September to October 2011 | Autumn Season

MIXED MARRIAGE

by St John Ervine

 
Tuesday, 4 October – Saturday, 29 October 2011


"Not for the first time, one looks to the Finborough to come up with the most compelling play in London."
Michael Billington, The Guardian

**** The Guardian
**** Financial Times
**** Time Out (Critics' Choice)
**** WhatsOnStage
**** FourthWall
**** Exeunt Magazine
**** London Theatre Reviews

The first London production for 90 years of St John Ervine’s searing Belfast tragedy

For details of our Returns Policy for sold out performances, please click here

As the city's factories come out on strike, John Rainey, the respected head of a Protestant family, acts to calm the sectarian tension being stirred up by politicians for their own ends. On the streets, Rainey successfully unites Catholic and Protestant against the machinations of the factory owners, the nationalists and the Orangemen. But at home, passions rise when Rainey discovers that his son wants to marry the beautiful, innocent Nora, a Catholic...

Set in Ireland before partition, Mixed Marriage is a poetic tragedy – leavened with earthy humour – which dissects class and religious sectarianism through the breakdown of one ordinary family. It was a groundbreaking success in its time and established Ervine as a great Irish writer.

This production is another Finborough Theatre rediscovery, following in the footsteps of such sell-out successes as J.M. Barrie's What Every Woman Knows and Quality Street, Graham Greene's The Potting Shed and Emlyn Williams' Accolade.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT ST JOHN ERVINE

(1883-1971) was a dramatist, novelist, biographer and critic. A protestant, born in East Belfast, he was for a time an unlikely choice as Literary Manager at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under W.B. Yeats, where Mixed Marriage, his first play, was produced in 1911, directed by Lennox Robinson. It was subsequently seen in London at the Royal Court Theatre in 1911 and revived in the West End at both the Ambassadors and Aldwych Theatres in 1922. His many other plays include John Ferguson(1915), Anthony and Anna (1926), The First Mrs. Fraser (1926) and Boyd’s Shop (1939). In later life, Ervine turned his back on Ireland and its politics, and moved to England where he became a noted drama critic for The Observer andThe Morning Star, as well as a novelist and a biographer of both Oscar Wilde and Bernard Shaw.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR SAM YATES

Director Sam Yates is Artistic Associate at Royal and Derngate Theatres, Northampton, under Laurie Sansom. Previous direction for the Finborough Theatre includes two plays by Nicholas de Jongh for Vibrant - A Festival of Finborough Playwrights – To Keep the Ghost Awake (2010) and There Goes My Future (2011). Direction includes Mrs P. (Workshop for Mercury Musical Developments), Electra and Oedipus (Garrick Theatre, Stockport), Oleanna (Hong Kong Arts Centre), The Turke (Arcola Theatre), The Tempest and Macbeth (ADC Theatre, Cambridge) and Yeats’ Purgatory (Edinburgh Festival).

He was Associate Director to Josephine Hart on Poetry Week (Donmar Warehouse), Michael Grandage on Hamlet with Jude Law (Donmar West End, Elsinore and Broadway), Madame De Sade with Dame Judi Dench (Donmar West End), Trevor Nunn on Birdsong (Comedy Theatre), Jamie Lloyd on Salome (National Tour) and The Little Dog Laughed (Garrick Theatre). He was Assistant Director to Josie Rourke on How To Curse (Bush Theatre) and Burying Your Brother in the Pavement (National Theatre), Paul Raffield on Hysteria (Birmingham Rep), Rachel Kavanaugh on Uncle Vanya (Birmingham Rep) and Phyllida Lloyd on Wise Children (National Theatre Studio).

ABOUT THE CAST

Christopher Brandon Trained at LAMDA. Theatre includes The Charming Man (Theatre 503), 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (Bush Theatre), The Curse of the Starving Class (Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Timon of Athens (Shakespeare's Globe), Mad Funny Just (Theatre 503), Henry V (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), As You Like It (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield), When Five Years Pass (Arcola Theatre). Television includes Endeavour and MI High. Film includes Devil May Care and Exit.

Damien Hannaway Trained in Melbourne, Australia, and subsequently the Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin. Theatre includes The Lamplight (Players Theatre, Dublin), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Players Theatre, Dublin, and Paris), The Cherry Orchard (Northern Ireland Festival) and Macbeth (St Martin’s Youth Theatre, Melbourne). Film includesTreasure Island, Charlie Casanova and Hill 16 (nominated for Best Actor at Cherbourg British and Irish Film Festival).

Nora-Jane Noone Trained at the Performing Arts School, Galway. Film includes January, The Descent 2, Beyond the Rave, Doomsday, Speed Dating, Ella Enchanted, News for the Church, The Listener and The Magdalene Sisters (winner of Best Film at 2002 Venice Film Festival, nominated for Best British Picture at the BAFTA Awards and winner of Best Actress in an Ensemble Role at the British Independent Film Awards). Nora has also twice been nominated for Best Supporting Actress at Irish Film and Television awards for Savage and The Descent. Television includes Garrow's Law, Jack Taylor: The Magdalen Martyrs, Jack Taylor: The Pikeman, The Runaway, Jack Taylor: The Guards, The Day of the Triffids, Afterlife, Holby City and Coronation Street. Radio includes Walking at Ringsend. Mixed Marriage is Nora-Jane's professional stage debut.

Daragh O’Malley Trained at LAMDA.Theatre includes productions at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Citizens Theatre Glasgow, Lyric Theatre Belfast, Abbey Theatre Dublin, Library Theatre Manchester, The Young Vic, the Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, where he received a Drama Logue Award for his portrayal of Sweeney in Patrick Marber's Dealer's Choice and the recent UK tour of Dancing at Lughnasa. Film includes Withnail and I, Puckoon, Cuthroat Island and The Long Good Friday. Television includes Camelot, Silent Witness, Waking the Dead, In Deep, Wire in the Blood, Cleopatra, The Magnificent Seven, Longitude, A Day in Summer, Richard The Lionheart, Texas, Vendetta, Shaughnessy, McCready and Daughter, Camelot and as Regimental Sergeant Major Patrick Harper in the long running ITV Napoleonic drama series Sharpe.

Joel Ormsby Trained at Birmingham School of Acting. Credits whilst training include Don Juan in Soho, The American Clock and The Storm. Film includes Casting and The AntiClimax Shorts. Television includes The Promise.

Fiona Victory Theatre includes the title role in The House of Bernarda Alba (Coventry), The Playboy of the Western World (Liverpool Playhouse), Ourselves Alone, Pygmies in the Ruins, Iranian Nights (Royal Court Theatre), The Winter’s Tale, Hamlet, The Tempest, Bartholomew Fair, Pygmalion (The Young Vic), Time and the Conways (Toronto), Kitty O'Shea (Abbey Theatre, Dublin), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester) Music To Murder By, Motocar, Richard III Part II, Beef (Paines Plough), the title role in Lulu (Tynewear Theatre Company), All in All Lenore (Sheffield Crucible), the role of Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew (Theatre Royal Stratford East), and Danny and the Deep Blue Sea and Savage in Limbo (Gate Theatre). Television includes Dangerfield, Poldark, Hanging Gale, Resnick, Red Roses for Me, Nanny, Murder of a Moderate Man, Final Run, A Dinner of Herbs, Shine on Harvey Moon, Coming Through, Rules of Engagement, Drowning in the Shallow End and Rockcliffe's Folly. Film includes Swept from the Sea, Dear Rosie, Champions and Return to Oz. 

PRESS ON MIXED MARRIAGE


****Four Stars, Time Out
****Four Stars, The Guardian
****Four Stars, WhatsOnStage
****Four Stars, Fourthwall Magazine
****Four Stars, Exeunt Magazine

Time Out Critics’ Choice

"Not for the first time, one looks to the Finborough to come up with the most compelling play in London.”  Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Not for the first time, the Finborough demolishes the myth of twentieth century British theatre being an effete wasteland pre-'Look Back in Anger', with the first revival in 90 years of this domestic tragedy by St John Ervine.” Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

“This is a lean, potent drama that does not deserve to be forgotten.” Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

“No Irish play in recent months has given me more pleasure than this revival of a forgotten piece by St John Ervine. Written in 1911, long before the Belfast-born Ervine became drama critic of the Observer, it offers an urgent, powerful and still-topical account of the destructive impact of religious sectarianism on family life.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“It has a raw, visceral power.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“A valuable contribution to modern political theatre.” Shaun Traynor, The Irish World

“Yet another find and another deeply rewarding visit to the Finborough. If ever a theatre punched above its weight, this one certainly does.” Gareth James, Gareth James Blog

“Mixed Marriage at the Finborough Theatre is a centenary revival that makes sense. St John Ervine’s 1911 play about sectarian violence and industrial action in the north of Ireland strikes a chord in our troubled times” Edward Lukes, The London Magazine

“The Finborough have billed their latest show as a "rediscovery" – and what a good one it proves to be. This being the first London production in 90 years of Saint John Ervine's tragedy, and yet Sam Yates’ exciting production assures us that the play's issues remain timeless.” Alex Packer, WhatsOnStage

“Mixed Marriage is at once remarkably concise – it’s a meaty 80 minutes with no interval – and admirably clear. Excellent direction and performances allow the ideals of St John Ervine to ring out – the inspiring notion that two people in love can be “bigger than the world” is cause for celebration.” Edward Lukes, The London Magazine

“Ervine’s text is simplistically poetic yet poignantly addresses the epic issues of relationships and politics with domestic ease” Alex Packer, WhatsOnStage

“Don’t be put off by the serious subject matter - the play is an evocative tragedy but it’s interspersed with an earthy humour.” Caroline Gosney, Fulham Road

“An example of eloquent, complex public discussion on an unresolved issue.” Naima Khan, Spoonfed

“Fittingly, the polemical setting of early 20th century Ireland is what enables this subject to be addressed effectively in a ninety minute-long play at all. A depiction of today's quiet, stumbling political correctness on the issue would struggle not to be bland.” Naima Khan, Spoonfed

“How compelling and classically combative Mixed Marriage is. This play from 31productions serves as a reminder and a pointed comment on the way we define fearless theatre today.” Naima Khan, Spoonfed

“Anyone who believes issue-based political dramas only arrived in the 1970s will be shocked by "Mixed Marriage," St. John Ervine's tragedy unearthed by the unstintingly enterprising Finborough Theater. Premiered in 1911 at Dublin's Abbey Theater and unseen in London in 90 years, it presents a plea for tolerance amid religious sectarian violence and embeds it into a family drama.” David Benedict, Variety

“It is a bruiser of a play; one that grabs you by the collar and simply shakes for an hour and twenty minutes.” Matt Trueman, Carousel of Fantasies

“Ervine's 1911 portrayal of a pre-partition Belfast working class ripped apart by religious conflict and mutual mistrust is powerful stuff, couched in startlingly modern language.” Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

“It also anticipates Sean O'Casey in showing, through the Junoesque figure of Mrs Rainey, that women were models of pragmatic endurance in an Ireland being destroyed by headstrong men.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“A full century since it was first staged in Dublin Mixed Marriage, centred on a Protestant family in Belfast, resonates as clearly as any modern day socio-political drama.” Jennifer Cavanagh, London Nibbles

“Moving delicately from the specific to the general Mixed Marriage offers strong commentary on personal choice, self-thwarted ambitions, division of wealth, the role of religion and the power of bigotry in a thoughtfully nuanced and inarguably genuine tale.”  Jennifer Cavanagh, London Nibbles

