by Robert Graves

Tuesday, 10 July – Saturday, 4 August 2018

The world premiere

“This generation’s no good, no good at all. They don’t possess any deep emotions. They don’t know what passion is.”

In a production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre, a world premiere from the author of Goodbye To All That and I Claudius, Robert Graves’ “post-catastrophic comedy”, But It Still Goes On, directed by Fidelis Morgan, plays at the Finborough Theatre as part of the Finborough Theatre’s THEGREATWAR100 series commemorating the centenary of the First World War.

London 1932. Cecil Tompion, a popular writer, has bullied his children for most of their lives. Now, his son, an ex-army officer who survived the trenches of the Western Front, and his daughter, a doctor, are trying to break free. Their lives are touched by another ex-soldier, David, and close friend Charlotte, who both desperately struggle to repress their homosexuality.

The generation that survived a war have to confront who they really are when they discover that family is just another battlefield.

This unique rediscovery, never previously performed, But It Still Goes On by poet and novelist Robert Graves was written in 1929 as a commission from the producers of Journey’s End. Influenced by the drawing room comedies of Noël Coward and W. Somerset Maugham, it explores themes of adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, gender politics, casual sex, and inter-generational conflict, but with a surreal dark twist. It now finally receives its long overdue world premiere at the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre.


Playwright Robert Graves (1895-1985) enlisted at the outbreak of the First World War, aged 19, and served as a Captain in the Royal Welch Fusiliers with the poet, Siegfried Sassoon, with whom he remained close friends and whom he reportedly used as an inspiration for one of the characters in But It Still Goes On. He is best known today for his acclaimed war poetry, his classic memoir Goodbye To All That (1929), and his best-selling historical novels I Claudius (1934) and Claudius the God (1934) which were dramatised by the BBC in the 1970s. From 1929, he spent much of his life in Majorca, Spain, producing over 140 books (biography, novels, anthropology, myths, biblical studies) and was universally recognised as one of the leading writers of his age. Graves lived for many years with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder after his experiences in the First World War.


Director Fidelis Morgan returns to the Finborough Theatre where she has previously directed a sell-out production of Lennox Robinson’s Drama At Inish, starring Celia Imrie and Paul O’Grady, and Colleen Murphy's The Piper as part of Vibrant – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights; whilst her adaptation of Hangover Square, based on Patrick Hamilton’s novel, was another sell-out and received huge critical acclaim.

Fidelis was both player and assistant director at the world-renowned Glasgow Citizens Theatre, has directed classic plays at the major drama schools, and the King's Head Theatre. In 2014 she was Artist-in-Residence at the University of California. On television, Fidelis appeared in Jeeves and Wooster, As Time Goes By and Goodbye to Love, a biopic in which she played the Carpenters’ formidable mother, Agnes Carpenter. On stage, Fidelis has played leading roles in classics from Massinger to Coward, Goldoni to Brecht, at theatres such as the Citizens Theatre Glasgow, Nottingham Playhouse, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Everyman Theatre, Liverpool. Her most recent film role was Anne in A Little Chaos. Her twenty published books include the ground-breaking The Female Wits: Women Playwrights on the London Stage and the Countess Ashby de la Zouche crime novels. She is currently working on another novel set in the late 17th/ early 18th centuries.


Producer Andrew Maunder is Head of English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Hertfordshire. His recent books include British Theatre and the Great War 1914-1919  (2016) and R.C. Sherriff’s Journey’s End, A Guide (2017). He is part of the Centre for Everyday Lives in War, one of four First World War engagement centres funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. It is based at the University of Hertfordshire, in collaboration with the Universities of Essex, Northampton, West of England, Lincoln and Central Lancashire. The Centre works with a wide range of community groups on projects studying the impact of war on everyday life between 1914 and 1918 and its longer-term effects.


THEGREATWAR100 series is an occasional series of works about – or written during and in the aftermath – of the Great War presented by the Finborough Theatre to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.


“An astonshingly prolific and versatile writer...with a sardonic, hard-bitten wit.” Wolfgang Saxon, The New York Times

“Unique...amused and intense, detached and earnest at the same time....” John Carey, The Sunday Times

“The last of the great 1914-1918 war poets.” David Holloway, The Daily Telegraph

On Goodbye To All That

“A subversive tour de force…. Graves is never boring.” Robert McCrum, The Observer

“The book of a lifetime: Sanity in the face of insanity.” Benjamin Markovits, The Independent

“The cool genius of Robert Graves…one of the most moving statements of the impact of trench warfare.” John Wain, The Guardian.

“A beautifully written memoir of youth, a bitter rage against the worst of what the First World War had been.…As the First World War becomes increasingly remote…Goodbye becomes an important key to that past.” Allan Mallinson, The Times.

“One of the most candid self-portraits of a poet, warts and all, ever painted ….beautifully vivid.” Times Literary Supplement

On I Claudius

“Compelling.” Barry Unsworth, The Guardian

“One of the most extraordinary accomplishments in fiction.” Anne Perry, The Wall Street Journal

“Powerfully compelling.” Ben Lawrence, The Daily Telegraph


“Theatrical justice has been done to a great novel I cannot recommend too highly.” ★★★★★ The Daily Telegraph “The dark surrealism of Hamilton’s novel is expertly transferred to the stage in this wily production.” ★★★★ Four Stars, WhatsOnStage “Fidelis Morgan’s adaptation is vivid and poetic.” The Stage “Fidelis Morgan’s accomplished stage adaptation.” ★★★★ WhatsOnStage “Fidelis Morgan's stage adaptation takes risks with the novel while remaining utterly faithful to its spirit and atmosphere.” ★★★★★ The Daily Telegraph


Tuesday, 10 July – Saturday, 4 August 2018

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

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

Prices until 22 July 2018

Tickets £18, £16 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £16 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £18 all seats.
Previews (10 and 11 July) £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, 14 July 2018 when booked online only.

Prices from 24 July 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 But It Still Goes On

Tuesday, 10 July – Saturday, 4 August 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 Fidelis Morgan

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

Casting to be announced.