Autumn 2014 | August - October 2014
The English premiere
“I am British, father. The terms ‘Scotch’ and ‘English’ became obsolete in the Union”
“ Did they? I’ll wager ye winna fin mony Englishmen caain themselves British and stertin to talk and dress like Scotsmen ”
Commissioned by the Finborough Theatre as part of its Scotland Decides/Tha Alba a'taghadh2014 season to coincide with the Scottish Independence Referendum on Thursday 18 September 2014, the English premiere of Robert McLellan's The Flouers o'Edinburgh.
A sparkling period satire on the aftermath of the 1707 Acts of Union, the Scottish Enlightenment and the battle between the Scots and English tongues.
Edinburgh in the mid 18th century. The eccentric Girzie Carmichael is consigned to an Edinburgh tenement after her country estate has been confiscated for the family's support of Bonnie Prince Charlie. As she fights to stop her estate being sold to a Londoner, she attempts to matchmake her feisty young niece, Kate, with humourless prig Charles Gilchrist whose English education has left him with a hilariously warped accent. Only one thing stands in the way of their union – Charles makes it a condition of their marriage that Kate agrees to learn “proper English”, but Kate flatly refuses to turn her back on her native Scots...
As poets, politicians and soldiers alike attend elocution classes to learn English, the lovers’ dispute soon leads to utter chaos...
First produced in 1948 starring the great Scottish actor Duncan Macrae, The Flouers o'Edinburgh has been widely produced and often revived throughout Scotland - most recently in 2007 at Pitlochry. This classic Scottish romp now receives its long overdue English premiere.
Playwright Robert McLellan OBE (1907-1985) is widely recognised as one of Scotland’s greatest dramatists, best known for his play on the young King James VI and I – Jamie the Saxt – which received its English premiere at the Finborough Theatre in 2007. Influenced by Hugh MacDiarmid and the Scottish Literary Renaissance movement, McLellan always wrote in Scots about Scottish subjects and characters. He was Honorary President of The Scottish Society of Playwrights, and awarded the OBE in 1975. As a younger Scots playwright, Donald Campbell, said: “Robert McLennan wasn’t just a playwright, he was something else – something different, something special. He was a superb lyric poet who happened to have the additional gift of a theatrical imagination.”
Director Jennifer Bakst is an international director working in theatre and opera across the UK, USA and Germany. At the Finborough Theatre, she directed the critically acclaimed world premiere of Armstrong's War as well as Hate Radio as part of Vibrant: A Festival of Finborough Playwrights. Jennifer is the former Resident Assistant Director at the Finborough Theatre where she assisted on Stewart Conn's Glasgow play I Didn’t Always Live Here, ROOMS: A Rock Romance, and Nothing is the End of the World (Except for the End of the World). Jennifer also worked as an Assistant Director at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Royal Academy of Music. Theatre and opera directing includes L'elisir d'amore (Fine Arts Theatre, USA), Bash (Etcetera Theatre), Selkie and Now We Are Three (Southwark Playhouse), Everything Happens at the Starlight Lounge (Vault Festival), The Collectors (Courtyard Theatre), Tiny Dynamite (Cockpit Theatre) and Fallen Angels (Theatro Technis). She will be directing Bong Hits 4 Jesus at Theatre503 and Acis and Galatea at the Arcola Theatre in 2014. Jennifer also translates dramatic texts from German into English, and is currently translating Rolf Hochhuth’s Sommer 14 for performance at the Finborough Theatre and publication by Oberon Books in August 2014.
Dani Arlington | Jeanie/Susie
Trained at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
Theatre includes A Pair of Beauties and Studs (Hull Truck Theatre and National Tour), Someone With A Naturally Cheerful Disposition Sought (The Space), Be My Baby (Gala Theatre, Durham), Hot Bed Cold Bed (Theatre503), Hush (Polka Theatre), The Women (Jackson's Lane Theatre), Third Floor and Comedy of Errors (Cockpit Theatre), Greek and Rita, Sue and Bob Too (The Karamel Club), Summer and Smoke, Ghosts and The Winters Tale (Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts).
Film includes Souled Out and Watchers.
Television includes Doctors.
Finlay Bain | Charles Gilchrist
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include 100 Men as part of Vibrant 2013 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights.
Trained at the Birmingham School of Acting.
Theatre includes Cinderella (Maltings Theatre, Berwick Upon Tweed), Blackwatch (National Theatre of Scotland), Othello (Sam Wanamaker Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe), Eddy, Diary of an Action Man, A Little Night Music, Assassins and The Revenger's Tragedy (Birmingham School of Acting) and Imprisoned in Edinburgh (Edinburgh Grand Opera).
Helen Belbin | Mistress Bell Baxter
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Northern Star.
Trained at Drama Studio London. Theatre includes Horizontal Collaboration (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh), Verdict (National Tour for Bill Kenwright), The Wonderful World of Joseph McCrumble (Stockton ARC), The Trial of Marie Antoinette (Once Theatre), Beauty and the Beast, Forest Creatures (Puppet Lab), A Christmas Carol (St George’s West Players, Edinburgh), Battle in the Hills, The Storm Watchers (Theatre Enigma) and developing Lady Chatterley’s Boys (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith).
Film includes Always in the Present, Artificial Horizon and Je Suis Daddy.
Radio includes HR and readings for The Saturday Review and Front Row.
Robert Bradley | Sandy/Bailie
Trained at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
Theatre includes The Lost Case of the Mondays (Park Theatre), The Door (Park Theatre and Brighton Fringe), Silent Partners (White Bear Theatre), The Incredible Doctor Guttmann (National Tour), Riddance (Cockpit Theatre), The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) (New Red Lion Theatre) Sleeping Around (New Players Theatre), Three Sisters, The Way of the World, The Winter’s Tale and The Trojan Women (Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts), Timeshare and Shakespeare for Breakfast (Edinburgh Festival).
Film includes Locked, Bruised, Incarnadine, The Search and The Beckoning.
Tom Durant-Pritchard | Captain Simkin
Trained at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
Theatre includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Southbank Centre), The Tempest (Minack Theatre, Cornwall), The Perfectionist (Theatre503), The Tempest, Sir John Oldcastle and Sam Wanamaker Festival (Shakespeare’s Globe), Impotent (Lion and Unicorn Theatre), Missing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Cockpit Theatre), Glengarry Glen Ross, A Month in the Country and Electra (Jackson's Lane Theatre), Animal Farm, The Lady From The Sea, The Winter’s Tale, After The Fall, Closer (Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts) and Arabian Nights (Menier Chocolate Factory).
Film includes The Skin, I Am Soldier, Farm From The Madding Crowd and Jack The Giant Slayer.
Television includes Eve of St Agnes and King Lear Shakespeare Uncovered.
David Gooderson | General
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include The Potting Shed and Portraits, and writing and directing The Killing of Mr Toad and So Great A Crime.
Theatre includes Saint’s Day, Overboard, A Penny for a Song, The Woman Hater, The Road to Ruin, The After-Dinner Joke (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ariadne on Naxos, Die Fledermaus (English Touring Opera), The Taming of the Shrew, Richard III, King Lear (Ludlow Festival), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, The Boys from Syracuse, Lady Be Good and The Taming of the Shrew (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park).
Film includes Limited Edition.
Television includes Doctor Who, A Touch of Frost, Mapp and Lucia, Casualty, Footballers' Wives, Tenko, Searching, Just William, Rumpole, Murder Most Horrid, Lovejoy, Bluebell, and Mr Sloane. Writing includes The Wind in the Willows (West End), Kolbe's Gift (Leicester Square Theatre), Walk or Die, Waste of Glory, Death of a Village and So Great a Crime.
Jenny Lee | Girzie
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include I Didn’t Always Live Here and Too True To Be Good.
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 and Derngate Theatres, 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, Sadler’s Wells), 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 (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.
Leigh Lothian | Miss Kate Mair of Drummore
Trained at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
Theatre includes Selkie (Southwark Playhouse), The Beautiful Game (Unicorn Theatre), Avenue Q, Kiss Me Kate (Gatehouse Theatre), Chariots of Fire (Gielgud Theatre), Old Goat Song (Lion and Unicorn Theatre), Mean Girls (Tour for AIM Productions), Beauty and the Beast (Motherwell Theatre) and Anything Goes, Sweeney Todd, Carousel and Parade (Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts).