“A sledge hammer of a production that reverberates over time.” Jennifer Cavanagh, London Nibbles

“A century after it was first performed, St John Ervine’s play about sectarianism in Belfast is both a fascinating historical document and a timely commentary on a problem which refuses to go away.” Nicholas Hamilton, The Stage

“Another neglected gem at the Finborough” Gareth James, Gareth James Blog

“It certainly packs a punch in its 80 minute running time.” Gareth James, Gareth James Blog

“Though the political landscape may seem to have changed, personal attitudes like John’s clearly still exist, which gives the play a contemporary resonance.” Gareth James, Gareth James Blog

“Combines an agonising domestic tragedy and a contemporary resonance that’s tragically all too recognisable in an urgent 80 minutes.” Jake Orr, A Younger Theatre

“Mixed Marriage, as its title suggests, is about how a Protestant family deal with the prospect of having their son marry a Catholic. It was pretty sensational in its time – also having a showing in London at the Royal Court – and sadly doesn’t yet seem anachronistic.” Shaun Traynor, The Irish World

“St John Ervine is a predecessor of Sean O’Casey and the great tradition of twentieth century Irish political plays.” Lizzie Loverage, Curtain Up

“Ervine’s writing has some lovely domestic details and he’s particularly good at highlighting the conflict between the microcosm and macrocosm, and the personal and the political.” Jake Orr, A Younger Theatre

“The Finborough Theatre – true to its tradition – must be praised for bringing forward another neglected play by a well known playwright.” Shaun Traynor, The Irish World

“St John Ervine (the playwright) deftly and cleverly dissects class and religious partitions through the breakdown of one ordinary family.” Caroline Gosney, Fulham Road

“The older members of the cast take the lead, though, with Daragh O’Malley and Fiona Victory as Mr and Mrs Rainey – a Protestant couple caught between her homely appeal to tolerance and his fiercely stubborn preference for political loyalties.” Edward Lukes, The London Magazine

“O’Malley’s Rainey fills the set with a larger than life character infused with emotional immaturity.” Jennifer Cavanagh, London Nibbles

“Daragh O’Malley is well cast as the bull-headed, overbearing John Rainey. The interplay between him and Fiona Victory as his wife has a ring of authenticity and provides some of the most amusing interludes in this intense piece of political theatre.” Nicholas Hamilton, The Stage

“The taut economy of Ervine's text impresses, as does its prescience and sheer fearlessness. O'Malley is excellent as the gruffly charismatic hero-turned-villain” Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

“Daragh O’Malley has huge presence and charisma as John” Gareth James, Gareth James Blog

“The steely performance from Daragh O'Malley,” Naima Khan, Spoonfed

“Daragh O'Malley magnificently turns him into a tragic figure imprisoned inside his own convictions.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Daragh O’Malley is headstrong but heartfelt” Diana Damian, Exeunt Magazine

“Fiona Victory is a splendid foil as his big-mouthed, big-hearted wife.” Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

“Fiona Victory is equally good as his sanely practical wife” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Played both comically and movingly by Fiona Victory” Amy Stow, Fourthwall Magazine

“Beautifully played by Fiona Victory.” Gareth James, Gareth James Blog

“Fiona Victory, who gives a performance to treasure as Mrs Rainey” Jake Orr, A Younger Theatre

“Noone creates a potent portrait of a young girl torn between religion, respectfulness and love. Noone has an extensive television and film portfolio yet in this her professional stage début she is assured and convincing.” Jennifer Cavanagh, London Nibbles

“Christopher Brandon and Nora-Jane Noone are fantastic as the young lovers.” Edward Lukes, The London Magazine

“Christopher Brandon and Nora-Jane Noone lend touching support as the doomed lovers." Michael Billington, The Guardian

“A naive, passionate Nora-Jane Noone” Amy Stow, Fourthwall Magazine

“Christopher Brandon’s Hugh and Damien Hannaway’s Michael are every bit as passionate as their roles require.” Gareth James, Gareth James Blog

