Summer Season | June - August 2013


by David Storey

Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30 June, 1 and 2 July 2013

The first London production in over 30 years


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“It’s like living on an alien planet. I speak the language but no one listens. I make the signs but nobody sees.”

Celebrating the 80th birthday of playwright and novelist David Storey, the first London production in over 30 years – and the first production in London since the original National Theatre production.

Originally written for Sir Ralph Richardson, Early Days is an intrinsically poignant lament on loneliness and abandonment. Desolate yet full of gentle humour, the play is an astute study on the realizations of old age by one of England's greatest contemporary writers, David Storey.

Kitchen, a retired MP, is placed in the care of his daughter and son-in-law for his own safety. Paranoia and fear set in as his isolation forces him to reflect on his life, the passing of time, loss and remembered love. All the while his family and the people around him lose patience and faith in his ability to speak truth.


Playwright David Storey was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, in 1933. A former professional rugby league player, he studied at the Slade School of Fine Art. His plays include The Restoration of Arnold Middleton (1967), which won the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright; The Contractor (1969), Home (1970) and The Changing Room (1972), all of which won the New York Critics Best Play of the Year Award; In Celebration (1969), which was adapted as a film in 1974 starring Alan Bates; Life Class (1975); and The Farm (1973). All of these plays were first performed at the Royal Court Theatre. Early Days (1980), The March on Russia (1989) and Stages (1992) all premiered at the National Theatre. He also wrote the screenplay for the classic film This Sporting Life, directed by Lindsay Anderson, adapted from Storey's first novel of the same name. His novels include Flight into Camden which won the 1963 Somerset Maugham Award and the 1961 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize; Pasmore which won the 1973 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and Saville which won the 1976 Booker Prize.


"A thoughtful, intelligent and darkly humorous play." Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network

"A gentle meditation on aging, memory, loss, frustrated relationships and dysfunctional familial ties." Simon Holton, A Younger Theatre

"Kitchen is a contemporary King Lear – angry about the past and his family, but oblivious to his own shortcomings. However, Early Days isn’t the sort of play where there is a succession of tempestuous arguments. Rather, the tensions bubble beneath the surface." Everything Theatre

"A bittersweet reflection, dashed with poignancy. Gorgeous to watch given the simplicity of the set and the cunning of the writing, as well as being just the right length." Heather Deacon, One Stop Arts

"Ever the champions of the obscure, the Finborough Theatre have chosen for their latest production to revive Early Days, more than thirty years after it premiered at the National, to celebrate author David Storey’s 80th Birthday. Although more of a thoughtful gift than a spectacular gesture, this is nonetheless a charming and lovingly crafted piece of theatre." Everything Theatre

"It’s hard to fault this production." Andrew Crane, What's Peen Seen?

“It all added to the feeling that you were intruding on the personal final moments of a man lost in his own back garden. A pleasure to watch." Heather Deacon, One Stop Arts

"An accomplished production, bringing out the original power of the text with moments of real poignancy." Simon Holton, A Younger Theatre

"Not for nothing has playwright David Storey been described as an English Chekhov. This sliver of a play, small in construction but big in heart, transposes some of the poetic realism of the great Russian writer to an English country garden in the 1970s." Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

"As a celebration of David Storey’s writing career, this serves as a fantastic window into the affecting subtlety and detailed character of his works. Happy Birthday Mr Storey." Andrew Crane, What's Peen Seen?

"A firm reminder of how Storey is a master of dramatising the unsaid." Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

"Kitchen, played by the utterly marvellous and intiruging Simon Molloy" Heather Deacon, One Stop Arts

"Molloy, bright-eyed and alert as an old fox in a part originally written for Ralph Richardson, brings just the right mixture of childish tantrum and spry twinkle to the role" Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

"Molloy in the lead is both loveable and loathsome in equal measures, his doddering physicality projects a frailty contradicted by his spiteful defiance and Wildean one-liners of twisted wisdom." Andrew Crane, What's Peen Seen?

"Witty, intelligent and tragic, this is very much Sir Richard Kitchen's play. Simon Molloy finds every nuance of this complex character and invests him with sardonic humour and melancholy." Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network

"Molloy delivers a complex and charming performance with wit and gentle humour." Simon Holton, A Younger Theatre

"Abigail Bond convinces as the long suffering Mathilda who seems to be a victim like her mother." Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network

"Hannah Taylor Gordon is very good as the rebellious Gloria" Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network

"Andrew Glen's doctor is witty and a match for his sly patient." Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network

"The performances are strong, with characters playing off and against the central character to great effect." Simon Holton, A Younger Theatre*


Director Tim Newns is a former Resident Assistant Director at the Finborough Theatre. Directing includes The Northerners (Finborough Theatre), As You Like It (International tour for Off The Ground), Angeldust (Etcetera Theatre) and The Importance of Being Earnest (Morlan Centre, Abersytwyth). Assistant Direction includes And I And Silence, Country Magic, I Was A Beautiful Day and The Druid’s Rest (Finborough Theatre), MUCH (Cock Tavern Theatre) and Julius Caesar (Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Youth Theatre).


“It has the insidious simplicity of a piano piece by Satie or a Wordsworth lyrical ballad.” The Guardian on Early Days

“You can, if you listen, hear through it ‘the still, sad music of humanity’.” The Sunday Times on The Changing Room

“Rich and deeply satisfying…Mr Storey’s greatest strength is his eye for social detail.” The Times on In Celebration

“A remarkable, stimulating, and unsettling gem of a play.” Daily Express on Sisters

"It is a blazing masterpiece - it is a tremendous experience and its glare lights up the sky." The Sunday Times on Life Class

“Few writers today ‘see so vividly, think so intelligently, command so much sheer understanding of people and society’.” The Times Literary Supplement on The Farm


“Tim Newns’ illuminating and enthralling production.” The Public Reviews on The Northerners

“Like many larger theatres, The Finborough runs a Resident Assistant Directors Programme which The Northerners is part of. The director, Tim Newns, has previously been AD on many other shows here, and its plays of this quality which demonstrate just how valuable this programme is in pushing bright new talent to the fore.” Extra! Extra! on The Northerners

“ Tim Newns' fluid production grabs our attention from the off. The director never allows the play to become melodrama but keeps it sincere." Curtain Up on The Northerners


Abigail Bond | Mathilda

Theatre includes The Invisible Man (National Tour), The Trial, More Than One Antoinette (The Young Vic), The Cabinet Minister (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, and West End), The Hole in the Top of the World (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), The Importance of Being Earnest (Birmingham Rep), Daisy Pulls it Off (Wolsey Theatre), Charley’s Aunt (Harrogate Theatre) and The Gingerbread Man (Harrogate Theatre). Film includes A Drowning Silence. Television includes Great Expectations, Doctors, Thief Takers, Annie’s Bar, The Bill, Between the Lines, Keeping it Clean, The Refuge, The Real Eddy English ,Casualty, Gems, Gaudy Night and Boon.

Andrew Glen | Doctor

Trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Theatre includes Oedipus (Blue Elephant Theatre), Hotel Confessions (Southwark Playhouse), Plenty More Fish In the Sea (Old Red Lion Theatre), Snow White (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow), Peer Gynt, Twelfth Night  (Lost Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival), Birthday (Waterloo East Theatre),  East Coast Chicken Supper (Gilmorehill Centre, Glasgow), The Importance of Being Earnest, Sailor, Beware!  (Baron's Court Theatre) and Prometheus, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Brief Encounter, Blade Runner (Secret Cinema). Film includes Blind Fate, Last Drink, Entrée, Sleepless, Return and Young Working Professionals. Television includes Power and Influence.

Max Gold | Bristol

At the Finborough Theatre, Max appeared in Rigor Mortis (2011).
Trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Theatre includes Othello, The Dillen, Mary After the Queen, Flight, Worlds Apart, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Royal Shakespeare Company), King Lear, A Midsummer’s Night Dream (Renaissance Theatre Company), Johnny Johnson (Lilian Baylis Theatre at Sadler's Wells), Love Bites (Resurgence Theatre Company), Vex (Half Moon Theatre), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (English Theatre, Frankfurt), Dreyfus (Tricycle Theatre), The Story of Jude (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), Cider with Rose (York Theatre Royal), Our Country’s Good, Hamlet, The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh), Othello, Rope, Volpone (Birmingham Rep), Anna Karenina (Shared Experience), Strange Interlude (Duke of York’s Theatre), Sleuth (Salisbury Playhouse) and Flight (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith). Film includes Suzie Gold, Inferno, Crimetime. The Wonderland Experience, The Commissioner, Man with the Rain in his Shoes, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Crimetime. Television includes The Bill, EastEnders, Holby City, William and Mary, Rosemary and Thyme, Swag, Casualty, The Swap, The Fragile Heart, The Bill, 20 Steps, Mccallum, Eastenders, Chandler and Co, The Buddha Of Suburbia, Dangerfield, Bergerac, French and Saunders, Christmas Show, The Last Song, Dombey And Son and The White Guard.

Toby Manley | Steven

Trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
Theatre includes Above and Beyond, The Love Project, Nola, You Once Said Yes, The Caravan (Look Left Look Right), Love Re-Imagined (Only Connect), Short Plays by Joel Horwood (Kristopher Milnes Productions) and Accomplice: London (Menier Chocolate Factory).
Film includes Electric Man. Television includes Enid, Identity and Rush IV.

Andrew McDonald | Benson

At the Finborough Theatre, Andrew has appeared in A Man With Connections (2001), The Boatswain's Mate (2007) and The Insurgents (2007). Trained at LAMDA. Theatre includes This House (National Theatre), Out the Back (Cockpit Theatre), Blue/Orange and Dandy Dick (Theatre Royal Brighton and National Tour), An Inspector Calls (National Tour), Jimmy in Broadmoor (Theatre 503), Butley (Duchess Theatre), The Arabian Nights, The Odyssey, The Canterbury Tales, Much Ado About Nothing and The Simple Truth (Bridewell Theatre), Sign of the Times, Ghosts (Duchess Theatre), Deathtrap (Noël Coward Theatre), Othello (Lauderdale House), Bedroom Farce (Duke of York’s Theatre), The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Vaudeville Theatre), The Fairy Queen (Glyndebourne Festival), Spring Awakening (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, and Novello Theatre), Born in the Gardens (Peter Hall Company at the Theatre Royal Bath and National Tour), Equus (National Tour), The Entertainer (The Old Vic), The Alchemist, The Royal Hunt of the Sun and Tartuffe (National Theatre), Heroes (Wyndham’s Theatre), Scenes from A Separation, Hamlet and The Merchant of Venice (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), Don Carlos (Gielgud Theatre and Crucible Theatre, Sheffield), The Goat (Apollo Theatre), Walking Out (Proteus), Waiting For Lefty (BAC), Golden Boy (Greenwich Theatre), Abigail’s Party (Whitehall Theatre and National Tour), Travels With My Aunt (National Tour), Epsom Downs, Antigone, The Wind in The Willows, Macbeth and The BFG (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton), Look Back in Anger (National Tour), Medea (Queen's Theatre), A Small Family Business, Arcadia, Katherine Howard, Chimes at Midnight, Sexual Perversity in Chicago and A Man With Connections (Chichester Festival Theatre) and The Alchemist, Julius Caesar and Columbus and the Discovery of Japan (Royal Shakespeare Company). Television includes On Dungeness, Don’t Call Back, Guerilla, Crimewatch: Drugs in Rugs, Que Sera, Sera, Born of Hope, Sex on Trial, The Soapstar’s Story, EastEnders and The Bill. Radio includes Don Carlos, All The Presidents, Spring Awakening and An Eye For An Eye.

Simon Molloy | Kitchen

At the Finborough Theatre, Simon played Pope Pius in The Representative (2006).
Theatre includes A Kind of Alaska (Derby Playhouse), Deep Cut (Traverse Theatre and Tricycle Theatre), Humble Boy (Royal and Derngate Theatres, Northampton), I Am Falling (Gate Theatre),The Pillars of the Community (National Theatre), Beyond Belief and Pygmalion (Library Theatre, Manchester), Accidental Death of An Anarchist and Educating Rita (Haymarket Theatre, Leicester), One For The Road (Hampstead Theatre), Duet For One (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield) and The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs (The Young Vic). 
Television includes Heartbeat, Holby City, Silent Witness, The Innocents, Clocking Off, Nuremberg, Doctors, EastEnders, Ashes to Ashes, Behind Closed Doors, Poirot and Mr Sloane.

Hannah Taylor Gordon | Gloria

Trained at LAMDA. Theatre includes Macbeth (European Shakespeare Theatre Project), King Lear (European Shakespeare Theatre Project) and One for the Road (Cochrane Theatre) Film includes Jack Ryan, The Tragedy of Macbeth, Jakob The Liar, Mansfield Park, The Fine Art of Love and Vipere au Poing. Television includes Anne Frank (for which she was nominated for both an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress In A Mini-Series) and The Ten Commandments. Radio includes The Cazalets.


Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30 June, 1 and 2 July 2013

Sunday and Monday evenings at 7.30pm. Tuesday matinees at 2.00pm

Tickets £14, £10 concessions


Performance Length: TBC.

Directed by Tim Newns

Designed by Andy Robinson

Lighting by William Ingham

Sound by Chris Barlow

Costume Design by Clare Amos

Produced by Steph Lodge

Presented by Five Wits in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre.

Supported by the Pleasance Theatre Trust.