THE NICETIES

by Eleanor Burgess

 
1 October - 26 October 2019

The European premiere of the hit Off-Broadway play

“There is one appropriate way of responding to a woman of color who says, I have an idea to assert, and that is to shut up and listen”

America. 2016. Within the stately office of an elite university two women united by their vision for the future, but divided on how to get there, meet to review a history paper that asks one big question: has America reached the moment for its real, radical, revolution?

When a clash of ideas becomes a complicated discussion about race, the niceties begin to wear thin and one woman is forced to put everything on the line in order to make her case.

As their private dispute explodes into a public war, the devastating consequences of their good intentions are laid bare, as both student and professor ask: Have we left it too late to repair our divided society?

Originally premiered at the Huntington Theatre, Boston, before transferring to Manhattan Theatre Club, New York City, The Niceties marks the European debut of a stunning new American playwright, Eleanor Burgess.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT ELEANOR BURGESS

Playwright Eleanor Burgess has had work produced at Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre Center, Huntington Theatre Company, the Alliance Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Portland Stage Company, and Centenary Stage, and developed with The New Group, New York Theatre Workshop, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Salt Lake Acting Company, the Lark Play Development Center, and the Kennedy Center/NNPN MFA Playwrights Workshop. She has been a member of Page 73's writers' group Interstate 73 and The Civilians’ R&D Group, and the recipient of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Award, an EST/Sloan commission, a Huntington Playwriting Fellowship, a Keen Teens Commission, and the Susan Glaspell Award for Women Playwrights. She grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts, studied history at Yale College, and recently completed the M.F.A in Dramatic Writing at NYU/Tisch.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR MATTHEW ILIFFE

Director Matthew Iliffe returns to the Finborough Theatre following his acclaimed production of Lionel Bart and Alun Owen’s musical Maggie May this spring, and Colleen Murphy’s new play Geography of Fire/La Furie et sa Géographie as part of Vibrant 2019 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights. Direction includes the European premiere of The Burnt Part Boys which was nominated for the OffWestEnd Award for Best Director and Best Musical Production (Park Theatre), Side By Side By Sondheim (The Piano Bar, Bristol Hippodrome), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Landor Theatre), Precious Little Talent (The Albany), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Alma Tavern Theatre, Bristol) and The Way Things Weren't (The Room Above, Bristol). Assistant Direction includes Brass (National Youth Music Theatre at the Hackney Empire) and Romeo and Juliet (Eastville Park, Bristol). Matthew graduated from the University of Bristol with a first class honours degree in Theatre and Performance Studies, and trained on the StoneCrabs Young Directors Programme, in association with The Albany.

ABOUT THE CAST

Moronkẹ Akinola | Zoe

Trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Theatre whilst training includes The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Wonder Boy, The Dissociation of Shirley Mason, The Railway Children, The Mill on the Floss, 19th Floor, The Flora Sandes, Beowulf, Philistines, A View from the Bridge, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Importance of Being Earnest, Twelfth Night and Lungs. This is Moronkẹ’s professional stage debut.

Janie Dee | Janine

Theatre includes Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Ustinov Studio, Bath), Passion (Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte), Follies, Women of Troy, Johnny on a Spot, Carousel for which she won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical (National Theatre), Moonlight, Night School (Harold Pinter Theatre), Monogamy (Park Theatre), Linda (Manhattan Theatre Club), Hand to God (Vaudeville Theatre), The Seagull, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park), Ah, Wilderness! (The Young Vic), 84 Charing Cross Road (Salisbury Playhouse), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare's Globe International Tour), Blithe Spirit (Gielgud Theatre), Putting it Together (St. James Theatre), Hello Dolly!, The King and I (The Curve, Leicester), NSFW (Royal Court Theatre), Noises Off (The Old Vic and Novello Theatre), All’s Well That Ends Well (Shakespeare's Globe), Private Lives (Nottingham Playhouse), The Little Hut (National Tour), Calendar Girls (Noël Coward Theatre), Woman in Mind (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), Shadowlands (Wyndham's Theatre), Mack and Mabel (Criterion Theatre and National Tour), Donkey’s Years (Comedy Theatre), Celebration, Old Times (Gate Theatre, Dublin), The Apple Cart, Old Times, Much Ado About Nothing, Design for Living (Theatre Royal Bath), Betrayal (Duchess Theatre and Theatre Royal Bath), Diva at the Donmar (Donmar Warehouse), A Month in the Country, Three Sisters (Chichester Festival Theatre), My One and Only (Piccadilly Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre), Paradise Moscow (Opera North), Comic Potential for she won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Play (Lyric Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club) and The Shakespeare Revue (Royal Shakespeare Company).
Film includes Official Secrets, Dare to be Wild, Me and Orson Welles, The Trouble with Dot and Harry, The Driving Seat and Celebration.
Television includes Chimerica, Crashing, Harold Pinter: A Celebration, The Murder Room, Death in Holy Orders, Midsomer Murders, House of Cards, Heartbeat and London’s Burning.

