by Chè Walker

Tuesday, 1 January - 26 January 2019

The European premiere

“You’re holding my sins inside you now. I've told you something no one else knows.”

2019. In the last remaining barrios of East LA…

Blaz returns from prison, but something ain’t right. His lifelong love Havana Cortez is keeping a secret. His old partner Karl seems to know what it is. Havana’s best friend Rosa hates him even more than usual, but this was not always the case. And the detective who locked him up can’t stop with the women. Serena The Sex Worker is our ethereal guide to this menacing world - but why are there pterodactyls overhead?

Love and Betrayal. Tenderness and Rage. Crime and Home. Adventure and Ageing. Los Angeles behind the mask. 

Featuring members of the original Los Angeles cast and in a production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre, Time Is Love/Tiempo es Amor is the latest play from Chè Walker, the multi-award-winning writer director behind UK Netflix’s hit Been So Long starring Michaela Coel and Arinzé Kene.


Playwright and Director Chè Walker returns to the Finborough Theatre, where he has directed six previous productions including His Greatness, Etta Jenks, Blue Surge, Fog and Achidi J’s Final Hours. Chè's first play Been So Long premiered at the Royal Court Theatre and has been performed worldwide. The musical adaptation played at The Young Vic before being adapted into a Netflix feature film, starring Michaela Coel and Arinzé Kene. His second play Flesh Wound premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, and won the George Devine Award before being produced globally. His many other plays include Crazy Love, starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge and written for Paines Plough, won the Blanche Marvin Award;  The Frontline which made history as the first contemporary-set play to be performed at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2008, and was revived in 2009; The Lightning Child was the first musical to be performed at Shakespeare’s Globe; the song cycle The Eighth, collaborating with Paul Heaton, which premiered at the Manchester International Festival with a cast featuring Emmy winner Reg E Cathey, and subsequently played the Barbican Centre in London and toured the UK; Lovesong, featuring Omar, toured with English Touring Theatre; and Klook and Vinette, featuring Sheila Atim and Ako Mitchell, sold out its run at the Park Theatre with subsequent runs in Atlanta, Alabama, and it will tour to Texas and Seattle in 2019. Since relocating to Los Angeles, Ché has written and directed four short films, winning two awards and fifteen festival selections. He currently has two screenplays in development. His adaptation of the iconic BBC Series DeadHead is produced by Open Palm Film and will be directed by Dominic Dromgoole in 2019. His original screenplay Fredo Bertasio is produced by David Livingstone and Emily Bray, with Jake Nava attached to direct.

Chè has also directed thirty-one stage productions, including six at the Finborough Theatre, and over fifty professional acting credits across stage and screen.


The production will feature original music by Sheila Atim.


Gabriel Akuwudike | Blaz

Trained at Drama Centre London.

Theatre includes Dealing With Clair (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), A Gym Thing (Pleasance London), No One Is An Island (Tangle Theatre) and Troilus and Cressida (Sam Wanamaker Festival at Shakespeare's Globe).
Television includes Berlin Station, Brexit: The Uncivil War, The Bisexual and Informer.

Sheila Atim | Rosa

Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Rachel.
Trained at Wac Arts.
Theatre includes Othello (Shakespeare's Globe), Girl from the North Country for which she won Best Supporting Actress in a Musical at the 2018 Olivier Awards, the Critics' Circle Award for Most Promising Newcomer and the Clarence Derwent Award, and was nominated for the Emerging Talent Category at the 2017 Evening Standard Awards and for Best Supporting Actress in a Play at the 2018 WhatsOnStage Awards (The Old Vic and Noël Coward Theatre), Babette's Feast (Print Room at the Coronet), Les Blancs (National Theatre), Julius Caesar and Henry IV (Donmar Warehouse), The Tempest (Donmar Warehouse and St Anne's Warehouse, New York), The Interrogation of Sandra Bland (Bush Theatre), Volpone, Love's Sacrifice and The Jew of Malta (Royal Shakespeare Company) and Hopelessly Devoted (Paines Plough).
Productions by Chè Walker include Klook's Last Stand (Park Theatre) and The Lightning Child (Shakespeare’s Globe).
Film includes Sulphur and White.  
Television includes Harlots, Bounty Hunters and The Feed.