Workshops include Lia’s Guide To Winning The Lottery (Perfect Pitch Productions).
Andrew Loudon | Baldernock/Nabob
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include The Oedipus Table.
Theatre includes Show Me the Money (Chelsea Theatre), Tartuffe (Traffic of the Stage), Gertrude’s Secret (National Tour), Sherlock Holmes (European Tour), Blackbeard the Pirate and The Battle of Waterloo (National Theatre – Watch This Space Festival), Deadly Murder (Vienna’s English Theatre), Joking Apart (Northcott Theatre, Exeter and the Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke), Murdered to Death (National Tour), French Without Tears (Northcott Theatre, Exeter), Daphne (Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke) The Country Wife (London Classic Theatre Company), The Trainer (Apollo Theatre), Dick Daredevil (The Drill Hall), The Turn of the Screw (Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch), Dangerous Play (Arts Theatre), Ken and Barb and Lear (Edinburgh Festival), The Wind in the Willows (Anglo Artists), Brave New World (National Tour), The Doctor and the Devils and Under Milk Wood (Theatre Royal Plymouth), The Dumb Waiter (Italian Tour), Brideshead Revisited (Snap Theatre Company), Far From The Madding Crowd (King’s Head Theatre), Arsenic and Old Lace, Sailor Beware Separate Tables and The 39 Steps (Pitlochry Festival Theatre).
Film includes Hamlet, Busker’s Odyssey, The Nowhere Man, Almost Home, Number 10/6 and Telepathy.
Television includes May Day, Doctors, Monarch of the Glen, Peak Practice, Next of Kin, Absolutely Fabulous, Grange Hill and The Bill.
Kevin McMonagle | Sir Charles Gilchrist
Theatre includes A Doll’s House (National Theatre of Scotland), Twelfth Night, The Tempest, The Comedy of Errors and Richard III (Royal Shakespeare Company), Kin, Ladybird and Thyestes (Royal Court Theatre), Pieces of Vincent (Paines Plough at the Arcola Theatre), The Girls of Slender Means and The Unconquered (Stellar Quines at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh), Ghosts, Waiting for Godot and Therese Raquin (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow), The Family Reunion (Donmar Warehouse), Fall (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh), Educating Agnes (L’Ecolle des Femmes), Anna Karenina and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh), Hamlet and Broken Glass (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Further Than The Furthest Thing (National Theatre).
Film includes Greenfingers.
Television includes New Tricks, Rebus, Krakatoa – The Last Days, Monarch of the Glen VI, Quite Ugly One Morning, Rose and Maloney, Inspector Rebus, Blue Murder and Bramwell I-II-III-IV.
Lewis Rae | Jock Carmichael
Productions at the Finborough Theatre includes I Didn’t Always Live Here and 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.
Richard Stirling | The Reverend Daniel Dowie
Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes My Favourite Madam (Edinburgh Festival and Tristan Bates Theatre), Gay’s the Word (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Arts Theatre), A Tale of Two Cities (Gatehouse Theatre), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Studio Theatre, Washington), Over My Shoulder (National Tour and Wyndham’s Theatre), Out of Order (Southwold and Aldeburgh Theatres), Private Lives (National Theatre), Thérèse Raquin (Riverside Studios), 40 Years On (Northcott Theatre, Exeter) Taking Steps (Vienna’s English Theatre), The Ghost Train (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, and National Tour), An Awfully Big Adventure and Great Expectations (Liverpool Playhouse), An Inspector Calls (National Tour), When I Was A Girl I Used to Scream and Shout (Library Theatre, Manchester) and Breaking The Code (Theatre Royal Haymarket).
Film includes Scoop, Mrs Dalloway, War Requiem and Little Dorrit.
Television includes Conquer the Castle, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend, The Prince and the Pauper, In Your Dreams and The Secret Agent.
The Finborough Theatre, well known to their commitment to Scottish playwrights, presents its month long Scotland Decides/Tha Alba a'taghadh2014, a month long season to coincide with the Scottish Independence Referendum on Thursday 18 September 2014. The season includes three classic Scottish rediscoveries and a brand new play, three of which are receiving their English premieres. The sparkling 18th century satire on the Union of Scotland and England, The Flouers o'Edinburgh by Robert McLellan plays for four weeks from 2–27 September 2014; the English premiere of the Scots verse drama on the life of 'Braveheart'– The Wallace by Sydney Goodsir Smith, plays on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays between 7–23 September 2014; the English premiere of leading 'Yes' campaigner Alan Bissett's new play Jock: Scotland on Trial runs for four late night performances between 10–13 September 2014; and a staged reading of John McGrath's Little Red Hen – a sweeping history of 'Red Clydeside' that asks whether political self-determination is ever achievable without economic independence – receives a staged reading on the evening of referendum day itself - Thursday, 18 September 2014.
“Tight, focused direction from Jennifer Bakst.” Reviewsgate
“I can't see how it can be better served than by Bakst's effortlessly moving production.” Partially Obstruced View
“A thought-provoking theatrical gem of a production.” WhatsOnStage
“Jennifer Bakst’s direction draws committed and honest performances from the actors.” British Theatre Guide
“Details and emotional nuances that ring absolutely true, and that Jennifer Bakst's production brings beautifully to the fore.” One Stop Arts
“Jennifer Bakst’s precise production has some beautifully joyous moments.” Bargain Theatreland
“Each scene has its own unique pace, tone, and level of engagement, testament to Jennifer Bakst expertly nuanced direction, and refuses to let you make up your mind about the characters before the final words are spoken.” What’s Peen Seen
“Rich contemporary resonances” ★★★★ Four Stars, The Scotsman
“A thoroughly enjoyable entertainment with more contemporary bite than is ever expected.” ★★★★ Four Stars, The Times
“Peppered throughout with a hilarious series of cameos and character types, right down to the maid in serious danger of popping out of her frock, the flowers bloomed tonight for some serious fun.” Neil Cooper, Herald Scotland
“Robert McLellan’s romp about the Scottish cultural changes following union with England.” Peter Cargill, The Stage
“A damned good night’s entertainment.” Peter Cargill, The Stage
“Robert McLellan's frivolous dig at the social climbing pretentions of Edinburgh's eighteenth century old time elite.” Neil Cooper, Herald Scotland
“A jolly romp that's lost little of its satirical sting.” The Scotsman
“One of the funniest, most perceptive and most loving plays ever written about the Scots tongue.” Joyce McMillan, Joyce McMillan Online
One of The Times ' Top Five Plays in London
“Anyone thinking modern politics are peculiarly intrigue-filled and faction-ridden should take a look at this English premiere...for the Finborough’s valuable “Rediscoveries” season.” Timothy Ramsden, Reviewsgate
“Just the thing I would suggest for exiled Scots nostalgic for Edinburgh's political in-fighting...Full measure is given to such characteristic Scottish pleasantries, uttered by the king to a departing cleric, as "gart ye lick yer vomit... I enjoyed the muscularity of McLellan's language and the play's narrative drive.” Michael Billington, The Guardian
“Brimful of Scottish virility.” Claire Ingrams, Rogues and Vagabonds
“A treat...It works superbly on stage.” Lloyd Evans, The Spectator
“A delightful comedy exploring some of the sillier by-products of Union three centuries ago.” Gerald Berkowitz, TheatreGuide London
“As a response to the referendum it's a cannily affectionate look at a sometimes awkward partnership, and probably the funniest, silliest thing the Finborough's dug out of the archives since Quality Street.” Partially Obstructed View
“A Sheridanesque comedy about wayward sons and grouchy patriarchs, accessorised with a grand dame and a surly girly.” Patrick Marmion, Time Out
“Wherever McLellan is next revived, I’ll be first in the queue.” Lloyd Evans, The Spectator
“An enjoyable evening.” Gerald Berkowitz, TheatreGuide London
“As is often the case with plays put on at the Finborough, this is excellent theatre.” Rahul Rose, Everything Theatre
"While the themes are serious, it’s all done with a light touch and is helped along with fine comic performances throughout.” Robbie Lumsden, Bargain Theatreland
