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A LETTER TO ENGLAND

A Double Bill of New British Plays
The Blessing Way
by Nirjay Mahindru
The Insurgents by Anders Lustgarten
Directed by Alexander Summers
Designed by Rachana Jadhef. Lighting by Tom White. Sound by Matt Downing. Produced by Serenah Cole.

The Blessing Way
Cast in order of appearance
Loretta - Sukuntala Ramanee
Male - Scott Ainslie

The Insurgents
Cast in order of appearance
Wasserman - Andrew McDonald. And on 16 September 2007 only, Scott Ainslie
Abdullah - Robert Carragher
Metin - Adam Dahrouge
Yilmaz - George Antoni

[ new work season 2007 ]
Sundays and Mondays, 9, 10, 16, 17 and 23 September 2007.

The world premieres of two powerful new British political plays examining alienation and social unrest in our nation’s capital -set during the onset of India’s first War of Independence in 1857, and amidst the contemporary housing crisis – and a chance to see the first fruits of the work of the Finborough Theatre’s exciting new literary department.

The Blessing Way by Nirjay Mahindru
When the masters are mad, what shall the servants do? Commemorating the 150th anniversary of India’s first War of Independence (“The Indian Mutiny”) and the 60th anniversary of independence for India and Pakistan, The Blessing Way thrusts an innocent Indian ayah into London - the heart of the Empire’s treasure house, only to discover that beneath the bejewelled ceiling there is filth on the floor. Infected by Victorian London’s sickness, how will she fare in the land of the sahibs…

Nirjay Mahindru’s plays include The Hot Zone (Time Out Critics’ Choice at the Lyric Hammersmith Studio and BAC), Mandragora King of India and The Bottle, published by Oberon Books. He has written for the BBC’s Radio Drama Silver Street and was winner of a new writing competition for his play The Asian Monologue. He is founder and producer of new writing company Conspirators' Kitchen Theatre and Chief Executive of InterAct Reading Service, a charity that takes professional actors to read to stroke patients.

The Insurgents by Anders Lustgarten
Fast-forward to today’s London and the class divide is back as private equity turns our city into a high fenced playground for a tax-exempt, big business elite. When a shop owner in Hackney discovers his sons making a stand for their home soil by kidnapping a senior partner, the powerful have a new mutiny on their hands. But what will become of the little man?

Anders Lustgarten is a writer on attachment at the Soho Theatre. His play Stonewalk received a workshop in March 2007 through the Finborough’s new literary department. Plays in development include A Torture Comedy about extraordinary rendition and The Punishment Stories about Islam in the prison system. During his work as a political activist, Anders has found himself barred from British prisons and arrested by the Turkish secret police.

Director Alexander Summers is Resident Assistant Director at the Finborough Theatre where he has worked on Men Without Shadows, Ours, The Lower Depths, The Ladies Cage and Love Child. He has also directed Myth, Propaganda and Disaster in Nazi Germany and Contemporary America (Contact Theatre, Manchester), Much Ado About Nothing and The Man With The Flower in his Mouth (both at The Bridewell), Coriolanus (Brockley Jack Theatre), The Lover (John Thaw Studio, Manchester) and Glengarry Glen Ross (Manchester Fringe Festival award winner).

The cast includes Scott Ainslie whose numerous theatre credits includes Measure for Measure (Arcola Theatre), Medea (Unicorn Theatre), Old Wives Tale (Shakespeare’s Globe), Bring Me Sunshine (The Assembly Rooms Edinburgh) and Les Miserables (Palace Theatre). George Antoni (formerly known as George Yiasoumi) whose extensive theatre credits includes Silver Birch House (Arcola Theatre), Resurrection Blues (Old Vic), Sherlock Holmes In Trouble (Manchester Royal Exchange), and TV and Film credits include Hotel Babylon, Death on The Nile, Lenny Blue, Lock Stock, The Bill, Swept Away, Quills, The Man Who Cried, The Borrowers, Interview With The Vampire, Orlando and Greystoke. Adam Dahrouge's TV credits include Bremner, Bird and Fortune (BBC), The Bill (Thames TV), Family Affairs (Channel 5). Andrew McDonald's many theatre credits include The Entertainer (Old Vic), The Alchemist (National Theatre), The Royal Hunt of the Sun (National Theatre), Heroes (Wyndham’s Theatre) and for TV - British Empires (Channel 4), Crimewatch, EastEnders, and Death on the Mountain (BBC), and The Bill (Thames). Robert Carragher’s many theatre credits include King Lear (Brockley Jack Theatre), Sick of Goodbyes (Pleasance Theatre), Mancub (Soho Theatre) and – for TV - Munich: Mossad’s Revenge (Channel 4). Sakuntala Ramanee’s numerous TV and Film credits includes Holby City, Dalziel and Pascoe and Emmerdale, Many Theatre credits include Deadeye (Soho Theatre), Trust (National Theatre Studio), and Firosha Bhaag (National Theatre Studio).