“Joel Ormsby and Damien Hannaway play their siblings in fine style.” Edward Lukes, The London Magazine

“The play boasts passionate acting from all in the tight ensemble of six, but particular accolades go to Christopher Brandon and Joel Ormsby as the two Rainey sons.” Alex Packer, WhatsOnStage

“Hannaway, in particular, brings such intensity to the stage that he is a virtual beacon of righteousness” Jennifer Cavanagh, London Nibbles

“The acting is superb too, devoid of melodrama, packed with versatility and emotion. Fiona Victory makes for a wonderful Mrs Rainey” Diana Damian, Exeunt Magazine

“The cast of six are all impressive” Jake Orr, A Younger Theatre

“The ensemble is emotive and delivers the text beautifully.” Matt Trueman, Carousel of Fantasies

“The dialogue is beautifully observed. The Belfast dialect has rarely sounded so wonderful” Nicholas Hamilton, The Stage

“It’s beautifully played by a faultless cast.” Gareth James, Gareth James Blog

“I was so involved by the convincing acting of what is really melodrama that I gasped out loud at one point.” Lizzie Loverage, Curtain Up

“The script and Sam Yate’s production are emboldened by powerhouse performances from a superb ensemble cast of five.” Jennifer Cavanagh, London Nibbles

“With some stellar acting across the board, solid accents, and astute direction from Sam Yates, the themes in Mixed Marriage are made very real, and applicable, to the conflicts that dominate life in the 21st century.” Amy Stow, Fourthwall Magazine

“Director Sam Yates observes the period of the play meticulously. More impressively, he opens up the drama wonderfully.” Edward Lukes, The London Magazine

“Yates skilfully circumvents any melodrama in the text, making the dilemma the couple faces - the possibility that their union could literally cause a riot – heart-stoppingly tense.” Edward Lukes, The London Magazine

“Yates’ cast responds superbly to his sure direction.” Edward Lukes, The London Magazine

“A fine production by Sam Yates that, in compressing the four acts into an uninterrupted 80 minutes, gives the play a headlong momentum and never strikes a false note.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Under Sam Yates’ direction the tension builds steadily to an impressive climax.” Nicholas Hamilton, The Stage

“A muscular, sharp and engaging production by director Sam Yates. Ervine avoids preaching, and draws our attention to the development of a conflict with personal and political repercussions.” Diana Damian, Exeunt Magazine

“It is in its dramatic specificity that Mixed Marriage excels, and under Yates’ direction, one is left with a potent political portrait of how ignorance is bred.” Diana Damian, Exeunt Magazine

“Sam Yates’s very fine revival of Irish Protestant playwright St John Ervine’s 1911 ‘Belfast tragedy’ Mixed Marriage (the first London revival in 90 years), set in pre-partisan Ireland, arrives at the same time as the BBC’s Mixed Britannia series of documentaries dealing with a very similar matter.” Jake Orr, A Younger Theatre

“Yates makes excellent use of the Finborough’s compact space” Jake Orr, A Younger Theatre

“The director, Sam Yates has managed to create some of human kinds strongest emotions in the small kitchen of a working class home so brimming with atmosphere you could almost be living there. Beautifully performed in a small, intimate space and with a wonderful cast (they count Holby City, The Magdalene Sisters, The Bill and A Midsummer Night’s Dream to their credits) it is so very worth a visit.” Caroline Gosney, Fulham Road

“I was about half a metre from a rocking chair that ended up being the focal point of the first scene. But rather than being awkward it draws you in completely and utterly. There were points where you could have heard a pin drop.” Caroline Gosney, Fulham Road

“Richard Kent’s set makes full use of the intimacy of the Finborough Theatre.” Diana Damian, Exeunt Magazine

