Summer Season 2014 | May - August 2014


Music and Lyrics by Kyle Jarrow
Book by Clay McLeod Chapman

Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 June, 1, 6, 7, 8 July 2014

The European premiere of a new musical

“I've spent the entire week watching old home movies. All of Jim's birthday parties. Trips to Disney Land. Trips to the beach. Christmas dinners. Anniversary parties. All the way back to our prom. What I don't have is his beheading. None of the networks will send me a copy, no matter how much I beg. Even if he is my husband – no one will let me see.”

The European premiere of Clay McLeod Chapman and Kyle Jarrow’s indie rock musical Hostage Song

Hostage Song is a subversive, high-velocity Off-Off Broadway indie rock musical from New York artists Clay McLeod Chapman and Kyle Jarrow. In an unspecified time and place, Jim and Jennifer are hostages, blindfolded and awaiting their fate. In an effort to distract themselves from their inevitable demise, they forge a relationship while trying to let go of the images of their loved ones. As the reality of their predicament becomes clearer, the fantasy becomes more vivid. Stunning rock music propels the story forward as the two take refuge in music, memory and each other, grappling in the dark for the last bit of love they will ever know.


Writer Clay McLeod Chapman is the creator of the acclaimed monologue series The Pumpkin Pie Show. His theatre work includes Commencement and SCKBSTD (with Bruce Hornsby). Publications include both short stories – rest area – and novels – miss corpus, The Tribe, Homeroom Headhunters and Camp Cannibal. Film includes The Boy (with Craig Macneill), Dad (with Glenn McQuaid) and two shorts for the Sundance Festival – Late Bloomer and Henley (also with Craig Macneill). Comics include The Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man and Ultimate Spider-Man Adventures. He is a writing instructor at The Actors Studio MFA Program at Pace University.


Composer and Lyricist Kyle Jarrow is a New York City based writer and rock musician. He is singer and keyboardist for the bands Sky-Pony and Super Mirage. He won an Obie Award in 2004 for his play A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant (John Houseman Theater, New York City, and the Powerhouse Theatre, Los Angeles). His plays include Gorilla Man (Performance Space 122, NYC), Whisper House (with Duncan Sheik) (Old Globe Theater, San Diego), Hypochondria (Shapiro Theatre, NYC), Trigger and Love Kills (45th Street Theater, NYC). He also wrote the screenplay for the film of Love Kills which was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival 2010. In 2010, Jarrow wrote a pilot for the CW Network called Trigger. In 2013, Jarrow developed a police drama for FX produced by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and CW announced development of Ze, a family drama series written by Jarrow about a transgendered teen.

Kyle’s website is


Director James Veitch is artistic director and founder of Pale Fire. His writing and directing for Pale Fire include Keats in Hampstead, Romantics (Keats House) and Room #103, Hotel Chelsea taking place inside the Chelsea Hotel in New York City. He has worked on productions with the Royal National Theatre, Royal Windsor Theatre, BBC TV and BBC Radio. James also writes and performs comedy. Comic transcripts of his interactions with a scammer were published by The New York Times. His first solo show The Fundamental Interconnectedness of Everyone with an Internet Connection will premiere at the Gilded Balloon as part of this year’s Edinburgh Festival.


Maria Teresa Creasey | Wife/Mother

Production at the Finborough Theatre include Home Free as part of Vibrant – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights.
Trained at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Theatre includes The Possibilities (King's Head Theatre and Tron Theatre, Glasgow), The Antipodes (Sam Wanamaker Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe), Tartuffe (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), Eight (Tron Theatre, Glasgow), King Lear (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow) and Dead Man’s Cellphone (The Arches, Glasgow).
Film includes Stephen Frears' UCP and Spooks: The Greater Good.
Radio includes The One About The Social Worker and Petit Mort.
She was runner up in the BBC Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award 2013.

Matthew Hebden | Father

Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes Cool Head (Etcetera Theatre), Recording Hedda (New Diorama Theatre), Secrets of Soho , Henry V, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Taming of the Shrew (British Shakespeare Company), Spiders Web, Witness for the Prosecution (Agatha Christie Theatre Company) and The Mousetrap (St Martin’s Theatre).
Film includes Wasted, First Sight, Cartwheels and Sweet Swan of Avon.
Radio includes Dead London and Twenty Six Miles.

