April to June 2013


by Stewart Conn

Tuesday, 26 March – Saturday, 20 April 2013

The English premiere

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

★★★★ Everything Theatre
★★★★ Partially Obstructed View
★★★★ Exeunt Magazine
★★★★ WhatsOnStage

“Not as if I always lived here, mind you…I started off in Govan. Never dreamt in those days I'd end up this side of the river. Real step up in the world that was…I’m grateful for it. Despite everything, I’m grateful for it ”

Glasgow, the 1970s. Martha and Amie are old neighbours, trapped in their decaying tenement and cut off from family and friends. With the present closing in and the future uncertain, Martha and Amie’s real companions are the past and their memories of ordinary lives peopled by extraordinary characters and their struggles and triumphs.

I Didn’t Always Live Here is a compassionate and heart rending journey into the forgotten lives of the dispossessed and elderly, as well as an uplifting journey into the human spirit’s capacity to cope with social exclusion and financial hardship.

One of multi-award-winning playwright and poet Stewart Conn’s earliest works, I Didn’t Always Live Here received its world premiere at Glasgow's Citizens Theatre in 1967. It now receives its English premiere and its first ever production since a production at Dundee Rep in June 1973. It also marks Lisa Blair’s debut as a freelance director following her work with both the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company.


Playwright Stewart Conn was born in Hillhead, Glasgow, in 1936, and brought up in Ayrshire. His plays include The King (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh), Hugh Miller (Netherbow Theatre, Edinburgh),The Aquarium, The Burning, Play Donkey, Herman and Clay Bull (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh). Television includes Wally Dugs Go in Pairs, The Kite and Bloodhunt. He was Head of Radio Drama for BBC Scotland from 1977 until 1992. Stewart Conn is also an acclaimed poet, and was Edinburgh’s inaugural Makar (Poet Laureate) from 2002-2005. His poetry collections include Estuary, The Loving Cup, The Breakfast Room, Ghosts at Cockrow, In the Kibble Palace, Under the Ice and The Luncheon of the Boating Party. He received the 2011 SMIT Poetry Book of the Year Award, and won the inaugural Institute of Contemporary Scotland's Iain Crichton Smith Award for services to literature.


Director Lisa Blair is currently Associate Director of the National Theatre’s One Man Two Guvnors at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. Theatre as director includes Country Music (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Fine Lines (Hampstead Theatre), Agamemnon and 4.48 Psychosis (Theatre Royal York), Ariadne and the Minotaur (National Theatre Studio), Meteorite (Royal Shakespeare Company), Stumpergrasse 31 (Arcola Theatre) and Dim and Popbitch (Theatre 503). Assistant Direction includes assisting Lindsay Posner on Noises Off (Old Vic Theatre and Novello Theatre), David Farr on The Homecoming, and Rupert Goold on The Merchant of Venice (Royal Shakespeare Company), Christopher Luscombe on When We Are Married (Garrick Theatre) and The History Boys (National Tour), Alan Lane on The Count of Monte Cristo and Ian Brown on The Secret Garden (West Yorkshire Playhouse and Birmingham Rep). She co-founded Inside Stories, a theatre company that works in prisons.


"A play with resonances, written with a poet's feeling for words but without being "poetic"." The Guardian on Herman

"Innovative and beautifully written." BBC Radio Scotland on Diehard

"An original clear voice." The Observer on The Burning

"A powerful commentary…Every word sounds exactly right. It is absolutely riveting." Glasgow Herald on Play Donkey

"He is one of our finest poets." The Scotsman


"An inventive, powerful, at times genuinely humorous, piece of drama that is hard to fault on any level." WhatsOnStage on Country Music

"Fresh and bold and exciting." The Culture Vulture on Country Music

"Stunning." The York Press on 4.48 Psychosis

"Commanding…atmospheric. It was almost hard not to stand up and cheer." The York Press on Agamemnon


Christopher Birch

Theatre includes Festen (Almeida Theatre and Lyric Theatre), Anne Boleyn (Shakespeare’s Globe), Oedipus (National Theatre), Bartholomew Fair and Talk of the City (Royal Shakespeare Company),The History Boys (Theatre Royal Bath), The Last Laugh (Japanese Tour), The Scarlet Pimpernel (Chichester Festival Theatre), Soldiers (Clwyd Theatr Cymru), Sweet Revenge (National Tour), King Lear and Richard III (Ludlow Festival Theatre) and The Revengers’ Comedies (Strand Theatre).

