THE WIND OF HEAVEN

by Emlyn Williams

 
Tuesday, 26 November – Saturday, 21 December 2019

The first London production in 75 years

★★★★★ The Reviews Hub
★★★★★ Close-Up Culture
★★★★★ London Pub Theatres Magazine
★★★★½ Breaking the Fourth Wall
★★★★ The Guardian
★★★★ The Arts Desk
★★★★ Reviewsgate
★★★★ William Russell Twitter
★★★★ The Crumb
★★★★ Broadway Baby
London Pub Theatres Standing Ovation Award 2019-2020 Nomination

“Is something coming to us that for two thousand years the tear-stained blood-sick world has been waiting for?”

Dilys Parry lives in Blestin, a Welsh mountain village which has no children and worships no god since a disaster snatched away all its youth.

Inconsolable since her husband died in the Crimean War, Dilys is gradually re-awakened to life when a prophet-like child working in her household is called by God to serve the world.

In the wake of vast social inequality and a mismanaged war, one small community rediscovers its lost faith, with startling consequences for the village, and the world beyond…

A parable about healing the wounds inflicted by a national trauma, The Wind of Heaven was first produced in the West End in April 1945, just three weeks before the end of the Second World War in Europe, starring Emlyn Williams himself. It now receives its first London production in nearly 75 years at the Finborough Theatre, well known for its recent rediscoveries of Emlyn Williams’ work, including the multi-award-winning Accolade.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT EMLYN WILLIAMS

Emlyn Williams (1905-1987), dubbed “the Welsh Noël Coward”, was one of the most successful actor-dramatists of the 1930s and 1940s. His greatest works, Night Must Fall and The Corn Is Green, were made into films starring Albert Finney, Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn, and remain much revived. Williams’ plays have twice been rediscovered by the Finborough Theatre – The Druid’s Rest in 2009, and Blanche McIntyre’s multi-award-winning production of Accolade in 2011, which subsequently transferred to St James Theatre. Williams was a pioneering LGBTQ+ figure, and his remarkable life began in a working-class family in North Wales, where he spoke no English until the age of eight and could barely read or write. Coincidentally, he lived much of his adult life in Dovehouse Street, a short walk from the Finborough Theatre.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR WILL MAYNARD

Director Will Maynard’s work includes Open (VAULT 2019), Head-Rot Holiday (Hope Theatre), Tiger (VAULT 2018), Finding Mr Hart (Blackburn Exchange for the University of London) and Blavatsky’s Tower (Barons Court Theatre). Shorter plays include Classical Studies (Arcola Theatre), Crocodile (Old Red Lion Theatre), Sunflower (Bunker Theatre) and Gold Star (Hen and Chickens Theatre). Assistant Direction includes Bloody Poetry (Jermyn Street Theatre) and Mary Rose (Brockley Jack Theatre).

ABOUT THE CAST

Louise Breckon-Richards | Bet

Trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes Can You Hear Me Running? (Pleasance London), Haunted Hotel (Mercury Theatre, Colchester), The Merchant of Venice (Kiklos Teatro, Italy), Romeo and Juliet (English Shakespeare Company), A Little Night Music, Under Milk Wood, Happy Birthday Brecht (National Theatre), The Sound of Music (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Northanger Abbey (Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch) and The Boys from Syracuse (Harrogate Theatre).
Film includes Time Will Tell, To Kill a King and Beautiful People.
Television includes Doctors, Coronation Street, Temple, Cuckoo, EastEnders, Sherlock, Casualty, Midsomer Murders, Dirty War, Foyle’s War, Battlefield Britain, Family Affairs, Bed Time, Belonging, Holby City, Mortimer’s Law, Underworld and Harpur and Iles.
Radio includes Precious Bane and The Room with a View.
Writing includes Four O’Clock Flowers (Space Arts Centre), Trace (Old Diorama Theatre), The Cloak of Visibility (Mountview Catalyst Festival) and a new commission for Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts for 2020.

Rhiannon Neads | Dilys

Trained at LAMDA.
Theatre includes 3 Billion Seconds (Paines Plough Roundabout), Leia and the Roman (Vaults Festival), Adele is Younger than Us (Soho Theatre), Mary’s Babies (Oak Theatre), By All Accounts Two Normal Girls (Stiff and Kitsch at Edinburgh Festival), Madonna and Child (Monday Club) and 1001 (Courting Drama at Southwark Playhouse).
Television includes Father Brown, Doctors, Midsomer Murders and Downton Abbey.
Radio includes Home Front, A Severed Head, The Stuarts – Queen Anne: Myself Alone, Baby Oil, The Last Chronicle of Barset, The Enchanted April, A Book by Lester Tricklebank, Born in the DDR, The Master and Margarita, Decline and Fall, In Aldershot and Ladder of Years.