THE PRESS ON DIRECTOR MATTHEW ILIFFE’S PRODUCTION OF MAGGIE MAY AT THE FINBOROUGH THEATRE

“Kudos to the dauntless ambition of Matthew Iliffe’s chamber production, which grapples with the material in considerable style.” The Times

“The vim and vigour of Matthew Iliffe’s production.” The Guardian

“Director Matthew Iliffe and his strong cast have put it on the tiny Finborough stage in fine style.” Reviewsgate

“A thrilling production that fills its small space impressively… Director Matthew Iliffe ensures every aspect of the show is a rediscovered joy” The Reviews Hub

“The thrill of Iliffe’s production is that it brings this teaming world to vivid life on a tiny pocket studio stage.” LondonTheatre.co.uk

“Hugely impressive” The Upcoming

“Matthew Iliffe’s inventive production… a terrific night out” Illusions Media

THE PRESS ON DIRECTOR MATTHEW ILIFFE’S PRODUCTION OF THE BURNT PART BOYS

“It’s the imaginative way that the audience is taken on this journey by director Matthew Iliffe that makes this show truly special.” Musical Theatre Review

“A forward-thinking and meticulous director.” A Younger Theatre  

“This unusual musical is gripping and its staging imaginative… Expertly sung and staged.” The Stage

“Powerfully told and imaginatively staged.” Stage Review

“One of the finest examples of Off West End musical theatre... The show under Matthew Iliffe's direction, is also staged perfectly.” Jonathan Baz

“Staged with heart and craft... one of the best new shows in town.” Mark Shenton

THE PRESS ON THE NICETIES IN NEW YORK AND BOSTON

“Blisteringly smart, searing and revealing!” The Boston Globe

"An articulate, expression of #blacklivesmatter anger as well as a millennial rebel yell." The Arts Fuse
“The Niceties is a bristling, provocative debate play.” The New York Times

“Crackles and spark with friction. Burgess’ characters are drawn with precision and her dialogue is expertly crafted to keep both the tension and attention high” New York Theatre Guide

The world premiere of The Niceties was co-produced in the 2018-2019 season by the Huntington Theatre Company (Peter DuBois, Artistic Director  Michael Maso, Managing Director), Boston, MA; Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director Barry Grove, Executive Producer), New York, NY; and McCarter Theatre Center (Emily Mann, Artistic Director/Resident Playwright  Michael S. Rosenberg, Managing Director), Princeton, NJ.
Originally developed at the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, in July 2017, under the leadership of Ed Herendeen, Producing Director, and Peggy McKowen, Associate Producing Director.
Developed in part at PORTLAND STAGE COMPANY, Anita Stewart, Executive and Artistic Director.

TICKETS AND TIMES

Tuesday, 1 October – Saturday, 26 October 2019

Monday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm.
Wednesday and Saturday Matinees at 3.00pm.
Thursday matinees on 3 October and 24 October at 3.00pm.

No performances on Sundays, and on Friday 4 October, Saturday, 5 October and Friday, 25 October.

Performance Length: Approximately 2 hours with one interval of 15 minutes.

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGES TO THE PREVIOUSLY ADVERTISED PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE, DUE TO ARTIST AVAILABILITY. WE APOLOGISE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE CAUSED.

Prices until 13 October 2019

Tickets £18, £16 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £16 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £18 all seats.
Previews (1 and 2 October) £14 all seats.

£10 tickets for Under 30's for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only.

No performances on Sundays, and on Friday 4 October, Saturday, 5 October and Friday, 25 October.

Prices from 15-20 October 2019

Tickets £20, £18 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £18 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £20 all seats. 

Prices from 22-26 October 2019

Tickets £25, £20 concessions

except Tuesday Evenings £20 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £25 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 The Niceties

Tuesday, 1 October – Saturday, 26 October 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 Matthew Iliffe

Set and Costume Design by Rachel Stone

Lighting Design by Lucía Sánchez Roldán

Presented by Giles Chiplin Productions and 23 Productions Ltd. in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre.

MORONKẸ AKINOLA

JANIE DEE