January - March 2013 Season 


by Iain Finlay Macleod

Wednesday, 2 January - Saturday, 26 January 2013 

The English Premiere

The Finborough Theatre is sad to report that on Sunday 13 January, actor David Carlyle, who plays the leading role of James in the Finborough Theatre’s production of Somersaults by Iain Finlay Macleod was rushed to hospital with viral meningitis. All the performances for the week commencing Monday 14 January were cancelled, but it is sadly now clear that, for the first time in his career and despite winning rave reviews for his performance, David has had to withdraw from the production.

However, we are happy to announce that the production will resume for its final week on Tuesday 22 January 2013 at 7.30pm. From Tuesday, the role of James will be played by Simon Harrison who has taken over the role at the last minute, while Cary Crankson joins the company to play the role of Mark.

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

“If you were to go home tonight and the language that your mother spoke, the language whose sound you heard first when you came into this world, that ordered the world for you, if that language was dying. How would you feel? If all of it was obliterated. If it was all silence…”

James is a successful entrepreneur living the metropolitan life with a beautiful wife and a swanky London flat. But when the creditors move in and his wife moves out, James suddenly finds he’s left with nothing. Nothing but words.

James’ father is dying – his last connection to his childhood and the language of his birth, Scots Gaelic. With this link gone, James fears he will simply cease to exist. As the words start to slip away, he journeys home to confront his past and search for his true identity – as he desperately struggles to remember the language of his birth and the word for ‘somersault’.

A stunning new play exploring the role of language and how it defines who we are by the UK’s leading Scots Gaelic playwright Iain Finlay Macleod. Somersaults was originally produced by the National Theatre of Scotland, premiering at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh in 2011, directed by former National Theatre of Scotland Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone.

Somersaults in performed in English with some Gaelic sequences.


Playwright Iain Finlay Macleod made his English theatre debut at the Finborough Theatre in 2009 with I Was A Beautiful Day in a production which subsequently transferred to the Tron Theatre, Glasgow. His play Atman was also produced at the Finborough Theatre in 2011 starring Lucy Griffiths, following a staged reading as part of the Finborough Theatre’sVibrant – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights with Jasper Britton and Alan Cox. Iain Finlay has written many works for theatre, radio, film and television. Writing in both English and his native Scots Gaelic, Iain has also directed numerous documentaries, and was series director of the BAFTA-winning show TACSI, which won Best Arts Series in the Scottish BAFTA's and Best Entertainment Programme at the Celtic Film and Television Festival. Television includes Machair which won a Writers' Guild Award for Best Foreign Language Serial Drama. His work for theatre includes Somersaults (National Theatre of Scotland), St Kilda - The Opera; a multi-discipline work performed simultaneously in five countries, The Pearlfisher, Broke, Homers and Alexander Salamander (Traverse Theatre), Salvage (Tosg Theatre Company). His work for BBC Radio 4 includes Mr Anwar's Farewell to Stornoway, The Watergaw, The Gold Digger and an adaptation of Angela Carter's The Kitchen Child. Other radio includes Frozen and an adaptation of The Pearlfisher for BBC Radio Scotland. His film work includes Seachd:The Inaccessible Pinnacle. He is also the author of several novels.


Director Russell Bolam returns to the Finborough Theatre where he has directed the sell-out production of John Antrobus’ Captain Oates' Left Sock (2009). Trained at Middlesex University and GITIS Academy of Theatre Arts, Moscow. Directing includes Shivered which was nominated for four OffWestEnd awards including Best Director and for Best Production at the WhatsOnStage Awards (Southwark Playhouse), The Seagull (Southwark Playhouse),The Road to Mecca (Arcola Theatre) The Roman Bath (Arcola Theatre and Ivan Vazov National Theatre), Alfred (Vineyard Theatre, New York, as part of the T.S. Eliot Exchange), Lark Ascending (Theatre 503), Three More Sleepless Nights and Fourplay (Tristan Bates Theatre), Fairytaleheart (Old Red Lion Theatre) and The Physicists (The Aphra Studio, Canterbury). Assistant Directing includes The Winter's Tale, Pericles, Days of Significance (Royal Shakespeare Company Complete Works Season and US Tour), An Inexplicable Act of Violence (Old Vic 24 Hour Plays), A Background Noise (Nottingham Playhouse), The Taming of the Shrew, Around the World in 80 Days, The Barber of Seville and The Seagull (Bristol Old Vic).



