Winter Season 2016-2017 | October 2016 - January 2017

VETERANS DAY

by Donald Freed

 
Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays
8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24 January 2017

The first UK production in over 25 years

★★★★ The Reviews Hub
★★★★ Everything Theatre
★★★★ London Pub Theatres

“It was war. And in war, everybody goes crazy or they die – right?”

Three American war veterans meet at a Veterans Administration Hospital just before a remembrance ceremony – Private Leslie R. Holloway, shell-shocked in the First World War; John MacCormick Butts, a veteran of the Second World War; and Colonel Walter Kercelik, the most highly decorated soldier of the Vietnam War.

Three very different wars – and each man has a horror story locked inside him. Two of them are about to be honoured, but one has an altogether more sinister agenda…

Using war songs from across the twentieth century, Veterans Day is a story of three soldiers from three wars, still traumatised by their military service. As the men share their memories with each other, they begin to fully comprehend how their experiences of combat have changed their lives forever.

Originally produced in Denver and Los Angeles, Veterans Day was last seen in the UK at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, in 1989, with Jack Lemmon, Michael Gambon and Robert Flemyng.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT

Playwright Donald Freed has been writing for the theatre since 1960. His work has been performed in theatres across America and in the UK, Ireland, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Hungary. His plays include Secret Honor (Los Angeles Theatre Center and Provincetown Playhouse, New York), Circe and Bravo, directed by Harold Pinter, and starring Faye Dunaway (Denver Theatre Center, Hampstead Theatre and Wyndham’s Theatre, London), Quartered Man (Los Angeles Theater Center and Shaw Theatre, London), The Last Hero (Abbey Theatre, Dublin), Alfred and Victoria (Los Angeles Theatre Center, Wilma Theater, Philadelphia, and Japan), American Iliad (Victory Theatre, Los Angeles), Is He Still Dead? (Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven), Devil’s Advocate (Mercury Theatre Colchester, Los Angeles Theatre Center and the Edinburgh Festival) and The White Crow: Eichmann in Jerusalem (Los Angeles Theatre Center, Milwaukee Repertory, HB Studio New York and Theatre Royal York). His play Secret Honor was made into an award-winning film, directed by Robert Altman in 1984. Donald is the recipient of the PEN Prize for Drama, the Pinter Prize, the Unicorn Prize, the Berlin Critics Prize, the Louis B Mayer Award, the Hollywood Critics Award, the Gold Medal Award and the John Larkin Award. He is currently Playwright-in-Residence at the Theatre Royal York and the Los Angeles Theatre Center. Donald was previously Guest Artist at the University of Leeds and a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Director Hannah Boland Moore trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. She has directed The One by Vicky Jones (Lion and Unicorn Theatre), the English-language premiere of Belgian play The Broken Circle Breakdown by Johan Heldenbergh and Mieke Dobbels (Karamel Club), the world premiere of Confetti by Tim Foley (LOST Theatre) and As You Like It (Royal Shakespeare Company Open Stages). At the Finborough Theatre, she was Assistant Director on It Is Easy To Be Dead. Hannah has also worked as Text Assistant to the Master of Words at Shakespeare’s Globe on The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, King John, Richard II and Measure for Measure.

ABOUT THE CAST

Roger Braban | Leslie R Holloway

Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Too True to be Good, Jingo and The Beaver Coat.

 Theatre includes Electra (Donmar Warehouse), Quartet (Noël Coward Theatre), The Lady in the Van (Queen’s Theatre) and two seasons at the Chichester Festival Theatre. As a child actor, Roger worked extensively with Laurence Olivier – first in The Skin of Our Teeth with Vivien Leigh, and subsequently at the Old Vic for three seasons including Olivier’s legendary production of Richard III. He later appeared in many West End productions under the direction of Ralph Richardson, Michael Redgrave and Alec Guinness. Roger returned to the stage in 1998 to play a much-acclaimed King Lear at the Union Theatre, Southwark. 
Film includes his film debut in the wartime epic The Way to the Stars.
Television includes Newton, The Dark Heretic, Close and True, Peak Practice and Shadow in the North.

Charlie De Bromhead | Walter Kercelik

Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Coolatully and Committed.
Trained at LAMDA.
Theatre includes Stones in His Pockets (National Tour), Uncle Vanya (Chichester Festival Theatre), Dandy Dick (ATG National Tour), This Land (West Yorkshire Playhouse), How Many Miles to Babylon (Lyric Theatre, Belfast), Charlie Peace: His Amazing Life and Astounding Legend (Nottingham Playhouse), The Hostage (Southwark Playhouse), La Boheme (Soho Theatre), Around the World (Bloomsbury Theatre), Othello (Icarus Theatre) and Best Man Speech (Lion and Unicorn Theatre).
Film includes In Darkness, The Murderers, Five Day Shelter and How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.
Television includes Aces Falling, The Clinic and Fair City.

