alexandra Wood, Al Smith, Nicholas de Jongh and Anders Lustgarten; and directors including Blanche McIntyre, Robert Hastie, Kate Wasserberg and Sam Yates.

Vibrant 2017 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights is again curated by Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson, winner of The Writers' Guild Award for the Encouragement of New Writing, and twice winner of the OffWestEnd Award for Best Artistic Director.

Week One – 8 - 12 October 2017
Sunday, 8 October 2017 at 7.30pm
Genie by Athena Stevens. Directed by Jelena Budimir.

With severe Cerebral Palsy, an IQ of 30, and the inability to hear, Genie has spent the past two decades isolated in an institution. But when Jessica, Genie's twin sister, decides to take her out of the care home, none of the doctors can explain why Genie has developed a compulsion to destroy anything made of fabric. With a home shredded and Jessica's marriage in tatters, being a carer proves to take more of a toll than Jessica expected. But when an unlikely explanation arises regarding Genie's compulsion, it calls into question how much she is aware of, and whether more meaning can be woven into her life than anyone ever thought. Based on the work of Judith Scott, Genie is an inspirational testament to the power of creativity in the face of trauma.

Monday, 9 October 2017 at 7.30pm
The Climbers by Carmen Nasr. Directed by Charlie Barker. 

British couple Yasmin and Charlie are inexperienced but passionate mountaineers, determined to climb the highest mountain on Earth and see the curve of the Earth from the summit. With a hired professional guide and an army of Sherpas, they set off to conquer the mountain. But when things go wrong on the climb, and Charlie goes missing on the descent, Yasmin and the guide's accounts of what actually happened don't quite add up...

Exploring the questionable ambition of today's increasingly inexperienced expeditions to Mount Everest, The Climbers challenges our dangerous tendency to celebrate the human conquest of nature.

Thursday, 12 October 2017 at 3.00pm
Checkpoint Chana by Jeff Page. Directed by Manuel Bau.

Poet Bev Hemmings is in the eye of a storm after she publishes a poem that the world seems to believe is anti-Semitic. She's convinced she's innocent, but everyone else – including her PA, Tamsin – wants her to apologise. A press interview is planned to begin her public rehabilitation, but Bev's erratic behaviour, exacerbated by drink and a dying father, make her public contrition a complex process.
Checkpoint Chana examines the point where pro-Palestinian criticism of the government of Israel and anti-Semitism blur.

Week Two – 15 – 19 October 2017
Sunday, 15 October 2017 at 7.30pm 
Beeston by Adam Hughes. Directed by Ali Pidsley.

Summer 2005. Beeston, Leeds. A once white-working class community divided by mass immigration and industrial decline. Nobody knows this more than scaffolder Jordan. His only real companion is younger brother Liam, who has fallen for Nadima, a medical student from the Asian community. But with the 7/7 bombings, everything changes, and Jordan finds himself moving down a dark path from which there may be no return... A new play exploring the demonisation of the white working-class and offers a fresh perspective on nationalism and identity in modern Britain.

Monday, 16 October 2017 at 7.30pm 
Imaginationship by Sue Healy. Directed by Tricia Thorns.

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.

Thursday, 19 October 2017 at 3.00pm
Morningland by Iain Finlay Macleod. Directed by Liz Carruthers.

A man and woman stand in Glenfinnan forest in the middle of the night. Sorley and Eimhir. He grallochs a deer they have hit with the car and tells her he is AWOL. They are going to Raasay, a place with its own ghosts for Sorley, but the only place no-one will find him. He was brought up there by his uncle, who was traumatised by the Spanish Civil War. Eimhir is Irish and Sorley hid it from her for long enough that he was in the army. Now she finds out that he speaks Arabic and works in intelligence. He has gone AWOL after having to question a man, Ali, involved in a terrorist attack. When they reach the island, his uncle, a man long dead, is there. Sorley encounters the three stories of his life at once – his childhood with his uncle, his unrequited love of Eimhir and the night he interrogates Ali.

