July to September | July to September 2012 Season


by Jane Wainwright

Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 August, 2, 3 and 4 September 2012

The World Premiere

Please note that Sunday evening performances will now begin at 8.30pm. Monday evenings at 7.30pm and Tuesday matinees at 2.00pm performance times are unchanged.

The performance running time is approximately 70 minutes without an interval.

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

"It took your Great-Great-Grandfather and the rest a’ this town years to build this chapel. A hundred years of people's lives caught between its stones. And now these invisible men are trying to erase it till there's nowt left of any a' us."

The world premiere of Barrow Hill, a first play by new playwright Jane Wainwright, and directed by Abbey Wright – whose recent work includes the multi-four star production of Dublin Carol  as part of the Donmar at the Trafalgar Studios season.

Chesterfield, Derbyshire, 2012. Kath is 86 years young and still going, but as her friends keep dying around her, her only tie to the world is her beloved chapel.

When Kath discovers that the chapel is to be converted into luxury flats for young professionals and that her own son, Graham, has won the contract for the rebuilding work, she is forced into a bitter battle between the past and the future.
In the Big Society that’s just waiting for her to die, Kath is confronted with the fragility of family loyalties and the pain of learning to let go...



Playwright Jane Wainwright was born in Derbyshire. She was a member of the Royal Court Theatre’s Young Writers Programme, their Invitation Group for Playwrights and their 'Supergroup' of twelve specially selected writers. Plays include Photos of You Sleeping (Hampstead Theatre – Start Night), Barrow Hill, performed as part of Vibrant – An Anniversary Festival of Finborough Playwrights (Finborough Theatre), In World, performed as part of Vibrant – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights (Finborough Theatre), Hands Free, part of ‘AVE IT!, in the Coming Up Later season (The Old Vic Tunnels) and Pet's Corner (The Miniaturists at the Arcola Theatre). She was shortlisted for the WritersRoom 10 scheme and the BBC Heartlands new writing scheme, and her play In World was part of the final shortlist in last year’s PapaTango New Writing Competition. Jane is 'fostered' by OffWestEnd.com’s Adopt A Playwright Award.


Director Abbey Wright has directed a string of critically acclaimed productions including Dublin Carol (Donmar Warehouse at Trafalgar Studios), Sixty Six Books (Bush), Rose (Edinburgh Festival), Lakeboat and Prairie du Chien (Arcola Theatre), The Occupied Times (Arcola Theatre), National Theatre Connections 2012 (National Theatre),The Song of Deborah (The Lowry, Manchester), Hidden Glory (The Lowry, Manchester, and Tour), The Ones That Flutter (Theatre 503), Restoration Sketch Show (Theatre Royal Haymarket) and The Gay Man's Guide (The Drill Hall). Abbey was Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar Warehouse from 2008-09 during which time she worked with such notable directors as Michael Grandage, Alan Rickman, Jeremy Herrin, Peter Gill, Sean Holmes, Jamie Lloyd and John Tiffany. She was also Staff Director to Danny Boyle on Frankenstein (National Theatre).


Snapdragon Productions was formed by Eleanor Rhode and Sarah Loader in 2009, and became a limited company under the direction of Pelham Olive in January 2012. Previous productions have included the London Premiere of The Drawer Boy by Michael Healey, which was names Time Out's Critics' Choice, the European premiere of Michael Healey's Generous  which enjoyed two sell-out runs at the Finborough Theatre and was named Time Out’s Critics’ Choice, the award-winning European premiere of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Me and Juliet (Finborough Theatre), Anna Karenina (Arcola Theatre), and a co-production of the world premiere of Anders Lustgarten's A Day at the Racists(Finborough Theatre and the Broadway Theatre, Barking) which was nominated for the 2010 TMA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Regional Theatre and won the playwright the inaugural Harold Pinter Award for Playwriting.


