Our Season


OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2017

Download our Season leaflet.

Our final season of 2017 brings together the two strands of our multi-award-winning artistic policy – 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 6 October - 25 November 2017. It is accompanied by our 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 our ‘Introduce Yourself’ initiative for new playwrights. This year’s Vibrant – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights includes new plays from our Channel 4 Playwrights Scheme Playwright in Residence Carmen Nasr, three of our 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.

We end the year 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.

JANUARY TO MARCH | 2018

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 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, we will be 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

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