Autumn Season | September to November 2013
The world premiere
★★★★★ The Upcoming
★★★★ The Guardian
★★★★ Time Out
Critics' Choice Time Out
“From that very first minute I sin ‘im – strung upside down and howling – oh I certainly knew we had business all right”
Using just the power of words and storytelling, Fishskin Trousers weaves together the haunting tales of three lost people from different eras, united by the common setting of the fishing village of Orford in Suffolk, its castle and its mysterious island, Orford Ness.
From the twelfth century, Mab gives an eye-witness account of the legendary Wild Man of Orford, caught in the nets of fishermen... Eight hundred years later, at the height of the Cold War, Ben, a young Australian scientist, hears strange noises on the Ness as he tries to fix the island's radar system. While Mog, in 2004, is faced with a heartbreaking decision...
Suffused by the landscape and traditional folk tales of East Anglia, their echoing voices and stories reveal how deeply and intimately their lives touch each other, though decades – and even centuries – separate them... The production is complemented by the return of our FINBOROUGHFORUM, a series of events, discussions and debates, both on the play itself and the current state of new writing for the theatre in the UK, following every performance on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 9.00pm from 11 September 2013.
Playwright Elizabeth Kuti returns to the Finborough Theatre which saw the world premiere of The Six-Days World (written while on attachment as a writer at the National Theatre Studio) in 2007. Writing for theatre includes The Sugar Wife, Joint Winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Award and nominated for Best New Play in The Irish Times Theatre Awards (Project Arts Centre, Dublin, and Soho Theatre, London), Treehouses which won the Stewart Parker Radio Award and Second Prize in the Susan Smith Blackburn Award (Peacock Theatre at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin), The Whisperers with Frances Sheridan (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, and Irish Tour), The Lais of Marie de France (Andrews Lane Theatre, Dublin), several short plays for the Miniaturists – Time Spent on Trains (Southwark Playhouse and Latitude Festival), Eighty Miles and Enter A Gentleman (both at the Arcola Theatre). Her most recent new play, Lefter Than Thou, was written under commission from the National Theatre. Radio drama includes The Glasswright (Radio 4), Mr Fielding’s Scandalshop, broadcast on Christmas Day (Drama on 3), May Child, starring Patricia Routledge (Radio 4) and Dear Mr Spectator (two series for BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour). Fishskin Trousers was supported by, and developed in association with, the RADA Festival 2013.
Director Robert Price trained in Voice Studies at the Central School of Speech and Drama, and is on the Voice Faculty of both RADA and LAMDA. He was a founder member of Bedrock Theatre Company and the Dublin Fringe Theatre Festival. Directing includes Requiem by Jonathan Lichtenstein (Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds), Elizabeth Kuti’s Enter A Gentleman (the Miniaturists at the Arcola Theatre), Phil Terry’s Elsinore and Glyn Maxwell’s Bedtime Story (both at the Lakeside Theatre, University of Essex). His work as an actor in theatre and film in Dublin included multiple roles at the Abbey and Gate Theatres including Cyrano de Bergerac, Oliver Twist, Jane Eyre, The Christmas Carol, The Plough and the Stars (also seen in the West End and tour), The Skriker, Saved, Early Morning, The Massacre at Paris (all for Bedrock Theatre Company), The Seagull, Car Show, A Play on Two Chairs, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (all for Annie Ryan and Corn Exchange), The Spanish Tragedy, The Revenger’s Tragedy and The Duchess of Malfi (Loose Canon), Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet (Second Age), Treehouses, The Electrocution of Children, At-Swim-Two-Birds (Peacock Theatre at the Abbey Theatre), The Flesh Addict (Fishamble), The Hostage (Abbey Theatre), The Sugar Wife (Rough Magic at the Project Arts Centre) and The Whisperers (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, and Irish Tour). He was nominated for The Irish Times Best Actor award for his performances in The Duchess of Malfi, Big Bad Woolf and The Spanish Tragedy. Film includes The Escapist and The Count of Monte Cristo.
Trained at RADA.
Theatre includes Dream On (Ostrava Shakespeare Festival), Dear World (Charing Cross Theatre), his one-man Phaedra (Cockpit Theatre), The Tempest (Swan Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and Little Angel Theatre), La Bohème (OperaUpClose), The Tempest (Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival), Poetry Show (English Scene), Oh, What A Lovely War! (Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke), Coalition: Westminster Side Story (Theatre503), Last Seen (Almeida Theatre), The Tempest (Shakespeare's Globe), and Baz Luhrmann’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, The Magic Flute, Otello, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Opera Australia).
Film includes Orbit and Home.
Radio includes The Cook and The Insurgent (BBC Radio 3).
Trained at LAMDA where she played several leading roles including Fabiana Aziza Cunningham in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, directed by Mark Babych.
Theatre includes Quirks (Southwark Playhouse), A Short History of The Royal Court, directed by Lyndsey Turner (Shoreditch Town Hall), Old Bag (Theatre503), Climate Change Play in a Day (Arcola Theatre) and Nina in The Seagull, directed by Ian Rickson for his Masterclass at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Television includes Downton Abbey.
Radio includes Life Begins At Crawley (BBC Radio 4) as well as being ‘highly commended’ in the Carleton Hobbs BBC Radio Drama competition.
After graduating in English from University College London, trained at RADA where she played several leading roles including Lorraine in A Lie of the Mind, Sarah in Company, Monica Reed in Present Laughter, Bianca in Women Beware Women, Nina in The Seagull and the title role in Miss Julie.
Theatre includes The Sea Plays (Old Vic Tunnels). Film includes Cheerful Weather for the Wedding.
Television includes This September.
Radio includes Voices from The Old Bailey (BBC Radio 4).
Eva also performs in cabaret and is an experienced dancer; she currently performs historical dance with Nonsuch, and studies flamenco at La Escuela de Baile in North London.
"A beautiful, looping piece, revelling in the rhythms of Suffolk speech...an engrossing, enveloping piece of writing, engagingly and movingly performed by the cast." Natasha Tripney, The Stage
"Whilst West End musicals and high profile productions are relying on increasingly more developed technology to bring shocks and wonders to an audience with an ever shortening attention span, it is a relief and a pleasure to view some simple storytelling....Director Robert Price creates what no amount of gimmicks could ever create. Three ages, three stories intertwining using only the skill of his actors. ...A wonderful, original production" Performance Reviewed
For The Whisperers
"A genuinely wonderful piece of comic theatre, sparkling with wit and invention” Sunday Times
“An extraordinary achievement…a rich viewing experience that grows even more resonant in retrospect” Variety
For The Sugar Wife
Time Out Critics’ Choice
"This consistently intelligent and beautifully shaped play” Fintan O’Toole, Irish Times
“Elizabeth Kuti’s excellent new play…whose themes of charity, colonialism and morality resonate deeply” The Guardian
For The Six-days World
“She combines a gift for combative dialogue with a strong moral and, at times, a religious sense…A dramatist to watch.” The Telegraph
“A tremendous piece of storytelling” Everything Theatre
“This is storytelling theatre at its simplest, and it's always measured, never showy...This exquisitely couched trio of monologues by Elizabeth Kuti that swirl around one another, catching each other's tails like mermen frolicking in the surf” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
“Fishskin Trousers is about sin, repentance, chance and defeat, and it’s deeply cathartic. Definitely worth seeing.” Rita Vicinanza, The Upcoming
“Beautiful, subtle and thoughtful storytelling from three unique perspectives, each with an intriguing personal tale” Everything Theatre
“This production’s slick, pacy polish still has enough room for thought to be completely absorbing – a shattered mirror on the Suffolk coast, holding stories and memories in mesmerising tension.” Alice Saville, Exeunt
“A fascinating and lyrical piece of writing weaving three monologues in different idioms – Suffolk dialect, Aussie nerdishness and contemporary RP.” Patrick Marmion, Time Out
“Kuti’s play is full of echoes, of mythic imagery...an inventive, evocative and occasionally moving piece of writing.” Natasha Tripney, The Stage
“Kuti has a remarkable ear for detail and vivid images flicker throughout, opening vistas in her characters's accounts of mystical experiences on the Suffolk coast...Kuti brings together past and present as though they were coexistent.” Patrick Marmion, Time Out
“The actors’ performances are brilliant.... Rita Vicinanza, The Upcoming
“Sitting on a bare black stage, each of the three actors give vivid performances, rolling with the waves of the words, grief glinting beneath the surface.” Natasha Tripney, The Stage
“Performances of the passionate and three-dimensional characters by Brett Brown (the scientist), Jessica Carroll (Mab) and Eva Traynor (the teacher) were spot on.” Everything Theatre
“Played wonderfully by Jessica Carroll” Dan Phillips, Bargain Theatreland
“Jessica Carroll moves dexterously through the murky mind of the medieval serving girl.” Dan Phillips, Bargain Theatreland
“Jessica Carroll’s Mab is wonderfully charismatic, her thick rolling accent making sense of the distinctive rhythms of speech that are relics of a lost world.” Alice Saville, Exeunt
“Played honestly and charmingly by Brett Brown who steals the play with his flawless comic timing and brutal realism” Dan Phillips, Bargain Theatreland
“Brett Brown’s 70s scientist, the Antipodean Ben, is an engrossingly charming presence, breaking our hearts as he relives an especially painful chapter from his past” Ian Foster, The Public Reviews
“The performances – particularly Eva Traynor as Mog – are spot on, and gradually I found myself totally immersed in these shimmering, fishy tales from the depths of time and human experience.” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
“Robert Price’s subtle and shadowy production on a black box set eerily lit by Matt Leventhall” Dan Phillips, Bargain Theatreland
“Director Robert Price has created a gripping and well-timed piece” Everything Theatre
“Robert Price's direction is subtle and evocative, relying on his actors to tell the story on a spartan set (a collection of chairs), beautifully well lit by Matt Leventhall.” Chris Hislop, One Stop Arts
Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm.
Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm.
Saturday Matinees 3.00pm (from 14 September 2013).
Performance Length: Approximately 75 minutes with no interval.
Tickets £14, £10 concessions
£6 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, 7 September 2013 when booked online only.
Tickets £16, £12 concessions
except Tuesday Evenings £12 all seats, and Saturday evenings £16 all seats.
For details of our Returns Policy for sold out performances, please click here
PLEASE NOTE THAT LATECOMERS CANNOT BE ADMITTED AND TICKETS CANNOT BE EXCHANGED OR REFUNDED.
FINBOROUGHFORUM – A series of events, discussions and debates, both on the play itself and the current state of new writing for the theatre in the UK, following every performance on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 9pm from 11 September 2013. Events are free to ticketholders for any performance in the run. Full listings will be announced on our website shortly.