The Press on Director Russell Bolam

On Captain Oates' Left Sock at the Finborough Theatre

Time Out Show of the Week, and Time Out Critics' Choice.

Top Five Theatre The Times

“Excellently directed by Russell Bolam.” ★★★★ Four Stars, WhatsOnStage

On The Seagull

★★★★ Four StarsThe Guardian, The Times, Evening Standard, WhatsOnStage

"Directed with the lightest of touches by Russell Bolam." Four Stars, Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

"In a year of remarkable Chekhov revivals, this Seagull flies with the best." Four Stars, Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

"An emotionally honest and heartfelt production." Four Stars, Libby Purves, The Times

"Russell Bolam's sly and absorbing production." The Observer

On Shivered

★★★★ Four Stars The Independent, The Telegraph, Time Out and WhatsOnStage

“Directed with clarity and flair by Russell Bolam.” The Stage

“Russell Bolam’s beautifully acted and designed production.” The Independent

"Russell Bolam’s richly absorbing revival" ★★★★ Four Stars, The Telegraph on The Road To Mecca


“One thread of the Finborough Theatre’s enterprising programming is to stage plays that highlight the languages other than English in the UK. Coming up in February is a play staged in Welsh (Saer Doliau), with English surtitles, and here, in Somersaults, the focus is on Scottish Gaelic...a playful, poignant piece by Iain Finlay Macleod, first staged by the National Theatre of Scotland, that considers identity and the part language plays in defining who we are.” Sarah Hemming, Financial Times

“Thoroughly compelling” Laura Silverman, The Arts Desk

“A moving and important subject...Thoughtful, touching and funny” Sarah Hemming, Financial Times

“An accomplished start to the new year for director Russell Bolam and the Finborough.” Patrick Brennan, WhatsOnStage

“An affecting drama about language and self.”  Andrew Lukowski, Time Out

“Curiously absorbing” Sam Marlowe, The Times Review

“This is a play that will continue to nag at one's mind like a word that is on the point of remembering.” Paul Taylor, The Independent

“Witty and engaging” Jonathan Lovett, The Stage

“It questions what makes us what we are, what happens if we lose our past, our culture and our language.” Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide

“While the intimacy of the Finborough concentrates the focus of the actors, the energy and bold direction of this production could easily fill a larger space. This is exciting theatre that presents a powerful case for language. What should it matter if a few words disappear? It matters a lot.” Laura Silverman, The Arts Desk

“Despite lashings of dark humour and dense symbolism, the play works best when at its most quirky and mysterious.” Robert Cumber, Fulham Chronicle 

“I strongly recommend you see this highly compelling piece with a highly accomplished production cast and crew...The dynamism of the play, in which the ultimate goal is to assert a case for Gaelic heritage and language, is perfect for the intimate setting of the Finborough Theatre...This is a production invested in integrity, which makes for a refreshing theatrical experience.” Kirstie Ralph, What’s Peen Seen

“Somersaults showcases compelling theatrical ideas and performances” Imogen Sarre Blogspot

“Macleod passionately puts the case for the preservation of minority languages; at the same time, he suggests that Scottish Gaelic speakers lack the forcefulness of their Celtic counterparts in Wales, and that millions are spent making Gaelic TV programmes that few people watch” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Iain Finlay Macleod’s play... executes some elegant intellectual acrobatics. Among its themes are mortality, the politics of cultural colonialism, the erosion of history by consumerist modernity, and the displacement of the real and human by the virtual and materialistic. It’s complex, artful and rather brittle writing.” Sam Marlowe, The Times

“An important debate on the vitality of language diversity versus London cultural homogeneity.” Patrick Brennan, WhatsOnStage

“Iain Finlay Macleod's talented, calculatedly fractured seventy-minute drama is informed by a bracing scepticism as it meditates on the role that language plays in our sense of identity.” Paul Taylor, The Independent

“Iain Finlay Macleod is a Gaelic speaker and has written plays in both Gaelic and English. In...Somersaults, here receiving its London premiere, the two languages intertwine seductively.” Henry Hitchings, London Evening Standard

“The Outer Hebrides have an austere challenging beauty about them and so too does Iain Finlay Macleod’s play Somersaults” Ian Foster, The Public Reviews

“Some plays are enigmatic. Others seem so, till their elements slip into place like jigsaw pieces; after which the once-baffling can seem overly-obvious. Yet others declare their intent directly. Iain Finlay Macleod’s play, receiving its English premiere at the Finborough, is all three of these, and its skill lies in the way that what becomes clear retains a satisfying complexity.” Timothy Ramsden, Reviews Gate

“It's about more than language, questioning the role of tradition and storytelling itself, and taking in a couple of partially successful metafictional twists.” Robert Cumber, Fulham Chronicle 

“As usual at the Finborough, the cast is excellent throughout” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network

“David Carlyle's twinkly, charming James.” Paul Taylor, The Independent

“David Carlyle plays James with fidgety verve” Henry Hitchings, London Evening Standard

“David Carlyle conveys the confusion and desperation of the older James and the slightly mischievous freshness of the college boy with equal ease.” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network

“David Carlyle gives a nuanced performance as James: he is just as convincing as the slouchy new graduate (before he makes his money) as the thoughtful son who can see his life ebbing away. Tom Marshall makes a stirring, melancholy Sandy” Laura Silverman, The Arts Desk

“Carlyle's fine performance” Andrew Lukowski, Time Out

“The somersaults of the title, which David Carlyle executes in perilously tight spaces” Timothy Ramsden, Reviews Gate

“Played with exquisite realism by David Carlyle” Imogen Sarre Blogspot

“The scenes between James and his father are immensely moving, beautifully handled here – in a mix of English and Gaelic – by Tom Marshall as the father and David Carlyle as James.” Sarah Hemming, Financial Times

“Tom Marshall as his dying father speaks Gaelic with a quiet musicality that makes one mourn the language's inexorable decline.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Richard Teverson is outstanding” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network

“Richard Teverson puts in a compellingly creepy performance as Barrett.” Robert Cumber, Fulham Chronicle 

“Simon Harrison brings a mix of suavity and nerviness to his slippery friend Mark” Henry Hitchings, London Evening Standard

“Simon Harrison is very good as the immature Mark” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network

“Russell Bolam’s production makes it a stylish 80 minutes. Not just Philip Lindley’s design and the scene changes, punctuated by lighting designer Elliot Grigg’s flickering effects and Max Pappenheim’s sound score, but its clever physicality.” Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide

“Russell Bolam’s spry, witty production” Sarah Hemming, Financial Times

“For a play about language, it is credit to Bolam and the cast that the standout moments are those without words, or without words in English. One scene is all in Gaelic, while The Police's "Roxanne" provides the backdrop to an absorbing three minutes without dialogue” Laura Silverman, The Arts Desk

“Russell Bolam’s direction is boldly ingenious” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network

“Russell Bolam's production brilliantly captures the contrast between the slow death of an ancient way of life and the fast pace of the future.” Laura Silverman, The Arts Desk

"The energy of the piece is incredible, with the audience defenceless against Bolam’s carefully engineered emotional rollercoaster.” Kirstie Ralph, What’s Peen Seen

