by Irwin Shaw

Tuesday, 30 October – Saturday, 24 November 2018


The first professional UK production for 80 years

“They’re still standing up. They’re going to stand up from now till Doomsday. They’re not going to be able to bury soldiers anymore”

When six dead soldiers stand up in their graves and refuse to be buried, the military are at a loss for what to do. The captains and generals attempt to persuade the men to lie down quietly but quickly discover it’s difficult to negotiate with men who have nothing left to lose.

If the greatest honour is to die for your country, how could you ever refuse?

The last in the Finborough Theatre’s GREATWAR100 series, this production, commissioned by the Finborough Theatre, is a poignant, expressionistic American protest play. Presented during the centenary of the end of the First World War, it gives voice to generations of soldiers across the world lost to countless wars.

Bury the Dead was first performed on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in 1936 and became an overnight hit. It was last seen in the UK at London’s Unity Theatre in 1938. The show was revived off-Broadway in 2008 and was described as "an expressionistic masterpiece” by Variety.

This production will mark Rafaella Marcus’ debut at the Finborough Theatre following her critically acclaimed production of I Have A Mouth and I Will Scream at VAULT Festival earlier this year.


Playwright Irwin Shaw (1913-1984) was born in New York. He was a playwright, screenwriter and novelist. His full-length plays included Siege (1937), Quiet City (1939) and The Gentle People (1939). After returning from the Second World War, the subject of war continued to feature throughout much of Shaw’s work including his first, best-selling novel, The Young Lions (1948), about three young German and American soldiers, which later became a screenplay starring Marlon Brando and Dean Martin. Later in his career, Shaw came to be described as the ‘master of the popular novel’ by critics. His novel Rich Man, Poor Man (1970) was made into a highly popular television miniseries


Director Rafaella Marcus is an award winning theatre director. She has worked across the country at venues that include Sheffield Theatres, the Other Palace, Theatre503, Arcola Theatre, Southwark Playhouse and the Bunker. Earlier this year, she directed Abi Zakarian’s play I Have a Mouth and I Will Scream, winner of the People's Choice Award (VAULT Festival). Other direction includes Alley. Pearls. Gunshot. (The Yard), Spooky Action At A Distance (Bunker), Crave (Damsel Develops at the Bunker), The Wild Party (Hope Theatre), The Window/Blank Pages (Hope Theatre), Harry the King (Edinburgh Festival), Sonya and Andrew (Sheffield Theatres) and Laughing Boy (site specific in Bethnal Green). She has assisted directors Dominic Dromgoole, Richard Wilson, Iqbal Khan, Paul Miller, Alex Clifton, Jonathan Humphries and Roisin McBrinn on Pericles (Shakespeare's Globe), Romeo and Juliet, The Wind in the Willows (Chester Performs), Boeing Boeing, Afterplay, Love Your Soldiers, The Winter's Tale (Sheffield Theatres) and The Killing of Sister George (Arts Theatre). She trained on the Birkbeck Theatre Directing MFA and was a Finalist for the JMK Award in 2017.


Simon Balfour | Second General, Priest, Bevins

Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Man Is Man.
Trained at Arts Educational Schools London.
Theatre includes Idiot Hero, The Bespoke Overcoat and Hebrew Lesson (New End Theatre, Hampstead), The Icarus Girl (Arcola Theatre), This Is The Truth (Theatre503), Goblin Market (Southwark Playhouse), Where It Never Rains (Zone 7 and Shunt Vaults), Dancing In The Dark (Croydon Clocktower), Hunter (Hampstead Theatre), An Audience with Sid and Nancy (Etcetera Theatre) and Black Aspirins (White Bear Theatre).
Film includes UK 18, Dragonfly, Flush, The Mad Axeman, I, Anna, Culture Shock, Abundance, Break Clause, Frontman and Seven Seconds To Heaven.
Television includes Casualty, The Bill, Doctors, My Ex Imaginary Friend, Brits Who Changed The World, When Harry Met Sheila and Million Pound Hoax.
Radio includes Kipps, Alfie and The Attractive Young Rabbi.

