Winter Season | November 2016 - February 2017


by Howard Brenton

Tuesday, 25 October – Saturday, 19 November 2016

The first full professional London production in over 40 years

“I loathe us, I loathe our stupid puerile view of the World … That WE have only to do it, that WE have only to go puff, and the monster buildings will go splat…”

London, the early 70s. Poverty, homelessness, rising inequality, unemployment, industrial disputes. Five young activists squat a disused building and try to make a stand against it all.

Fired up by left-wing idealism but short on pragmatism, they discover that the revolution may be a long time coming, and when the protest leads to tragedy, some of them are driven to more violent methods. Meanwhile, two Tory MPs meet for a quiet chat to pass over the reins of power.

Both epic and intimate, Magnificence takes us from the grubby barracks of the revolutionary struggle, to the heart of centre-right Tory politicking, creating a panoramic vision of Britain at a pivotal moment in history. Many of its themes remain burning issues today – police brutality, drug abuse, the deceptions of professional politicians, the social housing crisis, and whether violence can ever be justified for political ends.

Magnificence originally premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in June 1973, directed by Max Stafford-Clark, and with a cast including Pete Postlethwaite, Kenneth Cranham, Michael Kitchen and Robert Eddison.

The run will be accompanied by the FINBOROUGHFORUM, a series of informal post-show discussions and debates, on Wednesday evenings: 26 October, 2, 9 and 16 November. All events are free to ticketholders for that evening's performance of the play. FINBOROUGHFORUM events will all be Twitter friendly with live tweets from @FinboroughForum. Using the hashtag #finfor, the speakers will also answer questions posed on Twitter so everyone can be included, no matter where they are in the world. The events will feature a Q&A session with Howard Brenton, discussions with academics on the political parallels between the early 70s and today, and panel talks with present-day activists campaigning on similar themes.


Wednesday, 26 October
QandA with Magnificence’s director Josh Roche and the cast

Wednesday, 2 November
Panel discussion chaired by Josh Roche with a panel including Louise Stephens (Deputy Literary Manager at The Royal Court Theatre), Kam Sandhu (investigative journalist, editor and co-founder of Real Media) and Jamie Kelsey Fry, occupier, activist and contributing editor to New Internationalist magazine.

Wednesday, 9 November
Discussion with playwright Howard Brenton and Max Stafford-Clark (director of the original production of Magnificence at the Royal Court Theatre in 1973)

Wednesday, 16 November
Discussion with playwright Howard Brenton and director Josh Roche


Playwright Howard Brenton is one of the UK’s most respected dramatists. His acclaimed past plays include The Romans In Britain, Bloody Poetry, Weapons of Happiness, Pravda with David Hare, and more recently In Extremis, Anne Boleyn and Doctor Scroggy’s War for Shakespeare’s Globe, Paul and Never So Good for the National Theatre, and 55 Days, The Arrest of Ai Weiwei, Drawing the Line and Lawrence After Arabia at Hampstead Theatre. He also wrote fourteen episodes of BBC spy drama Spooks.


Director Josh Roche is the Artistic Director of Fat Git Theatre. He has been an Assistant and Associate Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company (working on Gregory Doran’s Death of a Salesman, Maria Aberg’s Doctor Faustus and Polly Findlay’s The Alchemist), with John Dove at Shakespeare’s Globe (The Taming of the Shrew, Doctor Scroggy's War, Farinelli and the King), with Steve Marmion at Soho Theatre (Utopia, The Boy Who Fell into a Book), with English Touring Theatre (Eternal Love) and with nabokov (Blink). For Fat Git Theatre, he has directed A Third (Finborough Theatre), Winky (Soho Theatre and Underbelly at the Edinburgh Festival), Encounter (Theatre503), (i feel fine) (New Diorama Theatre and Vault Festival), Uninvited (New Diorama Theatre and Bedlam Theatre at the Edinburgh Festival) and Gaia: New Approaches as the culmination of Fat Git’s residency at the University of Warwick. Other direction includes The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Warwick Arts Centre Studio) and The Cafe, a site-specific play at The Coffee Works Project in association with Old Red Lion Theatre. He also works as a dramaturg and literary consultant for Sonia Friedman Productions and the Soho Theatre.


Will Bliss | Will

Trained at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes Doctor Faustus, Don Quixote and The Alchemist (Royal Shakespeare Company), Money, Medea and Tropicana (Shunt Theatre Company), Double Think (Edinburgh Festival), Darker The Night and Roast (Hen and Chickens Theatre), Pool Hall at the End of the Earth (Theatre503), and Honoria and Mammon and Unfortunate Mother (The Owle Schreame Theatre Company).
Film includes Cold Calling, Art Is… and Godard and Others.
Television includes Lucky Man, Mr Sloane, EastEnders, Jo, Utopia, Holby City, Dave Shakespeare, White Heat, Oh My God and Misfits.