Kristy Philipps | Menna

Trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes The Devil in the Blue Dress (Bunker Theatre).
Television includes Will, Cleaning Up, Informer and Vera

Seiriol Tomos | Evan

Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Saer Doliau.
Trained at LAMDA.
Theatre includes Tuck (Neontopia), Milwr Yn Y Meddwl, The Lady From the Sea and The Tempest (National Theatre Wales).
Film includes The Dancing Floor, Merthyr, X-Row, Woman of the Wolf and Elenya.
Television includes Mofydd, Parch II, Hinterland, Gwaith or Cartref, Rownd A Rownd, Pobol Y Cwm and Britain’s Secret Houses.

David Whitworth | Pitter

Productions at the Finborough Theatre include London Wall (and its subsequent transfer to the St James Theatre, now known as The Other Palace) and Rigor Mortis.
Theatre includes Skin in the Game (Old Red Lion Theatre), The Second Mrs Tanqueray (Rose Theatre, Kingston), London Assurance (National Theatre), Wuthering Heights (Birmingham Rep and National Tour), The Mousetrap (St Martin’s Theatre), Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry V, As You Like It, The Dark Lady of the Sonnets, Love’s Labours Lost, The Two Noble Kinsmen (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park), Lilies and Sweets (Pleasance London), A Day by the Sea (Southwark Playhouse), French Without Tears (English Touring Theatre), Read Not Dead (Shakespeare’s Globe), In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel (Charing Cross Theatre), Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty (National Tour), The Woman in Black (Gothenburg English Studio Theatre and Stadsteater, Stockholm), French Without Tears, The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd, The Thunderbolt, Mary Goes First, A Journey to London, Double Double, Trifles, Sauce for the Goose, King Lear and Magnificence (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond).
Film includes Love’s Kitchen and Little Dorrit.
Television includes The Alan Titchmarsh Show, Poldark, The Bill, Nicholas Nickleby, Jasper Carrott, Big Deal, Miss Jones and Son, Colditz, Z Cars, Coronation Street, A Family at War, Barlow and Armchair Theatre.

Jamie Wilkes | Ambrose

Trained at LAMDA.
Theatre includes The Edit (Salisbury Playhouse), The Two Noble Kinsmen, The Rover, Oppenheimer, The Shoemaker’s Holiday, Wendy and Peter Pan (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Comedy of Errors, Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare’s Globe), Diary of a Teenage Girl, Howl’s Moving Castle, The Boy James, Lorca is Dead, Atrium, Tartuffe (Southwark Playhouse), Peter Pan, The Beggar’s Opera, Macbeth (Theatre Royal York), Dracula (Edinburgh International Festival), Metamorphosis (National Student Drama Festival Spotlight Award for Best Actor), Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, The Tempest, Julius Caesar, The Taming of the Shrew, Love’s Labour’s Lost (Willow Globe), Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Antigone, Bensalem B&B, The Trial and The Tempest (Belt Up Theatre).
Television includes His Dark Materials, Catch 22, Vanity Fair, Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams, Mr Selfridge and Downton Abbey.
Radio includes Homefront.

Melissa Woodbridge | Mrs Lake

Trained at Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes Walking the Tightrope, Blithe Spirit (US Tour), Giraffe (Park Theatre), Blithe Spirit (Gielgud Theatre), Ironman (Pleasance Theatre), Strands (Theatre503), Skanky (Arcola Theatre), Kvetch (King’s Head Theatre), A Cello (The Yard), The Female of the Species (Vaudeville Theatre), Leonardo’s Canyon (Royal Court Theatre), Straight Talking and Moving the Goalposts (Soho Theatre).
Film includes The Angel, Another Table and Someone To Watch Over Me.
Television includes Be in the Now, Touching the Cloth and This is Not a List Show.

THE PRESS ON THE WIND OF HEAVEN

“The Wind of Heaven is an exceptional and outstanding production to round off a remarkable year at the Finborough.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“A triumph – an overwhelming one.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“The Finborough Theatre has a knack of rediscovering forgotten plays and this is a particularly fascinating one, not seen here for seventy-five years, which gets as fine a production as you could wish for.” Gareth James, Gareth’s Culture and Travel Blog

“The Finborough continues to rescue Emlyn Williams from oblivion with a fine revival of The Wind of Heaven not seen since 1945…as always the Finborough has done a service resurrecting it for today’s audience and as usual with a first rate cast and this time in particular a fine, evocative set.” William Russell, ReviewsGate

“The Finborough Theatre has an enviable track record of ‘rediscovering’ forgotten plays of quality and their latest production is no exception.” Michael Davis, Breaking the Fourth Wall

“An atmospheric and moving drama without missing a beat in two hours of superior theatre…The theatre itself…enhances every aspect of the production.” Saul Reichlin, London Pub Theatres

“A welcome seasonal antidote to the slew of pantos.” Heather Neill, The Arts Desk

“The theatre world is indebted to the Finborough for resurrecting this play and mounting such a mysteriously moving masterpiece.” Richard Beck, Broadway Baby

“The Finborough punching above its weight again. A must see.” Gareth James, Gareth’s Culture and Travel Blog

“This enterprising theatre struck gold in 2011 with its revival of Emlyn Williams’s Accolade…they now turn to an earlier Williams work.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“While the religious theme is not shirked…this is also a parable about people being true to themselves, learning to take, literally and metaphorically, a leap of faith in the future.” Heather Neill, The Arts Desk

“If Emlyn Williams, who lived for many years within walking distance of the Finborough Theatre, were still alive, he’d be mighty proud of the revival that Maynard and a mighty strong cast has served up.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Fully deserves revival.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“For a venue that is renowned for rediscovering rarely performed or even lost plays, this could be the best of its sort yet staged.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“A wonderful revival.” Amy Mawer, The Crumb

“Skilfully directed by Will Maynard, The Wind of Heaven – getting its first airing for 75 years – is another feather in the cap for Finborough’s artistic director Neil McPherson.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“A pre-Christmas treat with a Christmas undertone for good measure (what more could you ask for).” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“There is something wonderfully seasonal about Wind of Heaven at the Finborough Theatre.” Richard Beck, Broadway Baby

“Faith, hope and community at a time of trauma and loss are at the core of a play by Emlyn Williams, appropriately revived in London for the first time in 75 years as a pre-Christmas treat.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“Brings to the stage an important Welsh voice that deserves to be heard.” John O’Brien, London Theatre 1

“A controversial, yet compelling tale, as it questions religious morals, amongst an underlying battle of power and class.” Amy Mawer, The Crumb

“Heartwarming and heartbreaking.” Saul Reichlin, London Pub Theatres

“Two hours of immersive and intense theatre.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Gripping and moving.” Saul Reichlin, London Pub Theatres

“There are magic moments aplenty, appropriate for a play about the second coming.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Williams’ play presents an intriguing story about the limits of spiritual scepticism.” Mert Dilek, The Stage

“Beautifully set, well acted and directed.” William Russell, ReviewsGate

“Gripping dramatically and extraordinarily eye-catching at every level, from scintillating performances to design and direction.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“The Finborough has made a reputation for rediscovering the work of writers no longer given much space elsewhere. Emlyn Williams…is one such.” Heather Neill, The Arts Desk

“A thrilling and beautifully staged production, performed by a superb acting company, both individually and as ensemble.” London Pub Theatres

“It’s lovely to hear the Celtic language, which adds real authenticity to the play.” Amy Mawer, The Crumb

“Superbly acted and…certainly well worth reviving.” John O’Brien, London Theatre 1

“Marvellously performed.” Saul Reichlin, London Pub Theatres

“The acting of the cast is impeccable, it feels raw and honest.” Amy Mawer, The Crumb

“The performances are impeccable.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“In terms of casting, it is spot on.” Michael Davis, Breaking the Fourth Wall

“Perceptive and penetrating performances.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“Welsh singing of the highest order.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Quality Welsh singing.” Heather Neill, The Arts Desk

“There are fine performances all round in this evenly balance troupe of actors.” Richard Beck, Broadway Baby

“A uniformly fine cast is led by Rhiannon Neads as Dilys, with newcomer Kristy Philipps very impressive as Menna.” Gareth James, Gareth’s Culture and Travel Blog

“Jamie Wilkes as Ellis switches plausibly from sharp-suited showman to devoted disciple and is staunchly supported by David Whitworth as his watchful sidekick, by Rhiannon Neads as a widowed sceptic turned true believer and by Louise Breckon-Richards as the loving mother of the boy messiah.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Strong support is provided by David Whitworth…Seiriol Tomos…and Louise Breckon-Richards.” William Russell, ReviewsGate

“Will Maynard has secured fine performances from his cast, especially from Rhiannon Neads as Dilys…and Jamie Wilkes as the predatory Ambrose.” William Russell, ReviewsGate

“Rhiannon Neads is powerful and determined as Dilys.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“Played with panache by Jamie Wilkes.” Heather Neill, The Arts Desk

“Jamie Wilkes is a sensation.” David Guest, The Reviews Hub

“Jamie Wilkes flamboyantly carries off this role of a circus impresario.” Richard Beck, Broadway Baby

“Played to the hilt by Melissa Woodbridge.” William Russell, ReviewsGate

“Woodbridge’s cameo as Mrs Lake is also a treat to behold.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Melissa Woodbridge’s glamorous Mrs Lake, is strikingly effective and w

inning.” Saul Reichlin, London Pub Theatres “Seiriol Tomos, as local man Evan, treats us to some fine Welsh lyricism.” Richard Beck, Broadway Baby