Benjamin Cawley | Karl

Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Fog and The Hospital at the Time of The Revolution.
Theatre includes The Mysteries (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), The Strange Death of John Doe and Patterns of Grace (Hampstead Theatre), Queen of Chapeltown (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Wind In The Willows (Wardrobe Ensemble), The Tempest (Southwark Playhouse), Get Carter (Northern Stage, Newcastle), Fog (Park Theatre and National Tour), Shiverman (Theatre503), Chavs (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), Dunsinane (Royal Shakespeare Company), On The High Road (Urgent Theatre), Sense (Made By Brick), Sticks and Stones (Old Red Lion Theatre), Dark Carnival (Old Vic Tunnels) and O.O.L.P.O.S.P (Ovalhouse).
Television includes Crossing Lines, The Pact, Doctor Who, Shetland, Doctors and How TV Ruined Your Life.
Film includes Christmas Eve.

Cary Crankson | Seamus

Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes All My Sons (Nottingham Playhouse), A View From The Bridge (Wyndham’s Theatre), Abigail’s Party (The Curve, Leicester), The Saints (Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Southampton), Dealer’s Choice (Royal and Derngate Theatres, Northampton), London, Seawall and Wasted (Paines Plough and The Roundhouse), Chapel Street (Underbelly and The Old Vic New Voices), Othello (Rose Theatre, Bankside), Desire Under The Elms (New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme), The Rover (Southwark Playhouse), Exit Signs – Rough Cuts (Royal Court Theatre), Flight Path (Bush Theatre) and Silverland (59E59 Theaters, New York, and Arcola Theatre). ​
Television includes The Bill, Doctors and Wild West. ​
​Film includes Rock 'N' Roll and F*#kin Lovely​.

Jessica Ledon | Havana

Trained at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting Los Angeles.
Theatre includes The Vampyre, Rabbit Hole and A Month in The Country, Night Mother and Time Is Love/Tiempo es Amor (Stella Adler Academy of Acting Los Angeles).

Sasha Frost | Serena The Sex Worker

Trained at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.
Theatre includes The Cherry Orchard and All My Sons (Nottingham Playhouse), The Lightning Child (Shakespeare’s Globe), Gutted (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Suspension (Bristol Old Vic), Kick-off (Riverside Studios) and The Fifth Column and The Canterville Ghost (Southwark Playhouse).
Film includes Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Remainder, Host, Anti-Social and FIT.
Television includes Defending The Guilty, Sunny D, Agatha Raisin, Casualty, Frankie, Garrow’s Law, Holby City, Doctors, Privates, Hollyoaks and Beautality.


“Hot, hot, hot….What an exciting way to start the year!... A little gem, which gleams seductively in the dark…Dizzy eroticism.” Alex Sierz, Alex Sierz

“Time Is Love is a moody, sexy and sultry play from the pen of Che Walker – who also skilfully directs...It fizzes along at a rapid-fire pace, helped by some mighty fine performances from a young and vibrant cast… Time Is Love brims with Latino zest. Theatre’s version of Pisco Sour.” Jeff Prestridge, Close Up Culture

“Seek out this fine production of Che Walker’s remarkable new LA-set drama” Thomas W Hodgkinson, The Sunday Times

“A very hot ticket.” Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

“Walker uses a thrilling mix of theatrical alchemy to transform a sad and sordid lowlife tale into a majestic creation of tragic feeling.” Alex Sierz, Alex Sierz

“Walker has gone beyond simple cyphers to depict Latino lives, creating rounded characters driven by the need for love.” Mark Ludmon, British Theatre

“Moments of stunning writing.” Laura Kressly, The Play’s The Thing

“Crazy funny lines and vivid verbal images.” Alex Sierz, Alex Sierz

“Ché Walker’s writing is very strong.” Madeline Lee, A Younger Theatre

“The plot…is consistently elevated by the playwright’s ear for the music and magic of speech…The writing hooks you from the off” Thomas W Hodgkinson, The Sunday Times

“The cast is excellent.” Ann Treneman, The Times

“Delightful language and superb acting…Gripping performances.” Madeline Lee, A Younger Theatre

“A stunning ensemble.” Joseph Prestwich, The Spy in the Stalls

“A terrific cast.” Alex Sierz, Alex Sierz

“The play’s bilingual characters flit effortlessly between English and Spanish.” Scott Matthewman, The Reviews Hub

“This cast switch between languages with fluency and the accented energy of the exchanges in Spanish helps to raise the temperature.” Marianka Swain, Broadway World