Keeran Blessie | Driscoll

Trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama.
Theatre while training includes The Three Sisters.
Theatre includes Scenes from the End of the World (The Yard).
Film includes Strike Back.

Luke Dale | First Soldier, Levy

Trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes, Lend Me A Tenor and Jamaica Inn (Paul Taylor Mills Summer Rep Season), I Capture the Castle (Palace Theatre, Watford) and Flowers for Mrs Harris (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield).
Film includes Sue and Lost and Found.
Television includes Holby City, Genius: Einstein, Doctors and The Royals.

Liam Harkins | Second Soldier, Morgan

Trained at Drama Centre, London.
Theatre includes The German Girls (Lion and Unicorn Theatre), Alice's Adventures Underground (Les Enfants Terribles), The Enchanted (The Bunker), Adventures in Wonderland (Les Petits Theatre) and Captured (White Slate Theatre).
Film Includes The Cost of Living: Task Two, Retreat for which he was nominated for Best Actor at the British Independent Film Festival 2018, and The One Millionth Lounge Visit.

Sioned Jones | Martha Webster, Julia Blake, Mrs Dean, Doctor, Editor, Whore

Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Khadija is 18 and The Illustrious Corpse.
Trained at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes 13, Women Beware Women, All's Well That Ends Well, Oedipus and Never So Good (National Theatre), A Woman of No Importance (Vaudeville Theatre), Shakespeare In Love (Noël Coward Theatre), Shadowlands (Novello Theatre and Wyndham’s Theatre), The Letter (Wyndham’s Theatre), Glorious! (Duchess Theatre), Tolstoy (Aldwych Theatre), Private Lives (Oxford Stage Company), Portmanteau and Twelfth Night (Sarwanam Theatre, Kathmandu), Lettice and Lovage (Menier Chocolate Factory), Henry VI (Wales Millennium Centre), Monumental (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow), The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me (Birmingham Old Rep), The Killing of Sister George (London Theatre Workshop), Love on the Tracks (Watermill Theatre, Newbury), The Memory of Water (Frinton Theatre), Expectations (Ovalhouse), Palm Wine and Stout (Eastern Angles), Romeo and Juliet (GB Theatre Company), Lilies on the Land (National Tour), Wolf (Pulse Festival), The Diary of Anne Frank (Broadway Theatre, Catford), 101 Dalmations (Castle Theatre, Wellingborough) and Pippin and The Wild Party (Union Theatre).
Film includes Happy Now?, Flamenco Fever, Madharasapattinam, Cleanskins, Accountable and Dark Signal.
Television includes Cadfael - The Potter's Field, Family Affairs and The Bill.

Tom Larkin | Schelling

Trained at Drama Centre, London.
Theatre include Demons (St Leonard’s Church), Warhorse (National Tour), An Inspector Calls (National Tour), Peter Pan (Off-Broadway US Tour), Tomten (Little Angel Theatre), The Emperor Self (Arcola Theatre), Robin Hood (Cambridge Touring Theatre) and The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (Pleasance Edinburgh).

Stuart Nunn | Dean

Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Just to Get Married.
Trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes Network (National Theatre), Hobson’s Choice (Theatre Royal Bath in the West End), The Secret Garden (Ambassadors Theatre), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Richard Burton Company), The Last Ambulance (Sherman Cymru, Cardiff and Gate Theatre) and Caged (Old Red Lion Theatre).

Malcolm Ward | First General, Rabbi

Trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes The View (Arcola Theatre), Theatresports (Donmar Warehouse), The Lover and A Slight Ache (English Theatre, Vienna and The Young Vic), The Nose (King’s Head Theatre), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Dominion Theatre), The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband (Theatre Royal Plymouth), The Elephant Man (Swan Theatre, Worcester) and Hovering (Edinburgh Festival).
Film includes The Hand of the Creator, Help, Born of Fire, Jack Brown and the Curse of the Crown, Blue Moon, Sweet William and The Tip-Off.
Television includes The Kennedys, Not Going Out, EastEnders, Holby City, Canary Wharf, Peak Practice, The Bill, Manchild, Lazarus and Dingwall and Target.
Radio includes Milena Jesenka, Love is Strange and Hamlet.

