INTO THE NUMBERS

by Christopher Chen

 
Tuesday, 2 January – Saturday, 27 January 2018

The European premiere

“Words... they have their limits. They aren’t the same as the things they represent.”

Commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Nanking massacre, as well as the first production at the Finborough Theatre building in its 150th anniversary year, the European premiere of Into the Numbers by multi-award-winning American playwright Christopher Chen. 

In December 1937, in Nanking, then capital of China, occurred one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century – the rape, torture and murder of 300,000 Chinese civilians and the systematic mass execution of soldiers by the Japanese army.

In 2004, Iris Chang, famed author of The Rape of Nanking, a chronicle of the massacre that brought it back into public consciousness, committed suicide at the age of 36. What begins as a standard lecture and interview with the celebrated author, soon descends into a surreal nightmare. As ghosts from her research appear, she tries desperately to find order in the midst of mental chaos.

Into the Numbers by the Obie Award and Dramatist Guild’s Lanford Wilson Award winning playwright Christopher Chen, is a thrillingly innovative theatrical exploration of the philosophical and psychological implications of researching genocide, as well as the toll media saturation plays in the process.

Director Georgie Staight returns to the Finborough Theatre after her four star (The Daily Telegraph) sell-out production of Carmen Nasr’s new play Dubailand.

Full casting is to be announced, but Elizabeth Chan will play Iris Chang.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT CHRISTOPHER CHEN

Playwright Christopher Chen work includes Caught (La MaMa Theater, New York City, and Volta Festival at Arcola Theatre), Home Invasion (Site Specific with The Flight Deck, California), The Hundred Flowers Project (Crowded Fire Theatre, San Francisco), The Late Wedding (Hub Theatre, San Francisco), Mutt (La Val’s Subterranean), Passage (Wilma Theatre, Philadelphia), The Window Age (Central Works, Berkeley) and You Mean to Do Me Harm (San Francisco Playhouse). His honours include the 2017 Obie Award for Playwriting for Caught; the 2017 Dramatist Guild Lanford Wilson Award; 2017 Drama League Nomination for Outstanding Production for Caught; the 2015-2016 Sundance Institute/Time Warner Foundation Fellowship for Theater; the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award through which he was the 2013-2014 Playwright-in-Residence at the Vineyard Theatre New York; the Barrymore Award; PHINDIE Critics Award; the Glickman Award; the Rella Lossy Playwriting Award; shortlist for the James Tait Black Award; nomination for the Steinberg Award; second place in the Belarus Free Theater International Competition of Modern Dramaturgy; a MAP Fund Grant; a Ford Foundation Emerging Writer of Color Grant; and a finalist for the PONY and Jerome Fellowships. His current commissions include American Conservatory Theater, Aurora Theatre, LCT3, Manhattan Theatre Club, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Playwrights Horizons. His work has been published by American Theatre Magazine, Dramatists Play Service, Theatre Bay Area and Theater Magazine Yale.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR GEORGIE STAIGHT

Director Georgie Staight returns to the Finborough Theatre after her sell out run of Dubailand, nominated for an OffWestEnd Award. Direction includes Roosting (Park Theatre), White Light (Arcola Theatre as part of PlayWROUGHT), Flood (Tristan Bates Theatre), Safe (Jermyn Street Theatre), Dreamless Sleep (Arts Theatre and The Bunker) and Next of Kin (Bristol Old Vic Studio). She is also a playwright and has had her writing produced at Theatre503, The Bunker, Arcola Theatre, Arts Theatre and Bristol Old Vic. Writing includes the adaptation and world premiere of Deborah Levy’s Billy and Girl (Karamel Theatre), Let There Be Light (reading at Chichester Festival Theatre) and Dreamless Sleep (The Bunker). Assistant Direction includes Our Town (Watermill Theatre, Newbury) and Legally Blonde: The Musical (Bernie Grant Arts Centre). Georgie trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, and is Joint Artistic Director at Flux Theatre.

ABOUT THE CAST

Elizabeth Chan plays Iris Chang. Trained at Ecole Philippe Gaulier Paris and Drama Centre London. Theatre includes B!rth (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), The Sugar-Coated Bullets of Bourgeoisie (HighTide Festival Theatre), The Odyssey (Almeida Theatre), Caught, Hamlet is Dead (Arcola Theatre), Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (National Theatre), Henry IV (Donmar Warehouse), Chimerica (Almeida Theatre, Headlong Theatre and West End), The Wheel (National Theatre of Scotland), Greenland (National Theatre), Don’t Shoot the Clowns (Fuel Theatre), An Argument About Sex (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh) and Cinderella (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith). Television includes Coronation Street, Motherland, Carters Get Rich, The Last Dragonslayer, Last Tango in Halifax, Cucumber, Holby City, Black Mirror – The Entire History of You, Spirit Warriors and Silent Witness.

THE AMERICAN PRESS ON PLAYWRIGHT CHRISTOPHER CHEN

"Witty and suspenseful.​" San Francisco Examiner on You Mean To Do Me Harm

"Masterful... depth of anger and insecurity and dishonesty that comes up in both of the play’s relationships is astonishing, the level to which Chen is able to take us in such a short time is remarkable.​" Theater Dogs on You Mean To Do Me Harm
​

"Lean, mean, and meticulously crafted drama... Chen has always had a strong skill for crafting dialogue, but in this play he seems to have broken through to a new level." Huffington Post on You Mean To Do Me Harm ​

"Cunningly clever... The feeling is akin to waking up from a dream, only to find oneself in another dream." TheaterMania on Caught

"Christopher Chen’s enjoyably manipulative new play keeps finding ingenious ways to pull the rug out from under the audience’s feet” The New Yorker on Caught

"As smart as it is funny and as challenging as it is intriguing." Theater Dogs on The Late Wedding

"Chen never seems to work on only one level. He twists us into knots all the way down to how we talk about talking about race... a major – and highly entertaining – accomplishment." San Francisco Chronicle on Mutt

THE PRESS ON DIRECTOR GEORGIE STAIGHT’S PRODUCTION OF DUBAILAND AT THE FINBOROUGH THEATRE

“This is proper political theatre: astute, informative and grown-up.” Matt Trueman, WhatsOnStage

“A play that confronts our complacency and complicity…. Recommended.” ★★★★ Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph

“Extremely engaging.” ★★★★ David Hughes, The Spy in the Stalls

“Georgie Staight directs with brisk economy.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Georgie Staight’s production glides slickly through its scenes from parallel lives.” Sam Marlowe, The Times

“Georgie Staight's simple but intense production.'' Carolin Kopplin, UKTheatre


“Compelling and urgent.” Holly O’Mahony, Exeunt Magazine

“Inventive directing.” British Theatre Guide

TICKETS AND TIMES

Tuesday, 2 January – Saturday, 27 January 2018

Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm.
Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm.
Saturday Matinees 3.00pm (from 13 January 2018).

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

Prices until 14 January 2018

Tickets £16, £14 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £14 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £16 all seats.
Previews (2 and 3 January) £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, 6 January 2018 when booked online only.

Prices from 16 January 2018

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.

Directed by Georgie Staight

Set and Costume Design by Isabella Van Braeckel

Lighting by Matt Cater

Sound and Composition by Benjamin Winter

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

Cast includes:-

ELIZABETH CHAN

TIMOTHY KNIGHTLY

JENNIFER LIM

AMY MOLLOY

MARK OTA