Tyson Douglas | Cliff

Theatre includes Timon of Athens (National Theatre), La Boheme (Soho Theatre), Bouncers (Leicester Square Theatre), Stitched Up (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Lost In Mozart and Sweet Charity (Edinburgh Festival), The Winning Crowd (Lost Theatre) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Saint Joan (Workhouse Theatre).  Film includes D Is For Detroit.
Television includes Doctors and Holby City.
Radio includes A Small Town Murder.

Tim Faulkner | Constable/Alice

Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Sommer 14.
Theatre includes The Mousetrap (St Martin’s Theatre), The Guardsman (Albery Theatre), Dangerous Corner (Ambassadors Theatre), Inspiration Gala Performance (London Palladium), One Moment in Time (Her Majesty's Theatre), Collision (Hackney Empire), Three Women (King’s Head Theatre), The Dorchester (Jermyn Street Theatre), Above All Courage (New End Theatre, Hampstead) A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet (Stafford Festival Shakespeare), Emilia Galotti (Trilogy Theatre Company), Lock Up Your Daughters (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry), Outside Edge (Churchill Theatre, Bromley), Boston Story and Charley's Aunt (The Mill at Sonning), First Impressions (Theatre Royal Margate) and The Dream Time (Edinburgh Festival).
Television includes Much Ado About Nothing, Messiah, Inspector Morse, Rumpole of The Bailey, Howards Way, Casualty, Doctors, My Hero, The Fourth Arm, Allo Allo, Stalkey and Co and Old Men at The Zoo.

Joel Gillman | Jed

Theatre includes A Life Of Galileo (Royal Shakespeare Company), Chicken Soup With Barley (Royal Court Theatre), Saved (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith) and The Way Of The World (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield).
Television includes The Living And The Dead, Frankenstein Chronicles, Ripper Street, Silent Witness, Walter, Casualty, The Mimic, Being Human and Garrow’s Law.

Daisy Hughes | Mary

Theatre includes Doctor Scroggy's War (Shakespeare's Globe), Eternal Love (Shakespeare's Globe and National Tour), Gallathea (Shakespeare's Globe At The Wilderness Festival), Richard III (Royal Shakespeare Company), Swimming (Soho Theatre), Playing With Grown Ups (Theatre503 and 59E59 Theaters, New York) and The Illusion (Southwark Playhouse).
Film includes The Merciless Beauty, The Price Of Death, Kids In Love and Home At Last.
Television includes Doctors.

Hayward B Morse | Babs/Old Man

Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Eden’s Empire, Weapons of Happiness and So Great A Crime.
Trained at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes 84 Charing Cross Road (Arts Theatre, Cambridge), Bar Mitvah Boy and School for Wives (Upstairs at the Gatehouse), Barking In Essex (Wyndham’s Theatre), Barefoot In The Park (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford), An Ideal Husband (English Theatre of Frankfurt), The Caretaker, London Suite and Relatively Speaking (English Theatre of Hamburg), Deathtrap (Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon), Travels With My Aunt (Birmingham Rep),The Rocky Horror Show (King’s Road Theatre), The Canterbury Tales (Phoenix Theatre), What The Butler Saw (Queen’s Theatre) and the Broadway production of Butley (Morosco Theater, New York) for which he received a Tony award nomination.
Film includes Agency and Death Wish 3.
Television includes The Secret Files, James May’s Man Lab and Footballers’ Wives.
Audio work includes The Theban Plays, The Discourses of Epictetus, The Life of the Buddha and over 100 audiobooks for the Royal National Institute For Blind People.

Chris Porter | Slaughter/Lenin

Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Martine.
Trained at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes Romeo and Juliet (Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company, Garrick Theatre), The Winter’s Tale and The Maid’s Tragedy (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Winter's Tale, The Taming of the Shrew, The Wind in the Willows, Henry V, Twelfth Night, Othello, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Merry Wives of Windsor (Guildford Shakespeare Company), Round and Round the Garden (The Mill at Sonning), What the Dickens (Drum Theatre, Plymouth), Friend or Foe (Mercury Theatre, Colchester), The Hypochondriac (Liverpool Playhouse), Victory and The Art of Success (Arcola Theatre), Hard Times (Compass Theatre, Ickenham), Onysos the Wild (Theatre503 and Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh), Tartuffe (Watermill Theatre, Newbury), Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Globe Theatre, Warsaw), Angels Among The Trees (Nottingham Playhouse), The Legend of King Arthur and Bartleby (Red Shift Theatre Comapny), Saints Day and The Road to Ruin (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond) and The Dwarfs, The Local Stigmatic and Lakeboat (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, and Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh).
Film includes The Winslow Boy.
Television includes Bad Girls, Footballers' Wives, The Bill, Nail Bomber and The Genius of Mozart.
Radio includes The Wild Asses Skin and Heart Transplant.

