SQUARE ROUNDS

by Tony Harrison

 
Tuesday, 4 September – Saturday, 29 September 2018

The first UK production in nearly 30 years.

“You were very naïve if you could ever believe
that warfare would stop with your gun
for chemist/engineer a brand new era
of invention in war’s just begun.”

In a new production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre, the rediscovery of Tony Harrison’s Square Rounds in its first UK production for nearly 30 years plays at the Finborough Theatre for a four week limited season..

Fritz Haber, a German Jewish chemist, has been ordered by the Kaiser to develop a deadly poison gas to help Germany win the First World War. Despite the protestations of his wife, Haber hopes that his new invention will be an opportunity to escape his status as an outsider in German society. Little does he know, however, that his invention will go on to be used to exterminate his own people in the Holocaust just 25 years later.


American inventor Hudson Maxim is concerned for his country and the frightening technological advances employed by America’s new European enemies. But he is also jealous of his brother Hiram – internationally famous for his invention of the machine gun – and deeply suspicious of his brother’s cosy relationship with the European powers. 


Based on true events and featuring an all-female cast, Square Rounds explores the devastating effects of technology, the personal demons of the inventors, and the escalating tensions between nations in the build up to war. Presented in the year that marks the centenary of the end of the First World War, this play about war and the devastating impact of chemical warfare and weapons of mass destruction has never been more timely.

ABOUT PLAYWRIGHT TONY HARRISON

Playwright Tony Harrison was born in Leeds in 1937. He has written extensively for the National Theatre, New York Metropolitan Opera, BBC, Channel 4, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and for ancient spaces in Greece, Austria and Japan. His volumes of poetry include The Loiners (Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize), v. (Royal Television Society Award), The Gaze of the Gorgon (Whitbread Prize for Poetry) and Laureate's Block. His film Black Daisies for the Bride won the Prix Italia, 1994. He was awarded the PEN/Pinter Prize 2009, the European Prize for Literature 2010 and the David Cohen Prize for Literature 2015.

ABOUT DIRECTOR JIMMY WALTERS

Director Jimmy Walters returns to the Finborough Theatre following his acclaimed productions of Tony Harrison’s The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus and John Osborne’s A Subject of Scandal and Concern. Other direction includes The Dog Beneath The Skin (Jermyn Street Theatre), Mrs Orwell (Old Red Lion Theatre and Southwark Playhouse), Julius Caesar (Saatchi Gallery and Chelsea Theatre), Improbable Fiction (Courtyard Theatre), A Naughty Night With Noël Coward (Old Red Lion Theatre), Hamlet (United Arab Emirates Tour and Network Theatre), I the Jury (Hen and Chickens Theatre), Breaded Butler (Troubadour) and Dear Ray (Edinburgh Festival). Assistant Direction includes Young Shakespeare Company tours of Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet (Bloomsbury Theatre), Othello (Riverside Studios) and Knock Yourself Out (Courtyard Theatre).

THE PRESS ON SQUARE ROUNDS

“Clearly a work of genius…. It’s so brilliant you leave the theatre in a kind of exhilarated pessimism.” Boston Globe

“It would be a stony soul who didn’t salute Harrison’s reckless theatrical audacity…A stunning original piece of theatre.” The Guardian

“Let’s hand it to Tony Harrison: when it comes to taking theatrical risks, he has no rival.” The Times

“It is hard to convey the exciting strangeness of this piece…The National are right to put their faith in Harrison.” Sunday Telegraph

THE PRESS ON PLAYWRIGHT TONY HARRISON

“In the front rank of contemporary British poets…His range is exhilarating, his clarity and technical mastery a sharp pleasure” Melvyn Bragg

“A veracious appetite for language. Brilliant, passionate, outrageous, abrasive, but also, as in the family sonnets, immeasurably tender.” Harold Pinter

“Three decades on Tony Harrison’s angry but exquisite poetry still has the power to chill.” The Guardian

“A powerful voice bursting with passion, courage and anger.” The Independent

“The first genius working-class poet England has produced this century.” Blake Morrison, London Review of Books

“A poet of great technical accomplishment whose work insists that it is speech rather than page-bound silence” The Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Poetry

THE PRESS ON DIRECTOR JIMMY WALTERS' PRODUCTION OF TONY HARRISON’S THE TRACKERS OF OXYRHYNCHUS AT THE FINBOROUGH THEATRE

“This witty inventive poem is something pretty special” Alice Saville, Time Out

“Vibrant, heartfelt and provocative enough to prompt the satyr in all of us to stamp and shout” Sam Marlowe, The Times


“Even if the mock penises in this revival tend to dangle, there is nothing limp about Jimmy Walters’ production” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Nothing limp in this blast at high art” Dominic Cavendish, Daily Telegraph


“A joy to hammer in the New Year” Sarah Hemming, Financial Times


"I loved this. I enjoyed it enormously." Saturday Review BBC Radio 4 


TICKETS AND TIMES

Tuesday, 4 September – Saturday, 29 September 2018

Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm.
Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm.
Saturdaty Matinees at 3.00pm. (from 15 September 2018)

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

Prices until 16 September 2018

Tickets £18, £16 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £16 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £18 all seats.
Previews (4 and 5 September) £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,??? 2018 when booked online only.

Prices from 18 September 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

PLEASE NOTE THAT LATECOMERS CANNOT BE ADMITTED AND TICKETS CANNOT BE EXCHANGED OR REFUNDED.

BUY TICKETS ONLINE NOW

Book Tickets for Square Rounds

Tuesday, 4 September – Saturday, 29 September 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 Jimmy Walters

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

Casting to be announced.

CAST NAME HERE