“A special commendation for a performance of wonder by Seiriol Tomos. His Evan is a privilege to watch.” Saul Reichlin, London Pub Theatres

“David Whitworth plays Ambrose’s assistant, Pitter, with dignity and stoicism.” Richard Beck, Broadway Baby

“Whitworth is perfect.” Michael Davis, Breaking the Fourth Wall

“Benedict Barker’s role as Gwyn is mute but he does a great job of conveying its mystery and spirituality.” Gareth James, Gareth’s Culture and Travel Blog

“Will Maynard’s production is simply superb, having to convey as much offstage as on.” Gareth James, Gareth’s Culture and Travel Blog

“Beautiful design by Ceci Calf, lighting by Ryan Joseph Stafford and sound design and direction by Julian Starr and Rhiannon Drake, respectively, enhance the mood and the story wonderfully.” Saul Reichlin, London Pub Theatres

“Excellent set and costumes from Ceci Calf & Isobel Pellow respectively.” Gareth James, Gareth’s Culture and Travel Blog

“The challenge the Finborough space presents designers is invariably risen to but this time Ceci Calf has created a superb set.” William Russell, ReviewsGate

“Meeting the usual high Finborough standards, designer Ceci Calf conveys her home through piled furniture and a voyeuristic window.” Philip Fisher, British Theatre Guide

“A hugely atmospheric soundscape and music by Justin Starr & Rhiannon Drake adds much.” Gareth James, Gareth’s Culture and Travel Blog

“Tasteful period costumes and lithe changes in lighting help create a world imbued with a heavenly glow.” Mert Dilek, The Stage

“A visit to the Finborough is a treat in itself. A welcoming smile by two charming, dimpled young ladies at the theatre desk an hour before the show, with a programme/playscript and a ticket (all rarities these days) and admission half an hour before curtain, is most conducive to a good mood.” Saul Reichlin, London Pub Theatres

THE PRESS ON EMLYN WILLIAMS’ ACCOLADE AT THE FINBOROUGH THEATRE

“Accolade already classifies as one of the defining rediscoveries of this theatrical year.” Matt Wolf, The New York Times

“In Earl's Court, the Finborough Theatre has struck gold. There's no other word for this overlooked treasure by Emlyn Williams.” Lloyd Evans, The Spectator

“The reviewers’ cliché ‘Neglected plays are usually neglected for a good reason’ carries the implicit qualifier ‘... except when the Finborough stages them’. The more obscure revivals presented by this little studio theatre are almost always worthwhile, often impressive and sometimes revelatory. With Emlyn Williams’ 1950 drama, here receiving its first revival, we are well into revelation.” Ian Shuttleworth, Financial Times

THE PRESS ON DIRECTOR WILL MAYNARD’S PREVIOUS WORK

“Meticulous and sensitive direction.” ActDrop on Head-Rot Holiday

“Director Will Maynard… uses the intimate space of the Barons Court Theatre to superb effect embracing its claustrophobic nature…it’s a real treat to find this sparkling black comedy so beautifully revived.” The Stage on Blavatsky’s Tower

“Slender writing and an equally tight direction…triumphant.” BroadwayWorld UK on Open

TICKETS AND TIMES

Tuesday, 26 November – Saturday, 21 December 2019

Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm.
Saturday and Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm.

Performance Length: Approximately two hours and twenty-five minutes including one interval of fifteen minutes.

Prices until 8 December

Tickets £18, £16 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £16 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £18 all seats.
Previews (26 and 27 November) £14 all seats.

£10 tickets for Under 30's for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only.

£14 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on Saturday, 30 November 2019 when booked online only.

Prices from 10 December 2019

Tickets £20, £18 concessions

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

BUY TICKETS ONLINE NOW

Book Tickets for The Wind of Heaven

26 November - 21 December 2019

Please note that if a show is marked as Sold Out, there are no more tickets available. Please do NOT contact the theatre as we have no more tickets left for these shows. Please see our returns and exchanges policy for more information.

Directed by Will Maynard

Designed by Ceci Calf

Costume Design by Isobel Pellow

Lighting Design by Ryan Stafford

Composition and Musical Direction by Rhiannon Drake

Sound Design and Composition by Julian Starr

Historical Consultation by Paul Griffiths

Ymgynghoriad hanesyddol gan Paul Griffiths

Produced by Bertie Taylor-Smith and Jonathan Taylor

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

LOUISE BRECKON-RICHARDS

RHIANNON NEADS

KRISTY PHILIPPS

SEIRIOL TOMOS

DAVID WHITWORTH

JAMIE WILKES

MELISSA WOODBRIDGE