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VIBRANT 2017 – A FESTIVAL OF FINBOROUGH PLAYWRIGHTS

Published by: Carolin Kopplin on 7th Oct 2017 | View all blogs 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). 

Comments

1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 1 month ago
    Thanks for the update, Carolin
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