Summer Season | May to August 2015


by Alan Seymour

Tuesday, 19 May – Saturday, 13 June 2015

The first UK production in over fifty years

★★★★★ Britishtheatre.Com
★★★★ The Guardian
★★★★ Theatrecat
★★★★ Londontheatre1.Com
★★★★ Theatre Bubble

“ Well, you know what day this is? This days used to mean someth’n’ once...If it wasn’t for men like my old man this country’d never bin heard of. They put Australia on the map they did, the ANZACs did. An’ bloody died doin’ it. ”

In a production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre as part of its GreatWar100 series to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign, Defibrillator return to the Finborough Theatre with the first UK production in over fifty years of Alan Seymour’s iconic play The One Day of the Year, directed by Wayne Harrison, former Artistic Director of the Sydney Theatre Company, opening for a four week limited season on Tuesday, 19 May 2015 (Press Nights: Thursday, 21 May at 7.30pm).

Is ANZAC Day just an excuse for “one long grog-up” or is it a day when Australians reflect on those who have paid the ultimate price?

One of Australia's most popular and favourite plays, The One Day of the Year explores the universal theme of father-son conflict against the background of the beery haze and the heady, nostalgic sentimentality of ANZAC Day – Australia's equivalent of Remembrance Sunday – and a sacred cow among Australian annual celebrations.

For war veterans like Alf and his friend Wacka, ANZAC Day is an opportunity to commemorate history and the forging of Australia's national identity.

For Alf’s son Hughie, reacting against everything his father stands for, ANZAC Day is a just an out-of-date nationalist nostalgia fest, so he decides to do a photo-essay for a magazine portraying the "real" celebration of the day: ex-servicemen passed out in the gutter in an alcoholic stupor...

The One Day of the Year generated huge controversy in Australia following its publication in 1960 with a policeman stationed at the stage door to ward off the angry public, while death threats were sent to the author. Last seen in the UK at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1961, this production rediscovers an Australian theatre classic.

Marking the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign and taking place during a year of world-wide ceremonies commemorating the battle, the production is presented as part of the annual Australia and New Zealand Festival of Literature and Arts.


Playwright Alan Seymour was born in Fremantle, Western Australia, in 1927. Known as a playwright, novelist, television writer and producer, and theatre critic, his plays include Swamp Creatures, The Gaiety of Nations, A Break in the Music, The Pope and the Pill, The Shattering and The Float. He has also written novels including The Coming Self-Destruction of the United States and spent time working for the BBC for which he wrote adaptations of L.P. Hartley’s Eustace and Hilda, Antonia White’s Frost in May and John Masefield’s The Box of Delights. Alan Seymour died on 23 March 2015, aged 87.


Director Wayne Harrison is a former Artistic Director of Sydney Theatre Company, as well as Creative Director of Sydney's New Year’s Eve celebration, the director of the Closing Ceremony for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, and co-producer of Gumboots, Tap Dogs, Slava’s Snowshow and Fosse for Back Row Productions and Clear Channel Entertainment (Europe). Recent international theatre includes Letter to Larry (Theatre Nesle, Paris), For Crying Out Loud (The Grand Theatre, Ontario), Human Nature -The Motown Show (The Venetian, Las Vegas), The Choir of Man (Darwin Festival), RU4Me (Australian tour), Celebrity Autobiography and Love, Loss, and What I Wore (Sydney Opera House and Ross Mollison International) and Sunday in the Park with George (NIDA, Sydney). He is Head of Creation for Spiegelworld International for which he has directed Absinthe, Desir, Empire (all in New York City), Vegas Nocturne (Las Vegas) and Absinthe (Miami and Las Vegas). His 2015 projects include Don Reid’s Young and Jackson (45 Downstairs, Melbourne), Justin Fleming’s Shellshock (Riverside Theatres, Parramatta).