“The Finborough is famed for quietly defying convention, and doing it beautifully. As such, Russell Bolam’s production of Iain Finlay Macleod’s play Somersaults feels typical of this lovely leading Fringe theatre.” Imogen Sarre Blogspot

“Crisply directed by Russell Bolam (responsible for Southwark Playhouse's excellent recent production of The Seagull)” John Morrison, John Morrison

“Philip Lindley's set, coupled with lighting by Elliot Griggs, is ingenious.” Laura Silverman, The Arts Desk

“Philip Lindley's set also provides an atmospheric contribution” Partially Obstructed View

“Max Pappenheim provides a subtle soundtrack that switches location in a trice” Sarah Hemming, Financial Times


Emily Bowker

At the Finborough Theatre, Emily appeared in Too True to be Good (2009).

Trained at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Theatre includes Our Country's Good (National Tour), Daisy Pulls it Off (National Tour), Poor Cousin (Hampstead Theatre), Hay Fever (West Yorkshire Playhouse), 250 Words (The Young Vic), The Importance of Being Earnest and Travesties (Birmingham Rep), Present Laughter (Clwyd Theatr Cymru), Antigone (Bristol Old Vic), Shakespeare and Co (Watermill Theatre, Newbury, and Tour), Mister Murdery (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton), A Bigger Banner (Theatre Uncut at the Latitude Festival), Devon Country (The Tobacco Factory), Births, Marriages and Deaths (High-Hearted Theatre), Great Undertaking in Little America (Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham), Look Back in Anger and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Garrick Theatre, Lichfield), Much Ado About Nothing (Ripley Castle, Harrogate), Noises Off (Torch Theatre, Milford Haven), Lie of the Land (Arcola Theatre) and Reunion (Theatre 503).

Film includes Tezz and City Rats.

Television includes Upstairs Downstairs, Holby City, Torchwood, The Bill, Doctors, Shameless, Wire in the Blood and When Calls the Heart.

Radio includes High Table, Lower Orders, Swimming Lessons, Roundabout and Mortar.


David Carlyle

Trained at Rose Bruford College.

Theatre includes Caledonia (National Theatre of Scotland), Yellow Moon and The Monster in the Hall (National Theatre of Scotland and Citizens Theatre, Glasgow), Hansel and Gretel (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow), Dead Heavy Fantastic (Liverpool Everyman) and You Once Said Yes (Edinburgh Festival). 

Theatre whilst training includes The Wonderful World of Dissocia, Philistines, The White Devil, Hedda Gabler and Celebration/Party Time. David also represented Rose Bruford College at the Sam Wanamaker Festival 2010 (Shakespeare's Globe).

Television includes Lip Service II.

Radio Where Were You?, Chernobyl and Sudbury Hill.


Cary Crankson

Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Theatre includes London and Wasted (Paines Plough), Exit Signs - Rough Cuts (Royal Court Theatre), Flight Path (Out of Joint), Silverland (59E59 New York and Arcola Theatre), Mad Blud (Theatre Royal Stratford East), La Ronde (Riverside Studios and National Tour), The Rover (Southwark Playhouse), Oliver Twist, Chapel St (Old Vic New Voices), Miss Julie, Mary Stuart and Twelfth Night (The Faction at New Diorama Theatre), Children of Darkness (Leicester Square Theatre), Othello (Rose Theatre, Bankside) A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Othello (Brockwell Park Open Air Theatre). Television includes The Bill, Doctors, and Wild West. Film includes Rock and Roll and F*** 'n' Lovely.


Simon Harrison

At the Finborough Theatre, Simon appeared in Hortensia and The Museum Of Dreams (2005).