Michael Matus | Jim

Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes The A to Z of Mrs P (Southwark Playhouse), The Potsdam Quartet, The Betrayal of Nora Blake (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Sound of Music (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park), Yes Prime Minister (National Tour), Taboo (Brixton Clubhouse), Wonderful Town (The Lowry, National Tour), The Snow Queen (Rose Theatre, Kingston), Lend Me A Tenor (Gielgud Theatre), Tis Pity She’s A Whore (West Yorkshire Playhouse), A Christmas Carol (Arts Theatre), Oklahoma! (Chichester Festival Theatre), Imagine This (New London Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Timon of Athens (Shakespeare’s Globe), Rough Crossings (National Tour), Mahabharata (Sadler’s Wells and National Tour), The Pesky Rat (Soho Theatre), Canterbury Tales (Royal Shakespeare Company Regional Tour), The Comedy of Errors (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield), The Doll’s House (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Humble Boy (Northcott Theatre, Exeter), The Venetian Twins, The Gentlemen of Olmeno, Hard Times (Watermill Theatre, Newbury), The Taming of the Shrew (Theatre Royal Plymouth and National Tour), The Cherry Orchard (National Tour), The Malcontent, The Island Princess, The Roman Actor, Eastwood Ho! (Royal Shakespeare Company at the Gielgud Theatre), The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (Royal Shakespeare Company at Sadler’s Wells), Mill On The Floss (International Tour), Eating Raoul (Bridewell Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Neuss Shakespeare Festival), Jane Eyre (West Yorkshire Playhouse and International Tour), Emma (Palace Theatre, Watford), Wild Angel (Royal Court Theatre), Sweet Bird of Youth, The Pitchfork Disney, Marowitz Hamlet (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow), Richard III (Pleasance London), The End of the Affair (Salisbury Playhouse), Martin Guerre (Prince Edward Theatre), Making The Future: Hitler’s Childhood, Grace (The Young Vic), The Provoked Wife (National Tour) and Eurovision (Vaudeville Theatre).
Film includes A Muppet Christmas Carol.
Television includes Endeavor, A Prince Among Men, Then, The Bill, A Perfect World and EastEnders.

Verity Marshall | Jennifer

Trained at the Oxford School of Drama.
Theatre includes Some Gorgeous Accident (Trafalgar Studios), Attempts on her Life (Hampstead Theatre) and The Comedy of Errors (Blenheim Palace).
Film includes A Perfect Woman.
Television includes Gunpowder Plotters, Churchill’s First World War, Our Story, The British and TNT Show.
Radio includes Dark Eden, The Love Letter and To Seek a Master.

Pierce Reid | Frontman/Son

Trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Theatre includes Damned By Despair, Collaborators, Men Should Weep (National Theatre), The Seagull (Theatre Royal v) and Mother Courage And Her Children (Dundee Rep).
Television includes Doctors and Dayes Work.
Radio includes Collaborators.


The press on Hostage Song at the Finborough Theatre

“A new kind of musical that challenges its audience with a twisted perspective on a hostage story.” Tim Bano, Everything Theatre

“Hostage Song signifies progression in a fresh form of musical theatre. This ‘soundtrack musical’ uses original numbers sung partly by a band led by Pierce Reid - acting as a Greek chorus of sorts - and partly by the protagonists.” Paul Vale, The Stage

“Hostage Song is both an unconventional yet tender story of budding friendship and a no holds barred edgy rock show.” Katie Pillige, The Public Reviews

“A quirky addition to the Off-West End scene.” Patrick Brennan, WhatsOnStage

“An intense experience which is constantly unsettling, often very upsetting, but also occasionally joyous and ultimately quite unique.” Derek Smith, Musical Theatre Review

“Strong performance, exceptional writing and superb music make this an enjoyable show well worth watching.” Katie Pillige, The Public Reviews

“Raw performances draw the emotion and horror from a blunt, hard-hitting script.” Tim Bano, Everything Theatre

“There’s a certain satisfaction in experiencing a piece of theatre that fulfils one of its most important aims: to make you feel.” Tim Bano, Everything Theatre

“Hostage Song is not a musical for the faint hearted or for those with a more traditional disposition but if you like something with a little more meat on its bones and less jazz hands than your average musical then snap up a ticket before it’s too late.” Dan Phillips, BargainTheatreLand

“Superb music... Jarrow’s score and lyrics which are performed by a band constantly on stage, a real highlight of the performance, are a giddy mix of fun indie rock and heartfelt ballads.” Katie Pillige, The Public Reviews

“Kyle Jarrow’s score threads through the story, juxtaposing the harsh reality with an emotive often explosive, indie-rock score.” Paul Vale, The Stage

“Clay McLeod Chapman’s harrowing book is eminently realistic.” Paul Vale, The Stage

“Clay McCleod Chapman’s writing gathers momentum and becomes increasingly brilliant, with dazzling poetic flashes.” Tim Bano, Everything Theatre

“It’s the painful personal memories recalled and small human touches woven into Clay McLeod Chapman’s book that ultimately make this work.” Derek Smith, Musical Theatre Review