Guy Warren-Thomas | Captain, Charley

Trained at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes The Slaves of Solitude (Hampstead Theatre), The Picture of Dorian Gray (Trafalgar Studios, The Other Palace and National Tour), Who Is This Please? (Come As You Are Festival), Edward II (Rose Theatre, Bankside), The Art of Concealment: The Life of Terence Rattigan (Brighton Festival), Oh The Humanity and Other Good Intentions (Tabard Theatre), Christmas (White Bear Theatre), Deep Pit (Brass Works, Bristol), Spare (New Diorama Theatre) and The Cave (Blue Elephant Theatre).
Film includes The Hustle, The Unfamiliar, Spooks: The Greater Good, Two Down and Miss In Her Teens.

Scott Westwood | Sergeant, Webster

Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes Imperium (Gielgud Theatre), Hamlet (Cunard Line), The Shawshank Redemption (National Tour), Circa (The Vaults), One Year Off (Old Red Lion Theatre) and The Window (Hope Theatre).

Natalie Winsor | Bess Schelling, Joan Burke, Katherine Driscoll, Reporter, Whore, Stenographer

Trained at Arts Educational Schools London.
Theatre includes Mariage Blanc (Asylum Chapel), Rent (Frogmore Paper Mill), Peter Pan (Grand Opera House, Belfast), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theatre Royal Bath), Dirty Dancing (National Tour), Fame (Shaftesbury Theatre), What a Feeling! (National Tour), Jekyll and Hyde (National Tour), Robinson Crusoe (Theatre Royal, Newcastle), Peter Pan (Theatre Royal Plymouth), Cinders (National Tour), Jack and the Beanstalk (Towngate Theatre, Basildon) and Live and Upfront (London Palladium).


“Very moving.” Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide

“The centenary of the end of the First World War offers the ideal opportunity to look at this period of history from unusual angles and stylistic approaches.” Julia Ran, The Stage

“Shaw’s paean to life is admirable.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“The piece works as a monumental metaphor to stand up for the truth.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“A celebration of existence itself.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“An expressionistic and subversive conversation on the beauty of life.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“Atmospheric and thought-provoking.” Joseph Prestwich, The Spy in the Stalls

“War is anything but glorious in this vital, compelling, must-see production.” Joseph Prestwich, The Spy in the Stalls

“A remarkable revival of an outstanding play.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Bury The Dead is a triumph.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Thought-provoking.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Marvelous revival.“ Richard Braine, London Pub Theatres

“A unique and engaging story.” Esmee West-Agboola, View From the Cheap Seat

“An engaging piece which leaves us in a state of reflection.” Esmee West-Agboola, View From the Cheap Seat

“A big-booted production of military precision.” Tim Cornwell, The Arts Desk

“Bold and forthright production.” Tim Cornwell, The Arts Desk

“A little like war poetry on stage.” Tim Cornwell, The Arts Desk

“At this moment, our acts of remembrance worldwide prove that remembering the dead is part of the peace and healing process and this is surely a vital part of the message of this surreal yet uplifting drama.” Judi Herman, Jewish Renaissance Blog

“What it does with startling immediacy is give visibility to the lost, and those erased from history, by giving them centre stage.” Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor

“Shaw avoids memorialising and glorifying, opting instead to show intimate scenes between dead soldier and loved one.” Joseph Prestwich, The Spy in the Stalls

“By any standards this play is an amazing debut.” William Russell, Reviews Gate

“Wonderful simplicity and directness of language.“ Richard Braine, London Pub Theatres

“A vibrant, youthful cast.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“The acting throughout the company is superb.” Richard Braine, London Pub Theatres

“Simon Balfour and Malcolm Ward are deeply impressive.” Richard Braine, London Pub Theatres

“The cast, especially the six young actors playing the dead soldiers, are compelling.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“The two women in the company (deliver stand-out multiple performances.” Tim Cornwell, The Arts Desk

“The quality of the performances, of the women especially, makes for a moving resolution.” Judi Herman, Jewish Renaissance Blog

“They are all good, but the most impressive work is done by the two actors who play all the female roles, Sioned Jones and Natalie Winsor.” William Russell, Reviews Gate

“Sioned Jones gives a truly wonderful performance.” Richard Braine, London Pub Theatres

“Sioned Jones is striking.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Sioned Jones is compelling in every scene she is in and offers a beguiling performance that tackles multiple roles with ease and attentiveness.” Joseph Prestwich, The Spy in the Stalls

“The most powerful is the mechanic’s wife (a thorny performance by Sioned Jones).” Julia Ran, The Stage

“Natalie Winsor is quietly touching.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Natalie Winsor is thoroughly persuasive.” Tim Cornwell, The Arts Desk

“Natalie Winsor is utterly convincing.” Richard Braine, London Pub Theatres

“Rafaella Marcus stages the play cleverly.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Marcus brings out Shaw's philosophical context with a more grounded expression, demonstrating that the truth can't be buried for eternity.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“Rafaella Marcus’ direction is precise and ambitious, creating distance and momentum with high energy movement and rapid scene changes.” Joseph Prestwich, The Spy in the Stalls

“Rafaella Marcus has done a remarkable job.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Huge praise must be bestowed upon the director Rafaella Marcus. She has seen the bigger picture but has given every detail and moment great weight and heft.” Richard Braine, London Pub Theatres

“Rafaella Marcus’ direction successfully provides an interesting reality for the surreal, slightly fear-infusing ideas in Shaw’s writing.” Esmee West-Agboola, View From the Cheap Seat

“Director Rafaella Marcus’s visceral production grabs its audience with a filmic opening.” Judi Herman, Jewish Renaissance Blog

“Revived with real verve…by Rafaella Marcus” Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor

“The work of the Movement Director Chi-San Howard in the choreographed dances is superb.“ Richard Braine, London Pub Theatres

“Marcus marshals her large and excellent cast expertly.” Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor

“The piece has been skilfully staged by director Rafaella Marcus and the large cast do it justice.” William Russell, Reviews Gate

“Verity Johnson creates a foggy, evocative set.” Joseph Prestwich, The Spy in the Stalls

“A visceral, claustrophobic design by Verity Johnson.” Julia Ran, The Stage

“Verity Johnson (set and costume designer) deserves great credit.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Wonderful costumes.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“The Finborough is dedicated to the resurrection of “lost” plays and whatever one feels about the play, and some fine it preposterous and mannered, this is one more achievement to add to many.” William Russell, Reviews Gate


★★★★ “One of the funniest and fiercest shows of the festival… hugely enjoyable hour of scattergun satire and full-blooded fury” The Stage on I Have a Mouth and I Will Scream

★★★★★ "throws stereotypical scenarios and behaviours in our faces with unrelenting force…Rafaella Marcus’ direction smashes through all that with the sledgehammer of feminist reality” Miro Magazine on I Have A Mouth and I Will Scream

★★★★★ "a dynamic and scintillating production” LondonTheatre1 on I Have A Mouth and I Will Scream

“Marcus gives [The Wild Party] a brisk, earthy treatment here, revelling in the syncopated sprung rhythm of the language, keeping her two performers in constant, dynamic motion” The Stage on The Wild Party


Tuesday, 30 October – Saturday, 24 November 2018

Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm.
Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm.
Saturday Matinees at 3.00pm (from 10 November 2018).

Performance Length: Approximately 90 minutes with no interval.

Prices until 11 November 2018

Tickets £18, £16 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £16 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £18 all seats.
Previews (30 and 31 October) £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, 3 November 2018 when booked online only.

Prices from 13 November 2018

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



Book Tickets for Bury The Dead

Tuesday, 30 October – Saturday, 24 November 2018

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 Rafaella Marcus

Set and Costumes Designed by Verity Johnson

Lighting Designed by Martha Godfrey

Sound Designed by Anna Clock

Movement by Chi-San Howard

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