Trained at the University of Hull and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Theatre includes Days of Significance (Royal Shakespeare Company at the Tricycle Theatre and National Tour), The Winter’s Tale and Pericles (Royal Shakespeare Company), Journey's End (National Tour and West End), Bus and Twelfth Night (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Noises Off and Dr Faustus (Liverpool Playhouse), Relatively Speaking and The Importance of Being Earnest (Library Theatre, Manchester), The Picture and Private Lives (Salisbury Playhouse), The War on Terror (Bush Theatre), Look Back in Anger (Jermyn Street Theatre), Reclining Nude in Black Stockings (Arcola Theatre), They Have Oak Trees in North Carolina (Theatre 503), The Conquering Hero (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), A Lie of The Mind, Feeding Time (Battersea Arts Centre), Epic and Merryweather Jones (Latitude Festival), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Milton Rooms), Penetrator (Edinburgh Festival) and One Mile Away (Spread the Word) and A Devilish Exercise (Rose Theatre, Bankside).

Television includes Doctors.

Radio includes Idylls Of The King and They Have Oak Trees in North Carolina.


Tom Marshall

At the Finborough Theatre, Tom appeared in Captain Oates’ Left Sock (2009).

Trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Theatre includes Total Eclipse (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Anatomist (Eastern Angles), The Pillars of the Community, Henry IV, Parts I and II, Tales of the Vienna Woods, Edmond, Luther, The Spanish Tragedy, Antigone, Danton’s Death, and Venice Preserv’d (National Theatre), Mandrake, Snap, No Man’s Land, The Passion of Dracula, Plenty, Passion Play, When Did You Last See Your Trousers? (all West End), The Crucible (Birmingham Rep), Karate Billy Comes Home (Royal Court Theatre), Rosmersholm (Southwark Playhouse), Twelfth Night (Perth Theatre), as well as repertory seasons at Glasgow, Lincoln, Canterbury, Bristol, Cardiff, Watford, Oxford, Edinburgh and Sheffield.

Film includes Oh What a Lovely War!, There’s a Girl in my Soup, Infinity, Revenge, Killer’s Moon, and Feast of July.

Television includes Upstairs Downstairs, Please Sir, Doctor at Large, Coronation Street, Spooks, World’s End, The Thin End of the Wedge, Juliet Bravo, Blind Justice, Joint Account, The Bill, Casualty, Mornin’ Sarge, March on Europe, and The Paradise Club.


Richard Teverson

Trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.

Theatre includes The Doctor’s Dilemma (National Theatre), Cause Célèbre (The Old Vic), After the Dance (National Theatre), The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre), When Harry Met Sally and A Woman of No Importance (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre), Private Lives, Tons of Money, Hobson’s Choice (Southwold Theatre), The Singing Group (Chelsea Theatre), Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick (New Vic Theatre, Staffordshire) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Creation Theatre). 

Film includes Brideshead Revisited, Private Peaceful and Workhorse.

Television includes Downton Abbey, The Spies of Warsaw, Dancing On The Edge, Upstairs Downstairs, The Roman Mysteries, Live! Girls! Dogtown, Balderdash and Piffle, Poirot: Five Little Pigs and The Project.

Radio includes Noise and Cause Célèbre.

Voice over work includes many unabridged audiobooks and Star Wars: The Old Republic.




Wednesday, 2 January – Saturday, 26 January 2013

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

2 January - 13 January 2013

Tickets £14, £10 concessions

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

Previews (2 and 3 January) £9 all seats.

£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 the first Saturday of the run only.

15 January - 26 January 2013

Tickets £16, £12 concessions

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

Performance Length: Approximately two hours.

(Ticket prices may be subject to change)

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



Image copyright: Adrian Parnham

Directed by Russell Bolam 

Designed by Philip Lindley

Lighting Design by Elliot Griggs

Sound Design by Max Pappenheim

Costume Design by Abigale Lewis

Movement Direction by Jenny Ogilvie 

Presented by Luke Holbrook in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre

emily bowker  EMILY BOWKER

david carlyle DAVID CARLYLE


Richard Teverson SIMON HARRISON

Tome Marshall TOM MARSHALL