Film includes Diana, Carrington and Little Dorrit.

Television includes Behind Closed Doors, The Bill, A World in Arms, Casualty, Dangerfield and London’s Burning.

Alice Haig

Theatre includes The Fairy Queen (Glyndebourne, La Opera Comique and BAM), The Children’s Hour (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Holding Fire! (Shakespeare's Globe), As You Like It and Hay Fever (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Even Stillness, What Cheryl Did Next and Greek Tragedy (Theatre 503), Hard Shoulders (Pleasance Theatre, London),The Curse Of The Starving Class (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh) and When Cheryl Was Brassic (Latitude Festival).

Film includes Dad’s Dead.

Television includes Scottish Killers.

Radio includes The Doctor’s Tale.

Cameron Harris

Theatre includes The Shawshank Redemption (Future Cinema), Regret Rien (The Firestation, Windsor), The Lodger (Pentameters Theatre), Sunday Morning At The Centre Of The World (BAC), The Bummie Petroclead (Arcola Theatre), Così (King’s Head Theatre) and I Never Get Dressed Till After Dark On Sundays (The Cock Tavern).

Film includes Geoffrey, Above And Beyond and Within The Woods.

Television includes Caerdydd and Pleasure Park.

Jenny Lee

At the Finborough Theatre, Jenny appeared in Too True To Be Good (2009).

Theatre includes Driving Miss Daisy (Wyndham's Theatre), Lady Windermere’s Fan and Fifth Of July (Bristol Old Vic), The Normal Heart (Royal Court at the Albery Theatre), Jessie Kesson – A Good Crack At Life (Royal Shakespeare Company Summerhouse and Scottish National Tour), Cider With Rosie (Royal Theatre, Northampton), Slab Boys Trilogy (The Young Vic), Romeo and Juliet (Elblag International Festival), Great Expectations (Scottish National Tour), A Woman Of No Importance, Summer Lightning and The Grapes Of Wrath (Pitlochry Festival Theatre), Anne Of Green Gables (Lilian Baylis Theatre), Markings (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, and National Tour), The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice (New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme), Hurricane Roses (National Theatre Studio), Happy Days (The Mill, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford), The Steamie (Wimbledon Studio Theatre), Home (National Tour), Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (Gateway Theatre, Chester) and Hobson’s Choice (Perth Theatre).

Film includes European Psycho, Cancer Tales, Signal Failure and Have I Passed?

Television includes Casualty, Doctors, The Bill, Monarch Of The Glen (series regular), Holby City, Roughnecks 2, Hope It Rains, Taggart: The Killing Philosophy, Extras, The Marlows Series and On The Up.

Joshua Manning

Theatre includes The Magistrate (National Theatre), The Deep (Tobacco Factory, Bristol), Orphans (Trafalgar Studios), King Lear (Rose Theatre), The Provoked Wife (Greenwich Playhouse), Twelfth Night (Drayton Arms Theatre) and Bash (The Lansdown, Bristol).

Film includes Brief Intermission.

Radio includes Romeo And Juliet.

Eileen Nicholas

At the Finborough Theatre, Eileen appeared in Don Juan Comes Back from the War (2012).

Theatre includes All About My Mother (The Old Vic), A Chorus Of Disapproval (Clwyd Theatr Cymru), Talking Heads (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds), Request Programme and End Game (Donmar Warehouse), Cutting A Rug (The Young Vic), American Bagpipes (Royal Court Theatre), Through The Leaves (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, and Bush Theatre), The Importance Of Being Earnest (Salisbury Playhouse), Buried Child (Upstairs at The Gatehouse), Lobster/Vantastic (Oval House Theatre), The Wizard Of Oz (MacRobert Theatre, Stirling), The Revenger’s Tragedy (Cambridge Theatre), Juno And The Paycock (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh), The Glass Menagerie (Red Rose Studio), Anastasia (Pushkin House) and Elizabeth Gordon Quinn (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh).

Film includes The Quiet Ones, The Wee Man, January, The Child, Late Bloomers, Bomber, Trainspotting, Regeneration and Mr Corbett’s Ghost.

Television includes Law & Order UK – Dawn Til Dusk, Half Broken Things, Widow Maker, The Bill, Doctors, Between The Lines and Dr Finlay’s Casebook.

