Winter 2012 Season


by Louise Monaghan

Tuesday, 27 November – Saturday, 22 December 2012

Papatango New Writing Festival 2012 Winner

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

★★★★ Four Stars, The Guardian 
★★★★ Four Stars, Whats On Stage
★★★★ Four Stars, The Public Reviews 
★ Four Stars, The Good Review

“This woman spat at me the other day. I could taste the saliva on me own tongue. And I don't blame her, not for one minute I don't. Because if someone beat my child half to death, I'd want to do the same.”

As a BNP rally gathers momentum on the streets outside, four women meet to play bridge. Struggling to find common ground, they talk about the men they married, their gifted and delinquent children and what their own heritage means.  But beliefs and loyalties are tested to the limit when Stephie's fourteen year old son, Jack, is implicated in a brutal racist attack that leaves an eleven year old Pakistani boy close to death.

A raw, uncompromising drama about bigotry and racism that explores the insidious rise of the British National Party.


Playwright Louise Monaghan was the winner of a Bruntwood Prize Judges' Award 2011 forShadow Play. Her first radio drama Alone in the Garden with You, produced and directed by Jessica Dromgoole, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 earlier this year. In 2006, she was a member of 'The Fifty,' a new writing initiative run by The Royal Court Theatre in conjunction with the BBC. Her other plays include Beautiful – nominated by Out Of Joint Theatre Company for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2009, and Aurora which was a finalist for both the London Festival New Writing Award and Little Brother's Big Opportunity competition 2010. She was shortlisted for Theatre Centre's Adrienne Benham Award 2012 and is a member of their Skylines group.


Director Louise Hill has directed two sell-out productions of plays by J.M. Barrie at the Finborough Theatre - What Every Woman Knows and Quality Street, for which she was named Best Newcomer Director by the British Theatre Guide and nominated as Best Director at the OffWestEnd Awards – and the first London revival for many years of Sutton Vane's Outward Bound in February 2012. She trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and spent two years as Artistic Director of the Bristol Shakespeare Festival. Most recently, she directed David Mamet's Boston Marriage for Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Other directing includes Spiders and Crocodile Tears (Soho Theatre Studio), To a Sunless Sea (Etcetera Theatre), Face to Face (Old Red Lion Theatre), The Merchant of Venice and The Taming of the Shrew (Middle Temple Gardens), Tiny Dynamite (Alma Tavern Theatre, Bristol) and IAGO, her own adaptation of Othello, for which she won a Fringe Review Outstanding Theatre Award at the Edinburgh Festival. She was Associate Director on Travesties and The Importance of Being Earnest  (Birmingham Rep). Assistant Direction includes Blackbird and The Winslow Boy (both Salisbury Playhouse).


Denise Black
Theatre includes Sister Act (National Tour), Calendar Girls (National Tour), Mrs Warren’s Profession, Yerma and Roots (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Liverpool Playhouse), The Seagull (Royal Court Theatre), Sisters (Sheffield Crucible), Bedroom Farce (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Mistress (Sherman Cymru) and Aristo (Chichester Festival Theatre).
Television includes Queer as Folk, Coronation Street, Small Island, Doc Martin, Robin Hood, Casualty, New Tricks, The Bill, No Angels, Born and Bred, Doctors, Holby City, Midsomer Murders, The Brief, Viva Las Blackpool, Clocking Off, The Vice, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Bad Girls, Sins, Things You Do For Love  and Macbeth. 
Film includes Joy Rider and Last Orders.

Amita Dhiri
Theatre includes After The Gods (Hampstead Theatre), Feelgood (Hampstead Theatre and Garrick Theatre), The Crucible (Leicester Haymarket Theatre) and Whose Life Is It Anyway? (Comedy Theatre).
Television includes The Bill, Holby City, Judge John Deed, Silent Witness, Second Generation, Being April, Dalziel and Pascoe, The Law, Grease Monkeys and This Life.
Film includes Acts of God and 24 Hours in London.
Radio includes Skios by Michael Frayn.

Angela Lonsdale
Trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes Bluebird (Royal Court Theatre), Black and White Shorts (Paines Plough), Gertrude's Secret (Grand Theatre, Leeds, and Oxford Playhouse), The Long Line, She Stoops to Conquer, And a Nightingale Sang (Northern Stage) and Women in Love (Durham Theatre Company).
Television includes Coronation Street, Joe Maddison's War, Best Possible Taste, All Quiet on the Preston Front, Finney, Kavanagh QC, Wolfblood, The Bill, The Royal, Picking Up the Pieces, City Central, Holby, Casualty, Justice for Gemma, The Vanishing Man, A Touch of Frost, Hetty Wainthrop Investigates and Peak Practice.