Paul Haley | Wacka

Theatre includes The Elephant Man, A Christmas Carol (South East Asia Tour), Twenty Years Hard Labour (Sadler's Wells and Tour), Tess of the D’Urbervilles (Savoy Theatre), Sweeney Todd (Theatr Clwyd Cymru and Tour), The Relationship  (Riverside Studios),  As You Like It (Nottingham Playhouse), Cinderella (Freud Theatre, Los Angeles), Blues for Mister Charlie (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), The Fifteen Streets (Playhouse Theatre), To All In Tents (The Young Vic), The Alchemist (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), When the Wind Blows  (Saltlageret Theatre Copenhagen), The Blackball Game, Of Mice and Men, Entertaining Mr Sloane (Bristol Old Vic), The Rivals, French Without Tears, My Fair Lady, As You Like It  (Crucible Theatre Sheffield), The Marriage of Figaro, The Party (National Theatre), Chess (UK and European Tour) High Society (Victoria Palace Theatre), King of Hearts (Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh), Side By Side By Sondheim  (Haymarket Theatre, Leicester) and Oliver! (West End and National Tour).
Film includes Last Chance Harvey, Claim, A Kind of Hush, Experience Preferred But Not Essential, Travels With My Aunt, The Charge of the Light Brigade and Oliver.
Television includes Doctors, Melodie Der Liebe, Intelligent Design on Trial, Ten Days to D-Day, The Blackout Murders, Barbara, Soldier Soldier, The Bill, Lovejoy, Eastenders, Medics, Making News, Intensive Care, Rockliffe’s Babies, A Small Problem, Minder, Lytton’s Diary, Murphy’s Mob, The Brief, Number 10, The Sandbaggers, King Lear, Frankie Howerd’s Hour, Frankie Howerd in Ulster, General Hospital, Warship and Upstairs Downstairs.

Mark Little | Alf

Trained at NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art), Sydney.
Theatre includes Defending the Caveman (West End and UK Tour), Taboo (West End and UK Tour), The Wind in The Willows (Sevenoaks Playhouse ), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stafford Castle), A Stretch of the Imagination (Cock Tavern), Cosi (White Bear Theatre), Serial Killers (Derby Playhouse), The Temple (Playbox Theatre, Melbourne) Twelfth Night and A Chorus of Disapproval (Melbourne Theatre Company).
Film includes Icon, Blackball, Distant Shadow, Motion, Summer Rain, The Rat Trap, Liliput Café, Greenkeeping, The Golden Braid, Nirvana Street Murder, A Cry in the Dark, Short Changed and An Indecent Obsession.
Television includes Ladies of Letters, Whites, Casualty, Emmerdale, Wish You Were Here, The Weakest Link, Pointless, The Wright Stuff, Jo Brand’s Hot Potatoes, No Worries Weekend, Pants on Fire, The Big Breakfast, Countdown Revolution, Waterfront, The Dunera Boys, A Matter of Convenience, The Gillies Republic, Neighbours and The Flying Doctors.
Mark won the Olivier Award for Best Entertainment in 2000 for his one man show Defending the Caveman. He won the Australian Television Society Award for Best Actor for the role of Ron Miller in The Flying Doctors, and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor by the Australian Film Institute for his roles in both Short Changed and An Indecent Obsession.

Fiona Press | Dot

Trained at NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art), Sydney.
Theatre includes Third World Blues, Two Weeks With the Queen, Coriolanus, Antony and Cleopatra, Shadowlands  (Sydney Theatre Company), The Threepenny Opera, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Fortunate Life (Melbourne Theatre Company), Is This Thing On?, Capricornia (Company B), After Magritte, The Legacy, The Proposal, Fishbein vs Leibowitz, Wild Honey, The Recruiting Officer (State Theatre Company of South Australia ), Face to Face, Charitable Intent, Neighbourhood Watch, Navigating Flinders (Ensemble Theatre),The Queen and I (Adelaide Festival Centre Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Bell Shakespeare Company), The Department Store, Jumping and All That (The Old Fitzroy Theatre) and The Winter’s Tale, Tartuffe (Nimrod Theatre now Company B).
Film includes The Little Death, San Andreas, Tracks, Say Nothing, Parrot, Disgrace, No Mail, Black Water, Jubulj, Passion, Oscar and Lucinda, Idiot Box, Children of the Revolution, Lilian’s Story, Call Waiting, The Spy Who Liked Me, This Won’t Hurt a Bit, No Worries, Every Little Breeze, Waiting, Flirting and Sparks.
Television includes The Moody’s, Old School, Return to Devil’s Playground, Home and Away, Rake, Packed to the Rafters, All Saints, Echo Point, Soldier Soldier, Stark, Always Greener, Backberner, Above the Law, Eden’s Lost, A Country Practice and Sons and Daughters.
Fiona won Best Actress Award at the 2000 Festival International Du Film Independent, Brussels, for her role in The Spy Who Liked Me, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role award for her role in Waiting at the 1991 American Film Institute Awards.