Week Three – 22 – 26 October 2017
Sunday, 22 October 2017 at 7.30pm
The Good Minister From Harare by June Carryl. Directed by Shane Dempsey.

Inspired by the human toll of Robert Mugabe's massacre of at least 20,000 Ndebele in Zimbabwe thirty years ago, The Good Minister From Harare was the winner of the Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance $10,000 Saroyan/Paul 2016 Human Rights Award, judged by Rob Drummer, Artistic Director of Boundless; Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre since 1999; and Simon Levy, Artistic Director of the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles since 1993.

When a low-level bureaucrat is asked to right a wrong committed in his village thirty years before, he quickly finds himself plunged into a nightmare wonderland of red tape, government thugs and revolutionary zealots. When the past won't stay buried, do you turn a blind eye and live, or die a martyr in the bloody business of liberation?

Monday, 23 October 2017 at 7.30pm
Outcaste by Avin Shah. Directed by Fay Lomas.

1914: A Hindu village boasting generations of warrior tradition. With the outbreak of war in Europe, the army recruitment business booms. With Untouchables deemed unfit for service, Yasmin's father sees an opportunity to enlist by converting to Islam. When he sails off to France, adolescent YASMIN remains behind in a religious community disgusted by her father's blasphemous act. Banned from education and a victim since birth, she struggles to adapt to her adopted Muslim faith whilst vulnerable to persecution and sexual violence. But when news arrives from the Western Front of her father's bravery, her underdog's guile is awakened. Climbing out of the gutter, she steps into the vacant men's shoes and becomes a fearsome adversary...

Thursday, 26 October 2017 at 3.00pm
We Struggle by Joe Marsh. Directed by Oscar Toeman.

A grey summer's day in East London. Jihad is a man on the edge. He has lost his job and his girlfriend Abida has left him in mysterious and sinister circumstances. Heartbroken and directionless, he defecates on the floor of his local Tesco superstore, steals a kitchen knife from its shelves, and over the hours that ensue has a series of encounters with friends, family and strangers as he forges a dark path forward. These encounters are interspersed with flashbacks to his ill-fated relationship with Abida, as their story of shattered hopes, insecurity and radicalisation unfolds, pointing towards the day's extraordinary climax... Bold and uncompromising, We Struggle is an urgent exploration of how life in our broken city is pushing people to extremes.

Introduce Yourself to the Finborough Theatre
To ensure our work remains accessible to all, accompanying this year's Vibrant 2017  A Festival of Finborough Playwrights is the return of our Introduce Yourself initiative for writers who have never previously submitted work to the Finborough Theatre. The last Introduce Yourself saw us receive more than 200 submissions – one of which went on to a full production at the Finborough Theatre. We pride ourselves on accepting full length scripts all year round, but during Vibrant 2017 A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, we'll be relaxing our usual submission rules to make ourselves even more accessible to new writers.

Introduce Yourself is for new writers from the UK who have never previously submitted work to the Finborough Theatre. We'll read your work and guarantee feedback from our Literary Team.

Please submit
An unperformed short play or twenty pages of an unperformed full length script.
A synopsis of whatever you are submitting.
A little bit about you. It could be a short biography, or a CV, or a chatty letter telling us what music you like.

Submissions must be made between Sunday, 8 October to Thursday, 26 October 2017

Please email ONLY and include the words 'Introduce Yourself' in the subject line toliteraryteam@finboroughtheatre.co.uk

We cannot accept submissions by post or by hand.

PDF attachments are preferred if possible.

Your play can be on any subject or in any style you like. We want to read what you are passionate about – not impose themes or subjects or time limits on you. Writers can be any age, but must be resident in the United Kingdom, and have never previously submitted work to the Finborough Theatre.

And every Wednesday evening during Vibrant 2017 - A Festival of Finborough Playwrights (11, 18 and 25 October), Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre, and Sue Healy, Literary Manager of the Finborough Theatre, will be in the Finborough Arms pub below the theatre between 7.30pm and 9.30pm if you want to Introduce Yourself personally. Bookings will open for each fifteen minute slot at the Finborough Theatre through the Vibrant page of our website onSunday, 1 October 2017. Please note these meetings are for writers only. We will be holding similar events for directors and designers soon.