Sarah Smart
Theatre includes The Railway Children (Birmingham Repertory Theatre), Ghosts (Gate Theatre), The Line (Arcola Theatre) and Like A Fishbone (Bush Theatre).
Television includes The Secret of Crickley Hall, Wallander, Dr Who, Funland, Jane Hall, At Home With The Braithwaites, Sparkhouse, Murder Prevention, Five Days, Midsomer Murders, Casualty 1906-1909, Poirot, Miss Marple, David Copperfield, Soldier Soldier, Monroe, The Man Who Crossed Hitler, Wuthering Heights, Death in Paradise, Fast Freddie, The Widow and Me and the children's series Woof!.
Radio includes many plays for BBC Radio 4.



The Press on Louise Hill’s previous productions at the Finborough Theatre

What Every Woman Knows – 
Time Out Critics’ Choice
 Four Stars, The Times and Time Out
“J. M. Barrie's delightful comic fable is given as sensitive and rightly-tuned a production as you could ask for…making for a thoroughly entertaining evening...What Every Woman Knows has some surprisingly sharp ironic edges to it, all of which director Louise Hill and her cast find and happily display, generating shocks of recognition and frequent out-loud laughs among the gentler chuckles.” Gerald Berkowitz, TheatreGuideLondon
“Hill’s direction orchestrates fine performances” Jeremy Kingston, The Times
“Louise Hill stages the play with warmth and sympathy” Sarah Hemming, Financial Times

Quality Street – 
The Guardian Critics’ Choice
★★★★ Four Stars, The Guardian and London Theatre Reviews
Number 1 in the Alternative Christmas Top Five, British Theatre Guide
“Louise Hill's sparkling production…reminds one that the British dramatic repertory is kept alive largely by small, impoverished theatres like the Finborough.” Michael Billington, The Guardian
“An exquisite production directed with immaculate taste, timing and precision by Louise Hill.” Blanche Marvin, London Theatre Reviews
“One-hundred and nine years old it may be, but in Hill's revival, Quality Street has the skip of a teenager.” Brian Logan, Variety

Outward Bound  – 
“Hill’s production…is a delight, steering clear of caricature and preachiness, and acted with great warmth and vivacity.” Sam Marlowe, The Times 
“Louise Hill's production...gets the play dead right” Michael Billington, The Guardian 
“Wonderful venue, fantastic performances and a completely engaging performance. Best fringe production we've seen.” Everything Theatre 



“Louise Monaghan's play...knocks spots off much of the new writing I have seen this year” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“The Finborough impresses with its pairing of new writing talent alongside a stellar cast” Charlotte Pegram, WhatsonStage

“Sarah Smart gives an incredibly nuanced performance” There Ought To Be Clowns

“Beautiful, touching scenes...high-quality performances...a treat to watch” Laura Wells, The Good Review

“Intensely intimate... A moving, thought provoking piece...immensely successful” Lettie McKie, The Public Reviews

“Pack is certainly deserving of its winning title in the Papatango competition” Charlotte Pegram, WhatsonStage

“Excellent new writing” Lettie McKie, The Public Reviews

“Director Louise Hill created an intense production of this poignant drama with an outstanding cast” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network

“An excellent celebration of the diversity of new writing” There Ought To Be Clowns

“An absolutely amazing all-female cast and a passionate, intense, and unique story.” Everything Theatre

"Denise Black also finds delightful moments of humour" British Theatre Guide

 “Expertly cast… Denise Black has exactly the right air... Angela Lonsdale as the abrasive Deb, and Sarah Smart as the sweet-seeming Stephie, both beautifully show the reverses that are a vital part of bridge” Michael Billington, The Guardian

"Compellingly performed...Sarah Smart gives an incredibly nuanced performance as the naive Stephie, initially all comic inarticulacy but gravitating to a substantial emotional power as horizons darken; Angela Lonsdale’s sparky and spiky Deb holds a brittle shell around her for fear of revealing the raw emotion beneath and Amita Dhiri brings a remarkable stillness to Nasreen, her composure clearly her coping mechanism in a difficult world." There Ought To Be Clowns

“Sarah Smart was particularly fantastic” Everything Theatre

“Awesome cast” Annalisa Ratti, The Upcoming

“This fantastic production will hopefully ensure Monaghan a future place on the London stage.” Charlotte Pegram, WhatsonStage

“Do not miss this extraordinary new play!” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network

 “Excellent performances” William Drew, Exeunt



Tuesday, 27 November – Saturday, 22 December 2012

Tuesday to Saturday evenings at 8.30pm.
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3.30pm.

27 November - 9 December 2012

Tickets £14, £10 concessions

except Tuesday evenings £10 all seats, and Saturday evenings £14 all seats. 

Previews (27 and 28 November) £10 all seats. 

£6 tickets for under 30’s for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only. 

£11 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on the first Saturday of the run only when booked online. 

11-22 December 2012

Tickets £16, £12 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £12 all seats, and Saturday evenings £16 all seats. 

Running Time: 90 minutes with no interval

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




Image copyright: Kesu

Directed by Louise Hill

Designed by Olivia Altaras

Lighting by Neill Brinkworth

Costume by Sarah Vigars

Composed by Craig Adams

Presented by the Papatango New Writing Festival in partnership with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre