JANUARY TO MARCH | 2018
Download our Season leaflet.
During 2018, the Finborough Theatre celebrates 150 years of the Finborough Theatre building with the FINBOROUGH150 series, an anniversary selection of the best plays from 1868. Our first season of 2018 features the first rediscovery from 1868 in the FINBOROUGH150 series, alongside five premieres of new writing – three from brand new British and Irish writers in their formal professional debuts, and two multi-award-winning American playwrights with two hard-hitting and controversial new plays.
Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson said: "A recent article in the press bemoaned the lack of new British playwrights at some of London’s funded “new writing” theatres. As always, it is up to venues such as ours to redress the balance. This season features three new debut plays from British and Irish playwrights, alongside two new plays from multi-award-winning American playwrights. Three of the new plays this season were first seen in our acclaimed Vibrant – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights seasons which will celebrate its tenth consecutive year in 2018. As always, too, we celebrate the old alongside the new, and this season we begin celebrating the 150th anniversary of our building with the first in our new FINBOROUGH150 series.”
Commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Nanking massacre, the season opens with the European premiere of Into the Numbers by the multi-award-winning playwright Christopher Chen, commemorating the 80th anniversary of ‘The Rape of Nanking’, one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century, playing for a four week limited season from 2-27 January 2018. It is accompanied by the world premiere of Imaginationship by Sue Healy, a new play on love, sex, obsession and death in Great Yarmouth, originally seen as a staged reading as part of Vibrant 2017 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, playing on Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees between 7-23 January 2018.
The season continues with the world premiere of a debut by Cornish playwright Henry Darke, Booby’s Bay, a passionate, comic fable about the housing crisis in Cornwall and beyond, and a maverick’s mission to turn the tide, playing 30 January-24 February 2018. It plays alongside the opening production of the FINBOROUGH150 series – the first London production since 1890 of the 1868 hit, Cyril’s Success, a semi-autobiographical satire on playwrights and theatre folk, by local resident Henry J. Byron, playing for nine Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees from 4 February 2018.
We end the season with the world premiere of the first English-language adaptation of the classic novella by Ghassan Kanafani, Returning to Haifa, adapted for the stage by Naomi Wallace and Ismail Khalidi, a compelling story of two families – one Palestinian, one Israeli – forced by history into an intimacy they didn't choose. It concides with the 70th anniversaries of both the Nakba or “catastrophe” (the mass dispossession of the Palestinians in 1948) and the foundation of the State of Israel, and plays from 27 February-24 March 2018. It plays concurrently with the world premiere of Checkpoint Chana by Jeff Page, a new play examining the point where pro-Palestinian criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism blur. Originally seen as a staged reading as part of Vibrant 2017 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, it runs on Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees between 4-20 March 2018.
From 30 January 2018, by popular request, we will be moving to a new ticketing provider, Spektrix, for all ticket bookings. The website address will remain www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk. From 30 January 2018, telephone bookings will be on a new number 01223 357851 and will be free to call.
The Finborough Theatre has had a superlative year to date with acclaimed sell-out productions, transfers in London and to New York City, our tenth Channel 4 Playwrights Scheme Playwright in Residence Bursary, and nominations for both The Stage Debut Award and an Olivier Award.
– Neil McPherson, Artistic Director
MARCH TO JUNE | 2018
Download our Season leaflet.
“Under Neil McPherson, possibly the most unsung of all major artistic directors in Britain, the Finborough has continued to plough a fertile path of new plays and rare revivals that gives it an influence disproportionate to its tiny 50-seat size.” Mark Shenton, The Stage 2017
Our second season of 2018 – the 150th year of the Finborough Theatre building – features new writing with two European premieres from award-winning playwrights from Canada and the United States, and a UK premiere from controversial German dramatist Rolf Hochhuth in his fourth production at the Finborough Theatre including a performance in German; two rediscoveries from the 1980s – the first professional UK production since 1980 of a musical from the composer of Half A Sixpence, and a classic feminist play by Sarah Daniels; and, as part of our 150th birthday series, a London premiere in English from celebrated French dramatist Paul Claudel who was born 150 years ago.
The season opens with the European premiere of American playwright Bruce Graham's White Guy on the Bus, a shocking new play which blows open the racial fault-lines of Trump’s America, playing for a four-week limited season from 27 March–21 April 2018. It is accompanied by the UK premiere of Rolf Hochhuth’s Death of a Hunter, playing Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays between 1-17 April 2018, including a performance in German on Tuesday, 10 April.
The season continues with the long-overdue rediscovery of the feminist classic Masterpieces by Sarah Daniels, last seen at the National Theatre as one of their '100 Most Significant Plays of the 20th Century', playing 24 April–19 May 2018. It plays alongside Gracie by Joan MacLeod, winner of Canada’s most prestigious literary award, the Governor General’s Award. The European premiere of this one-woman play about growing up in a religious cult plays Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays 29 April–15 May 2018.
The season culminates with the return of our ‘Celebrating British Music Theatre’ series with the first professional UK production since its 1980 premiere of The Biograph Girl, a joyous musical celebration of Hollywood's glorious era of silent film, by Warner Brown and David Heneker, the composer of Half A Sixpence, playing from 22 May–9 June 2018. It plays concurrently with the return of our Finborough150 series, celebrating the 150th birthday of our building, with the London premiere in English of Break of Noon (Partage de Midi) by Paul Claudel, the celebrated French author who was born 150 years ago. It plays Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays between 27 May–5 June.
By popular request, we have moved to a new ticketing provider, Spektrix, for all ticket bookings. The website address remains www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk. Telephone bookings are now on a new number 01223 357851 which is free to call. There are no booking fees on online, personal or postal bookings, but there is now a 5% booking fee on telephone bookings.
Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson said: "Our new season features another eclectic season of work with writers from the UK, United States, Canada, France and Germany including hard-hitting new writing, musical theatre, and unique rediscoveries including another play celebrating our 150th birthday. Our work was also recognised in the recently announced shortlist of The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the prestigious award given annually to women who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre. Of ten finalists, three made their UK debut at the Finborough Theatre (Colleen Murphy, Fiona Doyle and Anusree Roy).”
For full information, please visit www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk
– Neil McPherson, Artistic Director