Eva-Jane Willis | Veronica

Trained at Drama Centre London.
Theatre includes Perfect Match (Palace Theatre, Watford), We Really Should Do Something (Bush Theatre), Long Story Short (Pleasance London and Charing Cross Theatre), Next Door and Bruises (Tabard Theatre) and The 3rd Sector and En Folkefiende (Pleasance London).
Film includes Chick Lit, Le Medre and Only Child.
Television includes Humans, Uncle and Maigret Sets a Trap.
Awards include First Prize Laurence Olivier Bursary Award.


“Arguably [Brenton’s] first real masterpiece” Andrew Dickson, The Guardian

“A wonderful piece of theatre; annexing whole new chunks of modern life and presenting them in a style at once truthful and magnified.” Irving Wardle, The Times.


★★★★ Live Theatre UK

“Really worth seeing.” Alun Hood, WhatsOnStage

“Brilliantly comic.” Maryam Philpott, The Reviews Hub

“Brilliantly witty.” Alun Hood, WhatsOnStage

“Complex and fierce.” Alice Josephs, Traffic Light Theatregoer

“Its radical themes still reverberate today.” Neil Dowden, Exeunt Magazine

“Disturbing and entertaining.” Alun Hood, WhatsOnStage

“Magnificence is a very thought provoking play, which has been brought to the stage in a highly imaginative way.” Richard Brownlie-Marshall, The Huffington Post

“Chillingly prescient.” Alun Hood, WhatsOnStage

“A really lively piece of theatre with moments of surprisingly absurd, satirical humour.” Neil Dowden, Exeunt Magazine

“It still has currency in our twentieth first century.” Alice Josephs, Traffic Light Theatregoer

“This tragi-comic piece is directed with clarity and pace by Josh Roche.” Alice Josephs, Traffic Light Theatregoer

“There are plenty of parallels between the situation 40 years ago and today, which this new show exploits.” Maryam Philpott, The Reviews Hub

“They proceed in snapshots, each one a delightfully crafted conversation, before colliding in a sublimely droll final scene.” Fergus Morgan, A Younger Theatre

“Brenton’s vision of revolutionary zeal is memorably strange.” Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard

“It is a beautifully written and produced and performed to very high standards.” Viola Patrick, Live Theatre UK

“The questions that Brenton implicitly raises are still with us.” Howard Luxton, British Theatre Guide

“There a sharp strain of satire and social criticism running through the story.” Aleks Sierz,

“Written, published and produced in 1973, Magnificence may very well have been set in 2016 for all its profound relevance today.” Viola Patrick, Live Theatre UK

“Magnificence is a tightly focused story about radicalization and political gesture.” David Ralf, The Stage

“Vigorously performed.” Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard

“Magnificence is a truly wonderful production, performed by a cast of highly skilled actors.” Richard Brownlie-Marshall, The Huffington Post

“Josh Roche's production features an excellent cast.” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network

“Tyson Douglas as Cliff delivers a captivating performance.” Richard Brownlie-Marshall, The Huffington Post

“Bliss and Douglas are delightful to watch.” Viola Patrick, Live Theatre UK

“A nicely provocative chirpiness by Will Bliss.” Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard

“Chris Porter produces exactly the right mixture of self-importance and neurosis as the bailiff.” Howard Luxton, British Theatre Guide

“Willis shares some nice scenes with Hughes’ Mary but is glorious in the final scenes at the squat.” Viola Patrick, Live Theatre UK

“Willis performs with a great focus, which commands the attention of the audience.” Richard Brownlie-Marshall, The Huffington Post

“Hayward B Morse makes him a delicious old queen, absolutely outrageous, instantly recognisable and very funny.” Howard Luxton, British Theatre Guide

“Hayward B Morse delivering a masterclass in fine acting, both deeply poignant and hysterically funny.” Alun Hood, WhatsOnStage

“Babs as portrayed by Hayward B Morse in a beautifully crafted performance.” Viola Patrick, Live Theatre UK

“Joel Gillman’s Jed is full of rage and despair.” Maryam Philpott, The Reviews Hub