Janet Henfrey
Theatre includes Autobiographer (Tour and Toynbee Studios), Charged (Soho Theatre), Tons of Money (Theatre Royal Windsor and National Tour), The Black Rider (Barbican Theatre  and International Tour), Separate Tables for which she won the Manchester Evening News award for Best Supporting Actress, The Happiest Days of Your Life and Tartuffe (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Perfect Days (Library Theatre Manchester, and Watford Palace Theatre), Orpheus Descending (Donmar Warehouse), Lettice and Lovage (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Richard III (Haymarket Theatre, Leicester), The Canterbury Tales (Gielgud Theatre), Steel Magnolias (Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch), Candide (Gate Theatre), The Fire Raisers (Northcott Theatre, Exeter), Medea (Wyndham's Theatre and Broadway), Trelawny of the Wells (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, and West End), The Rules of The Game (Almeida Theatre), All's Well That Ends Well, The Good Person of Sichuan (National Theatre), Too Clever By Half and Andromache (The Old Vic), Lloyd George Knew My Father (Savoy Theatre), The Dresser (Queen’s Theatre), Salonika (Everyman Theatre, Liverpool), Turkey Time (Bristol Old Vic), Man and Superman (Savoy Theatre), Ella (ICA), Zigomania (Bush Theatre),  Ladybirds (King’s Head Theatre), Hans Christian Anderson (UK Tour), Mother Courage and her Children (Paris), Great Expectations (Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich), The Good Woman of Setzuan, The Madwoman of Chaillot and Dr Knock (Oxford), Present Laughter (Leicester), The Seagull and The Tiger and the Horse (Hampstead Theatre), Lady Windermere’s Fan (Nottingham Playhouse) and The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Winter’s Tale, Pericles, The Two Gentleman of Verona, Major Barbara and Bewitched (Royal Shakespeare Company). Film includes Never Better, Ever More, , Les Miserables, Jiltin Joe, Dual Balls, Dragonworld, A Pin for the Butterfly, The Tamarind Seed, Reds, Mark Gertler, The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover, She’ll be Wearing Pink Pyjamas, Lady Jane Grey, Handel and Foreign Body. Television includes playing Mrs Bale in seven series of As Time Goes By, the Teacher in The Singing Detective, as well as Tipping the Velvet, The Worst Witch, The Prince and the Pauper, No Bananas, One Foot in the Grave, Alice in Wonderland, Simon and the Witch, Dr Who, Stand Up Nigel Barton, Great Expectations, Unfair Exchanges, Weather in the Street, Wood and Walters, Oliver Twist and Lovejoy, Uncle Silas, Frankie Stein’s Robot, Cone Zone and The Treasure Seekers, The Famous Five, Fatal Obsession, Boon, The Jewel in the Crown and Chocky.   

Avye Leventis
Trained at L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq.  Theatre includes Something Very Far Away (Unicorn Theatre), The Little Mermaid (Disney and Stage Entertainment), War Horse (National Theatre and New London Theatre), Faeries (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), Time Stands Still When I Think of You (The Place) and Brief Encounter (Kneehigh).  Film includes Gravity, The Lost Polar Bear and Alice.  Television includes Holy Flying Circus.

Charlie Roe
At the Finborough Theatre, Charlie appeared in Enduring Freedom (2008) and The Potting Shed (2010 and 2011). Theatre includes A Few Good Men (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Educating Rita (English Theatre Frankfurt), The Day After the Fair (Lyric Theatre), Electra (Gate Theatre), The Taming of the Shrew, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (English Touring Theatre), The Tempest (Cheek by Jowl), Macbeth, Waiting for Godot (Lyric Theatre, Belfast), As You Like It, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Ting Tang Mine (National Theatre), The Lady’s Not for Burning (Chichester Festival Theatre), Troilus and Cressida (Royal Shakespeare Company) and A Month in the Country (Leatherhead Theatre).Television includes Lewis, Holby City, Ashes to Ashes, Derailed, If, Wire in the Blood, The Lakes, Peak Practice, Kavanagh QC, Silent Witness, Inspector Morse, Minder, Shackleton and Brideshead Revisited.

Tom Spink
Theatre includes South Downs (Harold Pinter Theatre). Film includes Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.Television includes Casualty.

Mark Weinham
Trained at the University of Manchester. Theatre includes The Hairy Ape (Southwark Playhouse), Captain Amazing (Live Theatre, Newcastle), Some Scary Stories (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Step 9 (of 12) for which he received a nomination for Best Actor in the OffWestEnd Awards (Britannia Theatre), Fast Burn (KneeHigh Theatre), Herons (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, and Library Theatre, Manchester), Amphibians (Bridewell Theatre), Edmond (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Emperor Jones (National Theatre), Still Killing Time (National Youth Theatre at the Soho Theatre), Nettles  and Europe (Contact Theatre, Manchester), Pale Horse (John Thaw Theatre) and Scenes from Abroad (Watford Palace Theatre). Film includes Waves, Shinos Show and This is Love. Television includes Derren Brown: The Experiments.

Cath Whitefield
Trained at Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq, Theatre du Soleil and The State Institute of Theatrical Art, Moscow. Theatre includes Bitch Boxer (Soho Theatre), The Legend of Captain Crow’s Teeth (Unicorn Theatre), Electra, How To Be An Other Woman, The Sexual Neuroses of our Parents (Gate Theatre, London), Elektra (The Young Vic), Othello (Royal Shakespeare Company), Between Dog and Wolf (Paines Plough), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Filter and National Theatre), Mancub, Gobbo,  and Home for which she received a nomination for Best Actress in the Scottish Critics Awards (National Theatre of Scotland), Charlotte’s Web (Citizen’s Theatre, Glasgow), Lost Ones (Vanishing Point Theatre), A State of Grace (King's Head Theatre), Platform (ICA), Mother Courage (Watford Palace Theatre), Grid Iron which won the award for The Best Ensemble in The Stage Awards (Fierce), Earth (Perdu Theatre, Amsterdam), Sara, Decomposition , Princess Ivona , Into the Woods and Trial By Jury (Paris), Don Quixote (Festival France), The Song of Love and Death of Christopher Rilke (National Theatre Campage), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (National Tour), Les Quatre Morts de Marie and Cabaret Flottant (Aria Festival Corsica), Metamorphosis (National Tour), First Love (Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich), Kingfisherbreatbone (Brockley Jack Theatre), Transient Blues (Tristan Bates Theatre), Julia (Germany and Poland Tour), All The World’s a Biscuit and The Bald Prima Donna (Edinburgh Festival), The Government Inspector (National Tour) and Yerma (Donald Roy Theatre, Hull). Film includes Hell’s Pavement. Television includes Above Suspicion: The Red Dahlia and The Bill. 


On Dublin Carol – Donmar Warehouse at the Trafalgar Studios
★★★★ Four Stars, Michael Billington, The Guardian
"This fine revival... Wright wrings every drop of dark humour out of the script" Financial Times ★★★★

"Exhilarating... Abbey Wright's production is good on the detail and rises to the cathartic heights." Time Out ★★★★

"Director Abbey Wright does well to mine all of the emotion and wit in McPherson's script. She gets three excellent performances." The Stage

"Abbey Wright's production deserves attention for its detailed and intricate characterization." British Theatre Guide

On Rose (Edinburgh Festival)
"Well-crafted, relevant, winningly-performed" The Telegraph  ★★★★

"Poignant and powerful" Evening Standard ★★★★

"Abbey Wright directs with style and imagination" WhatsOnStage  ★★★★

"Bravura performances... touching and thought-provoking" The Times  ★★★★

On Lakeboat and Prairie Du Chien – Arcola Theatre

"Riveting" The Independent  ★★★★

"Abbey Wright's finely judged production... Wright does a stupendous job of drawing out the overlapping resonances in this rare double-bill." Time Out  ★★★★

"Abbey Wright's production hits you with all of the withering, clear-eyed force of youth" The Times

"Here's a treat; two fairly unknown David Mamet plays... directed to a very high standard by Abbey Wright" Whatsonstage  ★★★★

On The Ones That Flutter – Theatre 503

"The acting from the whole cast is quite simply stellar...Abbey Wright's direction is as sharp and well-defined as the acting." Whatsonstage  ★★★★★

"You are totally absorbed and left emotionally spent. This is an extraordinary production." The Telegraph  ★★★★


“Just over an hour long, but what a punch she packs in her velvet fist, what a debut!” Vera Liber, British Theatre Guide

“With an efficient economical fine turn of phrase, Wainwright hits the button every time… Barrow Hill…leaves us begging for more.” Vera Liber, British Theatre Guide

“There’s a subtle grace to much of the writing…this delicately moving tale.” Ian Foster, The Public Reviews

“An honest, throught-through drama and holds the attention accordingly. There are flashier plays around from young writers but very few as well-considered and worth an hour or so of anyone’s time.” Timothy Ramsden, Reviewsgate

“Life’s accursed questions are unpacked with craft and stealthy humour.” Vera Liber, British Theatre Guide

“Jane Wainwright’s play isn’t as long as Charlotte Keatley’s My Mother Said I Never Should and it doesn’t develop through so many time-zones. But it has the same respect for all its characters, the same warmth that comes from recognising the qualities and failings in each person and it lets characters speak for themselves. There’s no line imposed to present an authorial opinion, or create a laugh (the piece is hardly laugh-a-minute, but any humour is rooted fully in its characters’ situation).” Timothy Ramsden, Reviewsgate

“Jane Wainwright describes a society that excludes the elderly and will abandon history for the sake of making a quick buck…As a first play, this is really very good.” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre

“Family loyalties and love—the ties that bind and tear apart – and the passing of time are poignantly, wittily, lovingly considered by Jane Wainwright, herself born in Derbyshire, in this her first play.” Vera Liber, British Theatre Guide

“The dialogue is crisp and witty.” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre

“Janet Henfrey as plain-speaking stoical Kath Bilby…gives a restrained subtle understated performance that touches the heart.” Vera Liber, British Theatre Guide

“The star of the show for me was Janet Henfrey…Henfrey delivers an outstanding performance.” Everything Theatre

“Janet Henfrey gives a great performance, conveying the loneliness and determination of her brave character.” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre

“Henfrey’s central performance, at once restrained and impassioned.” Ian Foster, The Public Reviews

“Strong supporting performances also came from Cath Whitefield as Graham’s daughter.” Everything Theatre

“Cath Whitefield’s Alison is notably as expressive when watching and listening as when speaking.” Timothy Ramsden, Reviewsgate

“Avye Leventis and Tom Spink are quite wonderful as the young lovers.” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre

“Barrow Hill does…possess a considerable charm, particularly in Avye Leventis and Tom Spink’s playful young couple.” Ian Foster, The Public Reviews

“Abbey Wright’s production, which shows the play’s strengths without imposing upon them, and focuses on gaining fine, believable performances from a skilled cast.” Timothy Ramsden, Reviewsgate

“Director Abbey Wright, with support from Natalie Moggridge (design), Miguel Vicente (lighting), and Max Pappenheim (sound and composition), does Jane Wainwright proud in a sensitive production that is pared to the bone but speaks so eloquently of the universal through the specific.” Vera Liber, British Theatre Guide


Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 August, 2, 3 and 4 September 2012

Sunday evenings at 8.30pm. Monday Evenings at 7.30pm. Tuesday Matinees at 2.00pm

Performance Length: Approximately 80 minutes.

Tickets £14, £10 concessions


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


Image copyright Gareth Wonfor / Rebecca Maltby

Directed by Abbey Wright

Designed by Natalie Moggridge

Lighting Design by Miguel Vicente

Sound Design and original composition by Max Pappenheim

Presented by Snapdragon Productions

Supported by Carol Slavid, Sofie Mason and Diana Jervis-Read of OffWestEnd.com