“David Plater's coolly atmospheric light.” David Benedict, Variety Reviews

“Alex Baranowski’s terrific sound design” Gareth James, Gareth James Blog

“The Finborough, a small but celebrated pub theatre in West London does not disappoint with its exciting programming which includes beautifully crafted revivals of interesting and rare plays as well as new writing.” Lizzie Loverage, Curtain Up

“Gripping theatre.” Lizzie Loverage, Curtain Up

“It’s imbued with a faultless humanism and an endearing theatrical accuracy” Diana Damian, Exeunt Magazine

ABOUT THE DESIGNER RICHARD KENT

Designer Richard Kent's designs include Decline and Fall (Old Red Lion Theatre), Stronger and Pariah (Arcola Theatre) and Gin and Tonic and Passing Trains (Tramway Theatre, Glasgow). As Associate to Christopher Oram since 2008 – King Lear (Donmar Warehouse and Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York), Red (Donmar Warehouse and Broadway) and A Streetcar Named Desire, Ivanov, Twelfth Night, Madame De Sade and Hamlet (Donmar Warehouse). Opera includes Don Giovanni (Metropolitan Opera, New York), Madame Butterfly (Houston Grand Opera) and Billy Budd (Glyndebourne). Richard will design Richard II at Donmar Warehouse later this year.

 

ABOUT THE LIGHTING DESIGNER DAVID PLATER

Lighting Designer David Plater's designs include Sondheim @ 80 (Donmar at the Queen's Theatre), Stronger and Pariah (Arcola Theatre), 4 Quartets, Frame 312, Three Days of Rain, Morphic Resonance, Splash Hatch, Summer Begins and Badfinger (Donmar Warehouse), Michael Ball (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Loyal Women (Royal Court Theatre), Dave Strassman Show (Apollo Theatre), Dark Tales (Arts Theatre), Company (Derby Playhouse) and The Arab Israeli Cookbook (Tricycle Theatre and Gate Theatre). David will design lighting for Richard II at the Donmar Warehouse later this year and Ballet Black for the Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, in 2012.

 

ABOUT THE COMPOSER/SOUND DESIGNER ALEX BARANOWSKI

Composer and Sound Designer Alex Baranowski's credits include Hamlet and Earthquakes in London (National Theatre and Tour), Frankenstein (National Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (Royal Shakespeare Company) and Hobson's Choice (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield). Forthcoming productions include The Faith Machine (Royal Court Theatre), Salt, Root and Roe (Trafalgar Studios) and Othello (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield).

 

TICKETS AND TIMES

Tuesday, 4 October – Saturday, 29 October 2011

Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm.
Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm.
Saturday Matinees 3.00pm (from 15 October 2011).

Performance Length: Approximately 85 minutes.

ALL PERFORMANCES OF MIXED MARRIAGE ARE COMPLETELY SOLD OUT.

4 October - 16 October 2011

Tickets £13, £9 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £9 all seats, and Saturday evenings £13 all seats.
Previews (4 and 5 October) £9 all seats.

£5 tickets for Under 30’s for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only.

£10 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on Saturday, 8 October 2011 when booked online only.

17 October - 29 October 2011

Tickets £15, £11 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £11 all seats, and Saturday evenings £15 all seats. 

For details of our Returns Policy for sold out performances, please click here

BOOKING ONLINE IS QUICKEST, CHEAPEST AND EASIEST!

PLEASE NOTE THAT LATECOMERS CANNOT BE ADMITTED AND TICKETS CANNOT BE EXCHANGED OR REFUNDED.

Written by St John Ervine

Directed by Sam Yates

Designed by Richard Kent

Lighting Design by David Plater

Music and Sound by Alex Baranowski 

Casting by Rachel Payant

Presented by Hanna Osmolska and Tom Powis for 31Productions in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre

CHRISTOPHER BRANDON

DAMIEN HANNAWAY

NORA-JANE NOONE

DARAGH O'MALLEY

JOEL ORMSBY

FIONA VICTORY