Artists working at the theatre in the 1980s included Clive Barker, Rory Bremner, Nica Burns, Kathy Burke, Ken Campbell, Jane Horrocks and Claire Dowie. In the 1990s, the Finborough Theatre became known for new writing including Naomi Wallace’s first play The War Boys; Rachel Weisz in David Farr’s Neville Southall’s Washbag; four plays by Anthony Neilson including Penetrator and The Censor, both of which transferred to the Royal Court Theatre; and new plays by Tony Marchant, David Eldridge, Mark Ravenhill and Phil Willmott. New writing development included a number of works that went to become modern classics including Mark Ravenhill’s Shopping and F***king, Conor McPherson’s This Lime Tree Bower, Naomi Wallace’s Slaughter City and Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman.
Since 2000, new British plays have included Laura Wade’s London debut with her adaptation of W.H. Davies’ Young Emma, commissioned for the Finborough Theatre; James Graham’s Albert’s Boy with Victor Spinetti; Sarah Grochala’s S27; Nigel Planer’s Death of Long Pig; Peter Nichols’ Lingua Franca, which transferred Off-Broadway; Joy Wilkinson’s Fair, Nicholas de Jongh’s Plague Over England; and Jack Thorne’s Fanny and Faggot, all of which transferred to the West End. Many of the Finborough Theatre’s new plays have been published and are on sale from our website.
UK premieres of foreign plays have included Brad Fraser’s Wolfboy; Lanford Wilson’s Sympathetic Magic; Larry Kramer’s The Destiny of Me; Tennessee Williams’ Something Cloudy, Something Clear; the English premiere of Robert McLellan’s Scots language classic, Jamie the Saxt; and three West End transfers – Frank McGuinness’ Gates of Gold with William Gaunt and John Bennett, Joe DiPietro’s F***ing Men and Craig Higginson’s Dream of the Dog with Janet Suzman.
Rediscoveries of neglected work have included the first London revivals of Rolf Hochhuth’s Soldiers and The Representative; both parts of Keith Dewhurst’s Lark Rise to Candleford; The Women’s War, an evening of original suffragette plays; Etta Jenks with Clarke Peters and Daniela Nardini; Noël Coward’s first play, The Rat Trap; Charles Wood’s Jingo with Susannah Harker; two sell out productions of work by J.M. Barrie – What Every Woman Knows and Quality Street; and Emlyn Williams' Accolade with Aden Gillett and Saskia Wickham.
Music Theatre has included the new (premieres from Grant Olding, Charles Miller, Michael John LaChuisa, Adam Guettel, Andrew Lippa and Adam Gwon's Ordinary Days which transferred to the West End) and the old (the UK premiere of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair which transferred to the West End, and the acclaimed Celebrating British Music Theatre series, reviving forgotten British musicals).