Eileen has been awarded Best Actress at Bend Film Festival Oregon, Best Actress at Nashville Film Festival Tennessee and Best Supporting Actress at the Kiev International Festival Ukraine for Bomber. Eileen was nominated for the 2012 Off West End Award for Best Female Performance for Anastasia at Pushkin House.

Carl Prekopp

At the Finborough Theatre, Carl appeared in Love on the Dole (2010).

Trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Theatre includes Richard III (Riverside Studios), Calendar Girls (Chichester Festival Theatre and Noël Coward Theatre), Sexual Perversity in Chicago (Norwich Playhouse), Romeo and Juliet (Cork Opera House), The Rover (Historic Royal Palaces), Ruffian on the Stair (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond) and Hamlet (Merlin Theatre, Budapest).

Film includes I Want Candy.

Television includes Lewis, Law and Order, Holby Blue and The Bill.

Radio includes Our Mutual Friend, The Worst Journey, HMS Surprise, Night Watch, The Writer and the Grammarian, Small Gods, The Brothers Karamazov and My Cousin Rachel.

Lewis Rae

At the Finborough Theatre, Lewis appeared in David Hume's Kilt, part of Vibrant 2010 – An Anniversary Festival of Finborough Playwrights.

Theatre includes The Wind In The Willows (Bristol Old Vic), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet and The Card (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park), Honeymoon From Hell (Brighton Festival),  Home Is Where Your Clothes Are and A Christmas Carol (National Tour), Dames At Sea, Don’t Dress For Dinner, Inside Job and Relatively Speaking (Sheringham Little Theatre), Rope (National Tour),  Assassins (Komedia, Brighton), Judy (Coliseum Theatre, Oldham), Rogues To Riches and Snoopy (Watermill Theatre, Newbury), Someone Like You (Strand Theatre), The Challenge (Shaw Theatre) and To Kill A Mockingbird (Theatre Royal York).

Film includes Chasing The Deer.

Television includes The Bill, Captain Butler, Nini’s Treehouse and The Last 24 Hours.

James Robinson

At the Finborough Theatre, James appeared in Trilby (2010).

Theatre includes A Man’s A Man (Gaiety Theatre, Ayr), King John (Union Theatre), They Came To A City (Southwark Playhouse), Online Courting (Hen and Chickens Theatre and Edinburgh Festival), Knives In Hens and Festen (BAC) and Bonfires and Vanities (New End Theatre, Hampstead and Italian Tour).

Film includes The Wee Man, The Walk, Ashes, A Suburban Fairytale, Saxon and Braveheart.

Television includes The Borgias, Charlatans and Doctors.

Ross F. Sutherland

Theatre includes New World Order (Hydrocracker at the Barbican Theatre and Brighton Festival), Macbeth (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton, and National Tour), Class Act (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh), Decky Does A Bronco (Almeida Theatre), The Snow Dragon (Tall Stories at the MacRobert Theatre, Stirling, and I-Theatre, Singapore), Stuart Little (Polka Theatre) and Granny and The Gorilla (Unicorn Theatre).

Film includes Gamerz.

Television includes Casualty.


"Stewart Conn's elegiac drama, not produced in the UK since 1973, is rich in texture." Sam Marlowe, The Times

"An incredibly rich play." Andrew Crane, What's Peen Seen

"A touching, quirky little curiosity." Sam Marlowe, The Times

"A touching tale of loss, loneliness, and hope." Amy Stow. WhatsOnStage

"An acutely observed, heart-warming reflection on the lives of two ordinary women." Anna Jones, British Theatre Guide

"Quietly enjoyable and beautifully observed, and its lack of embellishment is part of its charm." Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

"A great piece of writing." Sarah Nutland, Public Reviews

"Beautifully written." Caroline Cronin, Bargain Theatreland

"Stewart Conn's memory play, another great find in the Finborough's series of rediscoveries of Scottish writers, takes us to Glasgow in the 1970s." Caroline Kopplin, UK Theatre Network 

"A strong, gritty, drama about the triumphs and tragedies of real Glaswegians." Sarah Nutland, Public Reviews

"A poetic script, inspired casting and high production values make this show most enjoyable." Lou Kerr, Everything Theatre

"Touching, a quality piece of theatre." Nick, Partially Obstructed View

"Oddly uplifting in its humanity, despite the bleakness that often permeates the lives of the characters onstage." Amy Stow. WhatsOnStage