Adele Querol | Jan

Trained at WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts), Perth, and recently in New York studying with the Atlantic Theatre Company. 
Theatre includes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Sydney Theatre Company), Romeo and Juliet (Bell Shakespeare Company), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Sport For Jove Theatre Company) and The Importance of Being Earnest (Darlinghust Theatre). Film includes Dick’s Clinic, Ricochet (2013 St Kilda Film Festival Finalist), Winter Blues and Unwanted Friend (Tropfest finalist 2012).
Adele was awarded the Dame Joan Sutherland Fund, the PPCA Performers Trust Foundation as well as a scholarship from Atlantic Theatre Company.
Adele was nominated for Best Actress at the 2014 Houston Comedy Film Festival for her role in the comedy short Worst Date Ever. 

James William Wright | Hughie

Trained at Hunter School of Performing Arts, New South Wales.
Theatre includes The Credeaux Canvas (The Seymour Centre), Relative Merits, Butterflies are Free and Three Winters Green (King Street Theatre), November Spawned a Monster (Fly On the Wall Theatre), Once In Royal David’s City (Belvoir Street Theatre) The Jambles Ramble Cabaret Chat Show (Slide Lounge), The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me (Oxford Hotel and The Butterfly Club, Melbourne) and Orpheus in the Underworld (Opera Australia).
Film includes Behind Mansion Walls and Deadly Women.
Television includes Energy Australia Weekend Saver TVC.
James won the Special Award – Chief GLUG’s Encouragement Award in 2014 at the NSW GLUGS Theatre Awards in Sydney.


Defibrillator return to the Finborough Theatre following sell out four star productions of Doug Lucie’s Hard Feelings in 2013 and Rebecca Gilman’s Blue Surge in 2011. They also staged the highly successful season of The Hotel Plays by Tennessee Williams at the Langham Hotel in 2014.


THEGREATWAR100 series is a new occasional series of works about – or written during – the Great War to be presented by the Finborough Theatre from 2014 to 2018 to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.


“An Australian classic” The Australian

“ANZAC Day explodes into a domestic battleground in the Australian classic One Day of the Year" Daily Mirror (Australia)

“The One Day of the Year’s place in the history of Australian drama is not based on notoriety but on its universal relevance” The West Australian

“The One Day of the Year occupies an important place in Australian theatre.” The Times (Australia)

“Seymour’s play has qualities of human and social interest that remain unimpaired by time and change” Sydney Morning Herald


“Spectacular and kinetically stunning” David Cote, Time Out New York on Empire (New York)

“Let yourself be carried away by this passionate, astonishing production” Novel Observateur on Letter to Larry (Paris)

“An unmissable theatrical event” Sydney Morning Herald on End of the Rainbow (Sydney Opera House)


On Hard Feelings by Doug Lucie

“Defibrillator’s production is enjoyably snappy, with an excellent ensemble cast who create a convincing dynamic.” ★★★★ Daisy Bowie-Sell, Time Out

“Hillier’s production coaxes vividly particularised performances” ★★★★ Michael Billington, The Guardian

On Blue Surge by Rebecca Gilman

“This is an evening of great theatre.” ★★★★ Jeremy Kingston, The Times

“Ché Walker's production hits exactly the right note of pained intimacy” ★★★★ Michael Billington, The Guardian

“This is the UK première...and it's surprising that it has taken so long to come here” ★★★★ Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard


Tuesday, 19 May – Saturday, 13 June 2015

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 and 20 minutes.

Prices until 31 May 2015

Tickets £16, £14 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £14 all seats, Friday and Saturday evenings £16 all seats.
Previews (19 and 20 May) £12 all seats.

£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 Saturday, 23 May 2015 when booked online only.

Prices from 1 June 2015

Tickets £20, £18 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £18 all seats, Friday and Saturday evenings £20 all seats. 

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



Performance Length: Approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Directed by Wayne Harrison

Designed by Catherine Morgan

Costumes by Holly Rose Henshaw

Lighting by Marec Joyce

Sound by Chris Drohan

Presented by Defibrillator in association with Ironbark and Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre

Presented by arrangement with HLA Management Pty Ltd