“Utterly committed performances.” Paul Vale, The Stage

“A mesmerising Matus and Marshall” Dan Phillips, BargainTheatreLand

“Matus and Marshall are thrown a vast range of emotions and situations to react to and rise to the challenge with engaging performances.” Tim Bano, Everything Theatre

“Michael Matus gives a raw, intense performance.” Tim Bano, Everything Theatre

“Immensely versatile Michael Matus” Paul Vale, The Stage

“Pierce Reid leads the band, singing with sneering glee like a male Lana Del Rey.” Tim Bano, Everything Theatre

“It’s Pierce Reid though, the band’s enigmatic frontman who also plays the part of Jim’s son, who really impresses, belting out the opening number with a self-assured cockiness you can only admire. Add his fine rock vocals to some assured acting and his is a career to definitely watch, the opening few rattling good numbers captivating your attention from the start.” Derek Smith, Musical Theatre Review

“Maria Teresa Creasey’s gut wrenching performance” Dan Phillips, BargainTheatreLand

“James Veitch’s stark direction” Paul Vale, The Stage

“Under James Veitch’s direction, the show flows through with a ferocity and angst mirrored perfectly by the music.” Dan Phillips, BargainTheatreLand

“The Finborough Theatre provides a fitting space for the show, an intimate venue for such a raw story which helps the audience to feel more emotionally connected with the characters. In a larger venue the show wouldn’t work but here it feels just right – authentic but not too much to make the audience uncomfortable.” Katie Pillige, The Public Reviews

The press on Hostage Song previously

“A devastatingly poignant, strangely philosophical meditation on salvation that just happens to sport a sick downbeat” Time Out New York

“Hostage + Song = Masterpiece.” Chicago Now

“A high-decibel romantic comedy with a seriously unnerving edge. Chapman’s delicately rendered scenes flow effortlessly into Jarrow’s songs, which are outgrowths of the characters’ fantasies. The show isn’t solemn - it actually rocks - but it isn’t in bad taste either. Instead, it brings a punk aesthetic to a common dilemma: the desire to connect with the most horrific stories of the day.” The New Yorker

“In a season of unlikely musicals, on Broadway and off, Hostage Song maybe the oddest of all. Mr Jarrow’s songs are catchy, straight-up melodic rock with a strong beat… fantasy is transformed into emotionally sustaining reality.” The New York Times

“Hostage song is strong stuff that must be seen to be appreciated.” Backstage

"Harrowing, gutsy, brazen, relevant, mind-imploding, yet also tragically, poignantly, beautifully human." From the Ledge

“A thrilling life-rock-concert vibe… What sets this above many shows about or relating to war, is finding a fresh lens for our media-wary eyes to see through… Exquisitely and unexpectedly subtle.”

“A thrilling show” Time Out New York

“This is the rare show that works on all levels, from Chapman’s arresting metaphors to Butler’s relentless direction, Jarrow’s serrated anthems, and the cast’s raw honesty” New Theater Corps

“Bottom line: Hostage Song will make you laugh, have your head bopping and fingers snapping, and induce a panic attack. How many theatrical experiences can lay claim to that? It is also enormously and unexpectedly funny.”

“Consider it a grim, melodic and ultimately heartbreaking mash-up of Arcade Fire and A Mighty Heart. …Undeniably moving to its breathtaking end.” Time Out Chicago

“I’ve never seen a musical quite like this one – which means GO!” David Bell, Show Showdown

“It’s touching, funny, gripping and ultimately, yes, transcendental theater.” Blogcritics Magazine


“Chapman clearly delights in the details of his characters’ unusual predicaments” Seattle Weekly on Rest Area

“Unsettling, disturbing and dark musings in what often seems to be a surrealistic landscape of one’s imaginings” Richmond Times-Dispatch on Rest Area

“A sick genius” Flavorpill on The Pumpkin Pie Show

“Like a rundown carnival’s dark ride attraction, Clay McLeod Chapman packs his monologues, short stories, novels and plays with the unnerving sense that serious danger is lurking just around the bend” The Villager on The Penalty


“NYC’s hipster playwriter” The New York Times

"Mr. Jarrow is the kind of writer who likes to provoke people." The New Yorker

“A weird and endearing dramatist” Time Out New York

“Jarrow's rapidly growing body of work proves that just because something is entertaining doesn't mean it's trivial.” The New York Sun

“Jarrow's melodies are insanely catchy... [he's] a Brooklyn-based whiz kid." Boston’s Weekly Dig


Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays
22, 23, 24, 29, 30 June, 1, 6, 7, 8 July 2014

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

Performance Length: TBA.

Tickets £18, £16 concessions


Music and Lyrics by Kyle Jarrow

Book by Clay McLeod Chapman

Directed by James Veitch

Designed by Philip Lindley

Lighting by Nic Farman

Sound by Matt Downing

Musical Direction by Michael Riley

Presented by Pale Fire.