"A heartwarming show with very believable characters and strong direction." Lou Kerr, Everything Theatre

"The small, intimate space perfectly complements the real, human nature of the play." Amy Stow, WhatsOnStage

"Another typically great show from the Finborough with lots of heart and soul, and featuring the high production values we've come to expect." Lou Kerr, Everything Theatre

"Another worthy production for the Finborough, further establishing its reputation for producing consistently high quality work." Anna Jones, British Theatre Guide

"One of the strongest elements of this show is certainly the terrific cast." Lou Kerr, Everything Theatre

"Jenny Lee is fantastic as Martha...completely believable and extremely engaging." Sarah Nutland, Public Reviews

"Jenny Lee is astonishing." Caroline Kopplin, UK Theatre Network

"Jenny Lee as Martha and Eileen Nicholas as Amie bring a lifetime of experience to their roles." Alex Ramon, One Stop Arts

"Performed to perfection by both actresses." Alex Ramon, One Stop Arts

"Perfectly played by Eileen Nicholas." Lou Kerr, Everything Theatre

"Excellently played by Cameron Harris and Ross F. Sutherland." Lou Kerr, Everything Theatre

"Christopher Birch gives an impressive performance as Jack's friend Chick." Caroline Kopplin, UK Theatre Network

"The carefully nuanced performances leading up to the climactic ending are charming, especially from Jenny Lee as Martha and Eileen Nicholas as Amie." Amy Stow. What's On Stage

"Alice Haig's brilliantly funny turn as an immaculate volunteer visitor." Alice Saville, Exeunt Magazine

"Carl Prekopp steals the show, brimming with a charismatic and jittery energy." Andrew Crane, What's Peen Seen

"Lisa Blair directs with a sure touch and her cast are great at telling a story that looks at sad ends to difficult lives but never becomes maudlin, with many lighter moments along the way: Lee is great at Martha's warm, slightly dotty sense of humour, Nicholas equally good at Amie's somewhat spikier moments of comedy." Nick, Partially Obstructed View

"Lisa Blair's production stands firm around sympathetic, clear performances by Jenny Lee as working-class widow Martha and Eileen Nicholas as Amie." Timothy Ramsden, Review Gate

"Alex Marker's design is nothing short of impressive. Creating a two level home in such a small space is no mean feat and it really captures the atmosphere of the dilapidated homes." Sarah Nutland, Public Reviews

"Among its many other strengths, the Finborough Theatre is increasingly punching above its weight with its set designs, coming close to challenging the Gate for how ambitiously you can transform a seemingly restrictive space. This time, resident designer Alex Marker has managed to fit two storeys of a Glasgow tenement into a room above a pub." Nick, Partially Obstructed View

"The set and costume design by Alex Marker and Susan Kulkarni respectively are impressive, imbued with detail as they are." Amy Stow, WhatsOnStage

"Alex Marker's atmospheric design and Susan Kulkarni's period-perfect costumes." Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

"Inhabit resident designer Alex Marker's set that, in true Finborough style, is a masterpiece of highly detailed, mid-century realism – but less typically, it brilliantly parcels out the small space, discovering two flats, and an attic above, in a way that feels natural, and no more cramped than its setting suggests." Alice Saville, Exeunt Magazine

"An ingenious two-storey set by Alex Marker." Sam Marlowe, The Times

"It has become standard for the Finborough to create a set which feels like the real deal and this is no different. Everything from the dusty ornaments and thick patterned carpet to the weekly visits from the local priest reminded me of my own grandmother. Even the budgie seemed real." Lou Kerr, Everything Theatre


Tuesday, 26 March – Saturday, 20 April 2013

Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm.
Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm.
Saturday Matinees 3.00pm (from 2nd week of the run).

26 March - 7 April 2013

Tickets £14, £10 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £10 all seats, and Saturday evenings £14 all seats.
Previews (26 and 27 March) £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 first Saturday of the run only.

9 April - 20 April 2013

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


Written by Stewart Conn

Directed by Lisa Blair

Designed by Alex Marker

Lighting Design by Brendan Albrey

Costume Design by Susan Kulkarni

Music by Josh Sneesby

Sound Design by Max Pappenheim

Presented by Glottenbal Productions in association with Neil Mcpherson for the Finborough Theatre.