“Jed’s transition is sketchily handled.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Joel Gillman, terrific as disillusioned and desperate Jed.” Alun Hood, WhatsOnStage

“Gillman skilfully portrays the change from righteously fired up fanatic to the disenfranchised, coked up desperado.” Viola Patrick, Live Theatre UK

“Tim Faulkner seamlessly wraps his character round the machinations of Babs in a finely timed performance.” Viola Patrick, Live Theatre UK

“Particularly stylish performances from Faulkner, Porter, and Morse.” Fergus Morgan, A Younger Theatre

“Josh Roche’s direction manages to construct an epic feel when called for.” Richard Brownlie-Marshall, The Huffington Post

“In Josh Roche’s clean, crisp production, the sense of Britain on the brink feels urgent.” Kate Maltby, The Times

“Direction is imaginative and playful.” Fergus Morgan, A Younger Theatre

“Director Josh Roche elicits excellent performances from his cast.” Neil Dowden, Exeunt Magazine

“Howard Brenton’s exceptional script is brought masterfully to the stage by director Josh Roche. There is a rhythmic pulse and shape that enthrals the audience.” Viola Patrick, Live Theatre UK

“The Finborough Theatre is the perfect space for this production with the audience included in the action by virtue of close proximity. It’s as if they are actually in the flat: a part of the revolution itself.” Viola Patrick, Live Theatre UK

“The design and lighting by Philip Lindley and Joe Price respectively, is perfectly suited for the Finborough Theatre, with each scene being intelligently crafted around the action.” Richard Brownlie-Marshall, The Huffington Post

“Phil Lindley’s ramshackle design convincingly re-creates the chaotic squalor of a squat.” Neil Dowden, Exeunt Magazine

“Deft lighting by Joe Price, both hi and lo-tech, and clever, simple staging.” David Ralf, The Stage

“Joe Price’s imaginative lighting is highly effective.” Neil Dowden, Exeunt Magazine

“Joe Price’s lighting gives an almost poetic quality.” Maryam Philpott, The Reviews Hub

“There is no mistaking their fury and frustration speaking to us across the 43 years.” Alun Hood, WhatsOnStage


“A quiet, but highly topical, masterpiece” ★★★★ Four Stars, The Telegraph on Lawrence After Arabia

“Howard Brenton’s fine new play…Brenton’s fizzing gift for language…hits you in the heart” ★★★★ The Guardian on Doctor Scroggy’s War

“Crams an amazing amount into 25 scenes of cool clarity…has considerable topical resonance” ★★★★ The Guardian on Drawing the Line

“A very good play – moving, scary, gripping, inventive and at times laugh-out-loud funny” ★★★★ The Telegraph on The Arrest of Ai Weiwei

“Cracking… this informative, funny play is formidably well written” ★★★★ Daily Mail on Anne Boleyn

“In the past few years, without any fanfare…Howard Brenton has not only made a comeback, but also become the chief chronicler of the nation’s past. …compellingly complex…the language of the play shines like burnished gold” ★★★★ The Arts Desk on 55 Days


“An exciting company, asking fascinating questions” Catherine Love, Exeunt

“A provocative, challenging look at the limits of open relationships” ★★★★ The Stage on A Third

“Laura Jacqmin’s risque and rueful comedy has a voyeuristic intimacy and is genuinely funny” The Guardian on A Third

“Fat Git Theatre Company, have found a very human way of looking at an intractable problem, and of doing so with a charm that makes these unspeakably big and terrifying issues feel relevant to the small, quiet realities of all our lives.” ★★★★ Exeunt on (i feel fine)

“An accomplished production that will have you laughing throughout … Director Josh Roche treats the concept of self-help groups with a brilliantly satirical mind.” ★★★★ One Stop Arts on Winky

“Josh Roche’s direction [is] stylish, inventive and remarkably assured.” ★★★★ A Younger Theatre on Specie


Tuesday, 25 October – Saturday, 19 November 2016

Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm.
Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm.
Saturday Matinees 3.00pm (from 5 November 2016).

Performance Length: Approximately 2 hours with one interval of 15 minutes.

Until 6 November 2016

Tickets £16, £14 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £12 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £16 all seats.
Previews (25 and 26 October) £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, 29 October 2016 when booked online only.

From 8 November 2016

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


FINBOROUGHFORUM post show discussions
Wednesdays, 26 October, 2, 9 and 16 November 2016
Free to ticketholders for that evening's performance of the play.

Directed by Josh Roche

Designed by Philip Lindley

Lighting by Joe Price

Sound by Hugh Sheehan

Presented by Fat Git Theatre in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre.