April - June | 2013


by Caryl Churchill

Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 31 March, 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16 April 2013

The World Premiere

Extra matinee on Monday 15 April at 2.00pm

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“I wouldn't forget a man I'd tortured.”

The multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre presents the world premiere of Caryl Churchill's remarkable 1972 play The Hospital At The Time Of The Revolution, playing for a limited run of Sunday and Monday evening and Tuesday matinee performances from Sunday, 31 March 2013

Inspired by the life and work of Frantz Fanon (1925-1961), the Martinique-born psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary and writer whose best known works include Black Skin, White Masks and his masterpiece The Wretched of the Earth.

Algeria, 1956 – a country desperately fighting for independence from French colonial rule.
 Frantz Fanon is head of the psychiatric department of the Blida-Joinville hospital in Algiers, treating both oppressed and oppressor. But who are the real victims?

A civil servant presents his psychologically disturbed daughter to the hospital for assessment and insists on her admittance. An inspector demands treatment for his helpless violence against his own wife and child. Three in-patient revolutionaries are delusional and paranoid. These products of a broken society are beginning to show symptoms, how should they be treated?

The Hospital At The Time Of The Revolution is a forensic insight into the adjustment of morality for the sake of conscience.

Caryl Churchill gratefully acknowledges that the play draws material from The Wretched of The Earth by Frantz Fanon, "Les Damnes De La Terre", c Editions La Decouverte, Paris, France.


Playwright Caryl Churchill has written for the stage, television and radio. Plays include Owners (1971), Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (1976), Traps (1977), Cloud Nine (1979), Top Girls (1982), Fen (1983) – presented in its first London revival at the Finborough Theatre in 2011, Softcops (1984), A Mouthful of Birds (1986), Serious Money (1987), Ice Cream (1989), Mad Forest (1990), Lives of the Great Poisoners (1991), The Skriker (1994), Blue Heart (1997), Far Away (2000), A Number (2002), Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? (2006), a translation of Olivier Choiniere’s Bliss (2008), Seven Jewish Children (2009) and Love and Information (2012)


Director James Russell originally trained as an actor at RADA. He founded the theatre-cabaret company The Malleables in 2007, presenting productions using drama, music, poetry and research-based material united under a theme. As Artistic Director, his productions for them include SunMoonStarsRain (St George's, Bloomsbury), The Short Plays (Tara Arts Studio), Into An Open Fire and Jesus Christ Birthday Boy (Old Red Lion Theatre), Ich Bin Ein Berliner (Battersea Barge and Arcola Theatre) Victoria and Albert, Strike!, Age of Innocence (Arcola Theatre), A Classical Medley, The Fifty Year Itch and GiggleTank (King's Head Theatre) and Angry Young Man/Angry Young Woman (Southwark Playhouse). James went on to found UrgentTheatre in 2011 to produce short plays by established writers in world theatre. As Artistic Director, he has directed Five Short Plays by Al Smith (Theatre 503, Arcola Theatre, and Southwark Playhouse) and Five Short Plays by Bekah Brunstetter (Theatre 503 and Southwark Playhouse). James also curates the spoken word event BamBam, which thematically links poetry with a charity. Events include HUMAN and BEASTS (The Vandella, Shepherd's Bush). As an actor, theatre includes The Country Wife (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Perchance to Dream, Quality Street and Miss Lily Gets Boned - for which he was nominated for Best Actor at the OffWestEnd Awards (Finborough Theatre), All Mouth (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Snow Queen (Sherman Cymru), Happy Savages (Underbelly, Edinburgh), Myrmidons (Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin), Fanshen (Theatre Delicatessen), Bitesize (Theatre 503), Bloody Poetry (White Bear Theatre), Days of Hope (King's Head Theatre) andThe Importance of Being Earnest (Antic Disposition). Television includes Lewis (ITV1).


Giovanni Bienne | Nurse

Trained at Drama Studio London.

Theatre includes  Our Town  (Kings Head Theatre), Waiting for Lefty  (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Daniel Deronda (Upstairs at the Gatehouse), A Midsummer Night's Dream  (Theatre Delicatessen), The Merchant of Venice  (Arcola Theatre) and  Faust  (Punchdrunk). 

Film includes The Vessel and Mirage.

Television includes The Real Godfather and 6 Nations 2013 Promo.

Benjamin Cawley | Patient A

At the Finborough Theatre, Benjamin appeared in Fog (2012).

Theatre includes Shiverman (Theatre 503), Chavs (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), Sense (Hen and Chickens Theatre), Sticks and Stones (Old Red Lion Theatre), Dunsinane (Royal Shakespeare Company), Dark Carnival (Old Vic Tunnels), Crossing The Line and Patterns of Grace (Hampstead Theatre), Who Let the Dogs Out (Soho Theatre) and O.O.L.P.O.S.P (Oval House Theatre).

Television includes How TV Ruined Your Life.

Ruth Lass | Madame

Trained at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. 

Theatre includes The Rest Is Silence (Riverside Studios), Wagner Dream (Barbican Theatre), The Tempest (Barbican Theatre), Junun Dementia (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), The Girl on The Sofa (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh), Martin Yesterday (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), The House of Bernarda Alba (The Young Vic), Uganda, Live Like Pigs (Royal Court Theatre), The Skryker (National Theatre), Hurricane Roses and Uganda (National Theatre Studio), Les Justes, and Hecuba (Gate Theatre).

Film includes Mad Cows, Fill Up and Indian Summer.

TV includes Trial and Retribution, High Stakes, Coupling, Antigone, Silent Witness and Holby City.

Miles Mitchell | Fanon

Trained at Rose Bruford College.

Theatre includes A Thousand Miles of History (Bussey Building), Last Man On The Heygate (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), Neighbours (HighTide Festival), The Globe Mysteries (Shakespeare's Globe), Forever Young (The Young Vic), The Specimen (The Drill Hall), The Light of Love (The Unicorn Theatre) and Oedipage (Shunt Vaults).

Film includes As You Like It.

Television includes Law And Order UK.

Ruth Pickett | Francoise

Theatre includes The Oresteia (The Steam Industry at The Scoop), Othello (Rose Theatre), The Winter's Tale (Camley Street Park and Old Vic Tunnels), Laughing Boy (Oxford House) and An Endless Series of Distractions (Pleasance Theatre).

Film includes Nostradamus.  

Television includes My Family, After You’ve Gone, The Friday Night Club and Harry Hill’s TV Burp.

Kenneth Price | Monsieur

Trained at Bristol Old Vic.

Theatre includes A Provincial Life (National Theatre of Wales), What The Butler Saw (Salisbury Playhouse), Blue Orange (Theatre By The Lake, Keswick), Rocket To The Moon, Thark (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), An Enemy Of The People, King Lear and Arturo Ui (Bristol Old Vic), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Misalliance and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Thorndike Theatre, Leatherhead) and The Worlds (Newcastle Playhouse).

Film includes John and Yoko, Fierce Creatures and Diana and Me.

Television includes Emmerdale, Teachers, Casualty and Boon.

Tim Pritchett | Patient C

Trained at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Theatre includes Dead Dog at Dry Cleaners (Pleasance London), Eurydice (Gielgud Theatre), Great Expectations (Arcola Theatre), The Boy I Love Is Up In The Gallery (Hoxton Town Hall), The Canterbury Tales and Much Ado About Nothing (Transatlantic Tour), In the Blood (Theatre 503 and Arcola Theatre), Cuddle (Arcola Theatre and Southwark Playhouse),Exeter Blitz Project (The Bikeshed, Exeter), Manchester (Soho Theatre) and Hedda Gabbler and Three Sisters (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art).

Film includes Tomorrow, Enemy Within, Immortal Game, They Love, Gospel of Thomas, Godard and Others, Taking Chances, Jenny and Vinny Uncut, Furrow and You Look Stunning Too.

Television includes Doctors and The Vessel. 

Will Rastall | Young Doctor

Theatre includes Daddy Took My Debt Away (Southwark Playhouse), Sense (Hen and Chickens Theatre) and Much Ado About Nothing (Theatre of The Dales).

Film includes Finding Lara.

Television includes Game of Thrones and Hollyoaks.

Simon Yadoo | Police Inspector

At the Finborough Theatre, Simon appeared in Little Madam (2007).

Trained at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Theatre includes Damned by Despair (National Theatre), The Real Thing (The Old Vic), The Taming of the Shrew and The Tempest (UK and Denmark tour),  Eulogy (Southwark Playhouse), My Family and Other Animals  (York Theatre Royal), Three Men In A Boat (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds), The Vanek Plays (Tristan Bates Theatre) and Dogfight (Arcola Theatre).

Television includes The Manual, The Constant Gardener and Vanity Fair.

Radio includes The Guns of Adam Riches and Macbeth.


UrgentTheatre was founded in 2011 to produce and champion short plays. We produce writing by established authors from across the world whose neglected work is unperformed because of length. We don't commission new writing and we are not a platform for scratch or gig theatre. So far, UrgentTheatre has produced ten short plays – five by the 2012 Wellcome Trust Award-winning Al Smith and five by the Samuel French Short Play Award finalist Bekah Brunstetter. Each of these plays were given life at Southwark Playhouse, Arcola Theatre and Theatre503.


"The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution gives the Finborough another exciting coup in the shape of a Caryl Churchill world première, admittedly 41 years late.” Philip Fisher, British Theatre Guide

“Packs a powerful punch” Philip Fisher, British Theatre Guide

“An intense 90-minute drama that provides an oblique commentary on colonial oppression and revolution.” Philip Fisher, British Theatre Guide

“In the light of all we've learned about Iraq and Afghanistan, the play suddenly seems appallingly relevant.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“There is no doubting the timelessness of much of what is argued here, especially in the light of current conflicts. And it is also fascinating to be able to see an early work from a playwright as revered as Churchill for the first time, to see her work in development.” Ian Foster, The Public Reviews

“It's always fascinating to see famous writers' early work. But the real value of this 100-minute, 1972 radio play by Caryl Churchill, which draws heavily on Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth, lies not so much in what it reveals about Churchill as what it says about its all too topical subject: the devastating impact of torture on practitioners as well as victims.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“All credit must go to the ever-enterprising Finborough and director Jim Russell for finding and producing a worthy work that should not have been neglected for so long.” Philip Fisher, British Theatre Guide

“Jim Russell’s production captures the layers and complexities of the writing.” Natasha Tripney, The Stage


Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 31 March, 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16 April 2013

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

Extra matinee on Monday 15 April at 2.00pm

Tickets £14 , £10 concessions


Performance Length: Approximately 1hr 40mins with no interval.

Written by Caryl Churchill

Directed by James Russell

Designed by Rachel Stone

Lighting by Derek Anderson

Sound by Max Pappenheim

Movement by Polly Bennett

Puppetry Consultant Emma Tompkins

Produced by Clemmie Forfar

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