“This sparkling comedy in the vein of Sheridan focuses on a love triangle, the battle of the Scots and English tongues, and political satire.” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network
“The play makes clear that in the three hundred years since the Acts of Union some things haven’t changed very much at all – the Scots are still very much Scottish, despite English efforts to the contrary.” Rahul Rose, Everything Theatre
“It was a privilege to be in such a cozy room with a large and accomplished ensemble as they dealt with complex social issues in a highly entertaining fashion.” Andy Humm, Gay City News
“The Flouers o'Edinburgh was written as long ago as 1948 and set a couple of centuries before that but is still able to make a significant contribution to a debate that is now hotting up as the Yes campaign moves into overdrive and polls suggest a close-run race on 18 September.” Philip Fisher, British Theatre Guide
“Kevin McMonagle as Gilchrist’s weary, wily father and Lewis Rae as the permanently aflap Jock, the loyal retainer with a flair for baking, deliver a couple of beguiling turns.” Sam Marlowe, The Times
“Especially fine are Lewis Rae as servant Jock, Jenny Lee as the lady of the house, dry Kevin McMonagle as Sir Charles, Finlay Bain as his would-be-politician son, and Andrew Loudon in two key roles.” Andy Humm, Gay City News
“Jenny Lee as Girzie, Kevin McMonagle as Sir Charles, Tom Durant-Pritchard as Simkin and Andrew Loudon as Baldernock deliver well-observed performances in a relaxed and truthful manner.” Lloyd Evans, The Spectator
“Jenny Lee as Girzie has the right mixture of flutter and authority, Richard Stirling does a neat turn as a ruddy-faced, red-haired pastor-poet with a guilty interest in theatre.” Heather Neill, ArtsDesk.com
“A great comic performance by Lewis Rae.” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network
“Lewis Rae as the long-suffering Jock is both comic and sympathetic.” Heather Neill, ArtsDesk.com
“Finlay Bain is superb.” Rahul Rose, Everything Theatre
“Finlay Bain cuts a nicely petulant dandy.” Patrick Marmion, Time Out
“Finlay Bain is hilarious.” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network
“Brilliantly performed by Leigh Lothian.” Robbie Lumsden, Bargain Theatreland
“Leigh Lothian's determinedly unladylike behaviour and Finlay Bain's obnoxious prissiness are even Better Together (ahem.)” Partially Obstructed View
“Jennifer Bakst’s hale-and-hearty production.” Patrick Marmion, Time Out
“Director Jennifer Bakst and her crew have brought an illuminating gem to life.” Andy Humm, Gay City News
“There is also a handsome, atmospheric set of wood panels, flock wallpaper and flickering candles from Phillip Lindley.” Patrick Marmion, Time Out
“A wondrous Finborough set.” Philip Fisher, British Theatre Guide
“Designer Philip Lindley’s compact and stylish set is excellent.” Lloyd Evans, The Spectator
“It is a bit surprising that only few theatres include productions regarding the referendum in Scotland on 18th September in their programming considering the importance of the event.” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network
“The Finborough is, surprisingly enough, the only London theatre to be marking the upcoming independence referendum in Scotland.” Partially Obstructed View
“Using their famed skill for making important discoveries beyond the usual repertoire, they have uncovered Robert McLellan’s 1948 play The Flouers O’Edinburgh. It’s a bold and interesting choice of work; while in recent years it has been popularly revived in Scotland, Jennifer Bakst’s production marks its English premiere.” Robbie Lumsden, Bargain Theatreland
“Down south...you would hardly have known that the biggest decision in living Scottish memory is less than a fortnight away...All credit therefore goes to the Finborough for an ambitious programme entitled Scotland Decides 2014 (Tha Alba a'Taghadh 2014), headlined by this play.” Philip Fisher, British Theatre Guide
“Who knows, it might even provide an insight into a radical future that could begin before the run ends.” Philip Fisher, British Theatre Guide
Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm.
Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm.
Saturday Matinees 3.00pm (from second week of the run).
Performance Length: Approximately 2 hours.
Please note there will be no performance on Thursday, 18 September 2014.
Tickets £16, £14 concessions
£10 tickets for Under 30's for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only.
£12 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on first Saturday of the run when booked online only.
Tickets £18, £16 concessions
except Tuesday Evenings £16 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £18 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.