Craig Pinder | John MacCormick Butts

Trained at RADA and Central School of Speech and Drama.
Theatre includes As You Like It, The Duchess of Malfi, Singer, Moscow Gold (Royal Shakespeare Company), Les Misérables, Sunset Boulevard, Mamma Mia! (West End), Not About Nightingales (National Theatre and Alley Theatre, Houston), Guys and Dolls (Chichester Festival Theatre and National Tour), 1936 (Sadler’s Wells Theatre), Romeo and Juliet, The Comedy of Errors, A View from the Bridge, Drinking in America, Little Murders (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Henry V, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (Shakespeare’s Globe), Babydoll (Birmingham REP), High Society, Popcorn, Footloose (National Tour), Blue/Orange (Sherman Theatre, Cardiff), Walking the Chains (Passenger Shed), Hibiscus Hotel (Nassau, Bahamas), Floyd Collins (Wilton’s Music Hall), The White House Murder Case (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), Othello (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton), Macbeth, The Mikado, Hands Up, Sweeney Todd (New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme) and The Subject Was Roses (English Theatre of Hamburg).
Film includes Cargo, The American Way, Windjammers and Children of God. Television includes Henry V, Search For Tomorrow, One Day, Edmond and Crimewatch File.

THE PRESS ON PLAYWRIGHT DONALD FREED

“The…unapologetically political author, Donald Freed, has made a career of hunting out horror as well as humanity in an age that seems bent on self-destruction.” The Los Angeles Times on How Shall We Be Saved?

“Freed creates a delirious, nightmarish America that easily could represent where we're headed over the next ten years." The Denver Post on Child of Luck

“Chilling and absorbing…This kind of play is one of the things the theater is for.” Edwin Newman, WNBC-TV on Inquest

“What Freed does, excellently, is convey the mood of an America symbolised by ‘extreme aggression, extreme fear.’” The Guardian on Patient No. 1

THE PRESS ON VETERANS DAY

★★★★ The Reviews Hub
★★★★ Everything Theatre
★★★★ London Pub Theatres

“A tense three-hander that trains a spotlight on human rights abuses and ex-soldiers’ mental health.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Engaging, visceral and aggressive play with contemporary relevance. Strong themes, tackled with sensitivity and intelligence by very capable actors.” James Shears, Everything Theatre

“Tough and certainly entertaining, the acting is solidly good.” Ann Treneman, The Times

“A play for those who like their drama hot and strong.” Ann Bawtree, The Reviews Hub

“An excellent play that everyone should see.” James Shears, Everything Theatre

“The play feels more like a movie thriller, there is tension, there are twists but ultimately there are some great performances from Charlie De Bromhead as the poster boy for the armed forces who has almost ice cold robotic manner and Pinder (who resembles Eisenhower) as Butts, the seemingly outgoing businessman with a dark secret.” Shanine Salmon, View From the Cheap Seats

“This production squeezes every potential moment of drama from the script. It left me thoughtful and emotional. It reinforced the power of theatre. To my mind, it’s ripe for a transfer.” James Shears, Everything Theatre

“Symbolic power.” John Demmery Green, London Pub Theatres

“This play feels like both a critique and a part of Americana, a patchwork which still has resonance.” Alice Josephs, Traffic Light Theatregoer

“Prophetic tale of the horrors of war.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Darkly comic dialogue.” John Demmery Green, London Pub Theatres

“Freed also shows a keen awareness of American reality.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“A hard-hitting satire of militarism and war in general.” John Demmery Green, London Pub Theatres

“It twists together government, history and state welfare, the psychological and the medical, the military and the commercial of an America on the cusp of a post-Cold War new world order.” Alice Josephs, Traffic Light Theatregoer

“The script manages to pack a large punch of sardonic humour.” John Demmery Green, London Pub Theatres

“De Bromhead has complete ownership of his character.” James Shears, Everything Theatre

“Craig Pinder gives a lively performance.” Neil Dowden, The Stage

“The impact of Braban’s presence is living proof that lines are often superfluous to acting.” James Shears, Everything Theatre

“An outstanding cast.” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network

TICKETS AND TIMES

Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24 January 2017

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

Performance Length: Approximately two hours including one interval of fifteen minutes.

Tickets £18, £16 concessions

Full booking information

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.

Directed by Hannah Boland Moore

Designed by Liam Bunster

Lighting by Alex Musgrave

Costume Design by Hannah Taylor

Sound by Matt Downing

Music Direction by Rebecca Grant

Produced by Daisy Gilbert

Presented by Marooned Productions in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre.

ROGER BRABAN

CHARLIE DE BROMHEAD

CRAIG PINDER