 Inaugural Meeting of the Finborough Theatre Writers' Group 

The Finborough Theatre Writers' Group will launch on Thursday, 19 October 2017 at the Finborough Arms pub, and, thereafter, it will be held at the Finborough Arms pub on the third Thursday of every month at 8.00pm. 

The group is by invitation only and we will email the emerging and established playwrights we are keen to get to know better and those whom we feel would be an asset to and benefit most from the evening.

The speaker for the inaugural meeting will be announced on 10 October 2017.

Date: Thursday, 19 October (and the 3rd Thursday of every month thereafter).

Time: 8.00pm.

Place: The Finborough Arms pub, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED.

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Vibrant 2017 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights
Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Book online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk
Telephone Booking 0844 847 1652 (calls will cost 7ppm plus your network access charge). 

Sep 7th

Autumn Season at the Finborough Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

The final season of 2017 at the Finborough brings together vibrant new writing and unique rediscoveries, with three plays unseen in the UK for many years, and twelve new plays from the UK, the US and Canada. 

 

The season opens with the UK debut of acclaimed American playwright Keith Bunin with the European premiere of The Busy World is Hushed, directed by the founder of Theatre503, Paul Higgins, playing an eight week limited season from 3 October-25 November 2017. It is accompanied by the Finborough's new play celebration, Vibrant 2017 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights – now in its ninth consecutive year – which plays Sunday and Monday evenings and Thursday matinees between 8-26 October 2017, accompanied by the return of the ‘Introduce Yourself’ initiative for new playwrights.

 

This year’s Vibrant – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights includes new plays from the Finborough's Channel 4 Playwrights Scheme Playwright in Residence Carmen Nasr, three of their Playwrights on Attachment, Scots Gaelic author Iain Finlay Macleod, and June Carryl’s winning play from the ADAA $10,000 Saroyan/Paul 2016 Human Rights Playwriting Competition. And then by a controversial rediscovery, the queer classic Quaint Honour by Roger Gellert, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, and unseen in the UK for 60 years, playing Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees between 29 October-21 November 2017. 

 

The year ends with the first London production in nearly 70 years of The Passing of the Third Floor Back by Jerome K. Jerome, author of Three Men in a Boat, playing from 28 November - 22 December 2017, running alongside the first London production in 80 years of Israel Zangwill's classic drama of refugees and immigration, The Melting Pot, on Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees between 3-19 December 2017. 

 

Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson said: "In a financial climate that is making our continued work even harder to achieve, our new season continues to bring together the very best of new playwriting from the English-speaking world, with work from the past that has been unfairly neglected in an ambitious and idiosyncratic selection of work that you’ve never seen before and can’t see anywhere else. With the help of funding from our regular patrons, we have also recently completed the first stages of a refurbishment of the Finborough Theatre building. As always, please do consider supporting us by joining our Friends Scheme.”

 

The Finborough Theatre has had a superlative year to date with acclaimed sell-out productions, transfers in London and to New York City, and an Olivier Award nomination. Rediscoveries have included Tony Harrison’s The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus, B. S. Johnson’s You’re Human Like The Rest Of Us, a centenary production of T. W. Robertson’s Caste, Arthur Miller’s Incident At Vichy and Cicely Hamilton’s Just To Get Married. New writing has included the debuts of new playwrights Carmen Nasr (Dubailand which also won her our tenth Channel 4 Playwrights Scheme Playwright in Residence Bursary, supported by the Peggy Ramsay Foundation), Titas Halder (his London debut with Run The Beast Down which has just been nominated for The Stage Debut Award for Best Writer), and Canada’s most exciting new playwright Jordan Tannahill (his European debut with Late Company); as well as the English premiere of David Ireland’s Everything Between Us.Finborough Theatre productions have also transferred to New York City (My Eyes Went Dark) and elsewhere in London (Incident at Vichy to the King’s Head Theatre and Late Company to Trafalgar Studios). Last year’s It Is Easy To Be Dead by Neil McPherson was also nominated for an Olivier Award following its transfer from the Finborough Theatre to Trafalgar Studios.

For full information, please visit www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk 

Jul 3rd

Blue Elephant Theatre is to Become a NPO

By Carolin Kopplin

The charming and innovative Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell, which has nurtured such artists and companies as Theatre Ad Infinitum, Theatre Témoin and On the Run was amongst just five new theatre organisations in London to be added to Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations on June 27th.  

Blue Elephant Theatre is a small fringe theatre located on the Wyndham and Comber Estate in Camberwell, South London. It seeks to offer creative opportunities to those who may not otherwise to be able to access them, through both its Artistic and Participation Departments. Its Artistic Department works with emerging artists, programming new work across art forms but with a particular focus on theatre and dance. Its Participation Department has developed free high-quality creative, learning and community provision over many years to tackle issues locally which prevent people, especially disadvantaged young people, achieving their potential. The Blue Elephant’s equal emphasis on professional and participation work is very unusual in London fringe theatre.

Blue Elephant Theatre has been supported by Southwark Council since it opened in 1999 and by many other funders over the years, including Children in Need which has supported its Young People’s Theatre for a decade. In 2014, members of Young People’s Theatre joined Gareth Malone and a number of celebrity singers to record the year’s official BBC Children in Need single which went to number one in the charts. Recently, as Southwark Council’s Arts & Events’ budgets have been drastically cut, the future of the Blue Elephant has been uncertain at best but the prospect of being a National Portfolio Organisation from 2018-2022 provides much-needed stability for the organisation.

Co-Artistic Directors, Niamh de Valera and Jo Sadler-Lovett, are delighted by the news as are all Blue Elephant’s Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers. Niamh says, “We’re absolutely blown away by this news and by the number of people who have come forward to congratulate us this week. The Blue Elephant has touched a lot of people’s lives for the better and we are so relieved and excited that its future is now more secure than ever”.

More info on the Blue Elephant Theatre: http://www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/

Jun 23rd

Forced Entertainment and Little Bulb Return to the Battersea Arts Centre

By Carolin Kopplin

 

Tim Etchell's Forced Entertainment returns to the Battersea Arts Centre, as its London home, to reinvent Dirty Work – a performance created nearly 20 years ago, that draws the audience into imaginary performances with casts of thousands. Following closely behind is the creative Little Bulb Theatre who will fill the BAC Courtyard theatre with their joyful musical melodrama, Extravaganza Macabre

DIRTY WORK (THE LATE SHIFT)

By Forced Entertainment

Returning to their 1998 performance Dirty Work, Forced Entertainment have created a new version of the piece that digs deeper into the comical and unsettling territory they established just before the turn of the Millennium.

The new work, Dirty Work (The Late Shift) develops the simple but immensely generative form of described or virtual events and celebrates the power of language to make things happen, co-opting the imaginative capacities of the audience to fill the stage with a delirium of images, scenes and events in bewildering and unnerving succession.

In Dirty Work (The Late Shift) two performers conjure an extraordinary performance in a collaborative and competitive act of description. From vast explosions to sub-atomic particles, with daily life, political interludes, dramas and cabaret turns in between, no event is too large and no image un-stageable for the protagonists, whose game of virtual theatre takes the audience on a roller coaster ride.

From theatrical spectacle to historical events, daily life to impossible feats, cabaret to political speeches, and from sublime beauty to vivid terrors, everything is here, in provocative, intimate and comical style. Accompanied by the sound of piano on a battered record player, Dirty Work (The Late Shift) explores and exposes a world in which real life is so often presented as spectacle.

Listings Information:

Title: Dirty Work (The Late Shift)
Artist/Company: Forced Entertainment
Venue: Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN
Date: 27 Jun – 1 Jul
Time: 7:30pm (Running Time: 85 mins)
Price: £17.50, £15, £12.50 concs
Age Recommendation: 16+
Booking Link:
www.bac.org.uk/dirtywork
Box Office: 020 7223 2223
 

Extravaganza Macabre by Little Bulb Theatre

Little Bulb Theatre returns to Battersea Arts Centre’s new open-air Courtyard this summer to delight family and fun-loving audiences with the joyfully silly production, Extravaganza Macabre, from 4 – 29 July.


A celebration of melodrama, music and mischief set in Victorian London, Extravaganza Macabre was created especially to launch Battersea Arts Centre’s Courtyard last year. Having gone down a treat, the production invites audiences to get up-close to the slapstick action across ground floor and balcony levels, with Pimm’s and picnic hampers chock-full of British favourites available to add to the summertime experience. 

Extravaganza Macabre tells a tale of two passionate lovers separated by a freak storm which leaves their fate in the clutches of a scheming villain set on keeping them apart forever. With only a clairvoyant maid and a loyal urchin to come to their rescue, a whirlwind of plot twists, original music hall numbers and audience interaction ensues, recommended for ages eight and up. 

The new 75m2 Courtyard is a unique and intimate space nestled at the heart of Battersea Arts Centre’s beautiful old town hall building. Designed by Stirling Prize winning architects Haworth Tompkins, the Courtyard was inspired by the radical Teatro Oficina in São Paulo, Brazil. With walls made from a bold mix of old red and shiny white bricks, trapdoors and surprise entrances and exits spread across three levels add to the 360 degree, open-air fun. The auditorium levels, made by Steeldeck, form the UK’s most intimate open-air theatre structure. 

Listings Information:

Title: Extravaganza Macabre

Artist/Company: Little Bulb Theatre

Venue: Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN

Date: 4 – 29 July

Time: 7:30pm | Saturday Matinees 2:30pm

Price: Stalls (Seated) £20 - £25 | Balcony (Standing) £10 - £15

Booking Link: www.bac.org.uk/extravaganza

Box Office: 020 7223 2223

Jun 13th

NEW SUMMER SEASON AT THE FINBOROUGH THEATRE

By Carolin Kopplin

The new Summer Season features two premieres of new writing and two rediscoveries. The two new plays – Continuity by new Northern Irish playwright Gerry Moynihan and the European premiere of Dolphins and Sharks from new African-American playwright James Anthony Tyler – were both originally seen as staged readings as part of Vibrant 2016 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights. The two rediscoveries are Just To Get Married by renowned suffragette Cicely Hamilton, first performed in 1910 and last seen in London in 1918; and Windows by John Galsworthy, which premiered in London at the Royal Court Theatre in 1922.

 

The season opens with the first London production in over a hundred years of Just To Get Married, a romantic comedy by renowned suffragette Cicely Hamilton, playing for a four week limited season from 25 July-19 August 2017. It runs concurrently with the world premiere of Continuity by new playwright Gerry Moynihan, playing Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees between 30 July-13 August 2017.

 

The season continues with the first professional UK production in 85 years of Windows by John Galsworthy, directed by Geoffrey Beevers, well known for his work at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond. Described by its author as “a comedy for idealists and others”, Windows plays from a three week limited season from 22 August-9 September 2017.

The season concludes with the European premiere from new African-American playwright James Anthony Tyler, Dolphins and Sharks plays for a three week limited season from 12 September-30 September 2017.

 

Elsewhere, two sell-out Finborough Theatre productions transfer in June: Incident At Vichy by Arthur Miller transfers to the King’s Head Theatre from 7-25 June 2017; and My Eyes Went Dark by Matt Wilkinson transfers to 59E59 Theaters, New York City, from 7 June - 2 July 2017.

 

Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson said: "Our new Summer Season is evenly balanced between our artistic policy’s twin strands – to present essential new writing, alongside genuinely unique rediscoveries. We have also just relaunched our Friends Scheme, making it even easier to support our award winning work.”

 

For full information, please visit www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk

Photo credit: KinoLOWRES