“The cast, most of whom switch between English and Spanish, perform with great precision.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Atim…is tremendous. She radiates power but never seems to impose it. At moments of greatest febrility she will slow down her speech, drop her voice, laugh. She never hurries a gesture. She has her own time. And the time is now.” Susannah Clapp, The Observer

“The real star here is [Sheila] Atim.” Scott Matthewman, The Reviews Hub

“[Sheila] Atim is captivating.” Tim Bano, The Stage

“Atim has an amazing stage presence.” Lizzie Loveridge, Curtain Up

“Sheila Atim, who plays Rosa, is a powerhouse on stage.” Madeline Lee, A Younger Theatre

Sheila Atim - “You cannot take your eyes off her whenever she appears.” Ann Treneman, The Times

“A treat to see the magnificent Sheila Atim in such an intimate space.” Lyn Gardner, Twitter

“Atim is always hypnotic.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Sheila Atim… shines brilliantly throughout.” Jeff Prestridge, Close Up Culture

“In a stand-out performance, Atim also plays Rosa, a lap-dancer struggling with her own loss and need for love. Sasha Frost also shines as Serena.” Mark Ludmon, British Theatre

“The standout turns come from a lazy-lidded Benjamin Cawley, as Blaz’s morally bankrupt bezzie, and the striking Sheila Atim,” Thomas W Hodgkinson, The Sunday Times

“Crankson especially hooks the audience from the start.” Madeline Lee, A Younger Theatre

“Gabriel Akuwudike does good work as tormented hero Blaz as does Benjamin Cawley as his tricksy best friend Karl.” Tim Bano, The Stage

“As director, Walker is boldly theatrical.” Marianka Swain, Broadway World

“The [set] enabled by one of the Finborough’s most drastic (and most welcome) reconfigurations of recent years.” Scott Matthewman, The Reviews Hub

“The whole production is enhanced by Chai Rolfe’s videography, which brings lifelike moments to the piece, making it ever more captivating.” Madeline Lee, A Younger Theatre

“The music, composed by Atim, is also somewhat mesmerising and entrancing.” Jeff Prestridge, Close Up Culture


"Fringe theatre is bristling with creativity and flair but is often overlooked. This seething mass of talent has risen to the surface at the Finborough with this transfixing production. Making his directorial debut, Chè Walker creates a wonderfully tragic journey...this production is a triumph for all involved." The Stage on Achidi J's Final Hours

"Walker, directing a persuasive cast, creates a dark and compelling onstage world." Sam Marlowe, The Times on Achidi J's Final Hours

"Superbly directed by Chè Walker...an exciting, darkly comic evening." Aleks Sierz, What’s On in London on Etta Jenks Blue Surge – Time Out Critics' Choice, ★★★★ Four Stars, Time Out, The Times, The Guardian, WhatsOnStage and Evening Standard.

"Powerfully served...by Chè Walker’s direction...An evening of great theatre." Jeremy Kingston, The Times on Blue Surge Fog – Time Out Show of the Week and Critics' Choice, ★★★★★ Five Stars, WhatsOnStage, ★★★★Four Stars The Daily Telegraph and Time Out 

"Chè Walker’s sizzling and stunning production.” Aleks Sierz, The Stage on Fog

"Chè Walker's cleverly heightened production jangles your nerves and twists your heart.” Paul Taylor, The Independent

"Chè Walker's production...is intimate, tender, terrifying” Kate Bassett, The Independent on Sunday on Fog

His Greatness – Time Out Critics' Choice – ★★★★ Four Stars The Sunday Times, WhatsOnStage and Time Out


“Lively, funny, extremely well-written.” The Times on The Frontline

“Hilarious and startlingly touching.” The Independent on Sunday on The Frontline

“Hilarious, elating, enormously entertaining.” The Sunday Times on Been So Long The Musical

“A brilliant piece of dramatic poetry.” The Scotsman on Crazy Love

“A blistering, angrily funny play.” The Telegraph on Flesh Wound


Tuesday, 1 January – Saturday, 26 January 2019

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

Performance Length: Approximately 90 minutes with no interval.

Prices until 13 January 2019

Tickets £18, £16 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £16 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £18 all seats.
Previews (1 and 2 January 2019) £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, 5 January 2019 when booked online only.

Prices from 15 January 2019

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 Time is Love/Tiempo Es Amor

Tuesday, 1 January – Saturday, 26 January 2019

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 Chè Walker

Sound by Sheila Atim

Presented by Jezebel Productions and Dragon Bait Productions with Jonathan Chambers in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre.