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by Graham Greene
Directed by Svetlana Dimcovic
Produced by Victoria Brittain
Cast: Eileen Battye. Emma Beattie. Paul Cawley. Carl Ferguson. David Gooderson. Janet Hargreaves. Lorna Jones. Charlie Roe. Zoe Thorne. Mario Vernazza. Martin Wimbush.
Presented by Fiddy West Productions in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre

The first London production in just under 40 years

Summer Season 2010 – Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Finborough Theatre
Sundays and Mondays, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27 September 2010

Graham Greene’s controversial play The Potting Shed returns for its first London production in just under 40 years...

An estranged son desperately searches for the missing childhood memories that left him rejected by his father, alienated from his family and alone in the world. After a generation of denial, will the Callifer family ever end their silence on what happened in the potting shed all those years ago?

The Potting Shed was written in 1958 and originally produced at the Globe Theatre by H. M. Tennent Ltd with Sir John Gielgud, Irene Worth and Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies. It was last seen in London in 1971 at Sadler’s Wells with Cliff Richard in the lead role.

Playwright Graham Greene was born in 1904 in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. In 1926, he was received into the Roman Catholic Church. Many of his literary works are inspired by Catholicism. His many novels, published by Vintage Classics, include The Power and the Glory, The Heart of the Matter, The Confidential Agent, The End of the Affair, The Quiet American, Loser Takes All, Dr Fischer of Geneva, The Human Factor, Monsignor Quixote, The Honorary Consul, and Travels with My Aunt , later adapted into a very successful play. His other plays include The Living Room, The Complaisant Lover and Carving a Statue. As well as his many novels, Graham Greene wrote several collections of short stories, four travel books, six plays, two books of autobiography, a biography and four books for children. He also contributed hundreds of essays, and film and book reviews, some of which appear in the collections Reflections and Mornings in the Dark. Many of his novels and short stories have been filmed including Brighton Rock with Richard Attenborough, Our Man in Havana with Alec Guinness and Noël Coward, The Quiet American starring Michael Caine and The Third Man with Orson Welles. Graham Greene was a member of the Order of Merit and a Companion of Honour. He died in April 1991. This production of The Potting Shed coincides with the release of a new film adaptation of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock, directed by Rowan Joffe, with Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough and Dame Helen Mirren.

Director Svetlana Dimcovic trained at the University of Birmingham and the National Theatre, London. She was Associate Director of the Gate Theatre (2003-2005), Associate Director of the Caird Company (2002-2005) and a Trainee Director at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond (2001-2002). Svetlana has also trained at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Text and Language with Cicely Berry and recently originated and set up the BEE programme at the Bush Theatre. Previous productions include The God of Hell (Belgrade, Serbia), The Outside (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), Lithuanian Festival (Southwark Playhouse), Zuva Crumbling (Lyric Hammersmith), The Professional (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow), Mushroom Pickers (Southwark Playhouse), Writer’s Generation (Arts Printing House, Vilnius, Lithuania) and The Broken Heel (Riverside Studios).

The cast includes Eileen Battye, Emma Beattie, Paul Cawley, Carl Ferguson, David Gooderson, Janet Hargreaves, Lorna Jones, Charlie Roe, Zoe Thorne, Mario Vernazza and Martin Wimbush. Eileen Battye’s recent credits include Life and Beth (National Tour) and That Old Feeling (The Mill at Sonning). Emma Beattie has recently performed in The Ruffian on the Stair (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond). Paul Cawley’s recent credits include Wideness of the Sea (Arcola Theatre) and My Family (BBC). Carl Ferguson’s credits include Lovely and Misfit (Trafalgar Studios) and seasons at Salisbury Playhouse and Derby Playhouse. David Gooderson’s credits include Quatermaine’s Terms (Farnham Rep) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (English Touring Opera). Janet Hargreaves’ credits include Elgar and Alice (New End Theatre, Hampstead) and Talking Heads (Winchester Theatre Royal). Lorna Jones has recently played Christine in Miss Julie (BAC). Charlie Roe’s many credits include Holby City, The Bill, Derailed and Ashes to Ashes (all BBC). Zoe Thorne recently performed in Alice and the Walled Garden (Sixteen Feet Productions). Mario Vernazza has just finished touring with the Oxford Theatre Company performing The Tempest, and Martin Wimbush whose recent theatre credits include Humble Boy (National Tour) and can be seen in Garrow’s Law (BBC) and Kubrick (Channel 4).

The Press on The Potting Shed
“One of the master story-tellers of our time.” Sunday Express
“We can have faith in Graham Greene. He freezes the laughter on our lips… a drama exciting in its boldness.” Sketch
“Mr Greene is asking from his audience precisely what Shakespeare and Barrie asked, a willing suspension of disbelief in the supernatural… one of the points Mr Greene wanted to make was that irreligious bigotry can be just as hard and narrow and cruel as the religious kind.” W.A. Darlington, Daily Telegraph
“How can one believe in or understand a God who, to save one soul, will ruin another?” Harold Hobson, The Sunday Times

Supported by the Graham Greene Birthplace Trust. For details, click here

The Press on The Potting Shed at the Finborough Theatre
“Almost 40 years after it was last performed, Graham Greene’s controversial play The Potting Shed is back on the London stage - more of a rediscovery than a return, you could argue.” Nick Buckley, The Mirror

“A whole generation of theatre-goers missed out on a literary treat. This brilliant psychological drama looks at the torment of faith - non-believers v believers - faced by the Callifer family.” Nick Buckley, The Mirror

“When a programme heralds that a production of a show is ‘the first in London for forty years’, it might elicit the curious response–what’s wrong with it then? And indeed, these might have been the words on my mental lips if I hadn’t been assured by the artistic reputation of the Finborough and the literary legacy of Graham Greene. And, oh, how right I was to hold my tongue.” Richard J. Thornton, ExtraExtra

“You may not leave with much faith in religion, but my God, you’ll have faith in theatre.” Richard J. Thornton, ExtraExtra

“In the tiny Finborough Theatre, this gripping and intense drama unfolds at great pace. The audience feed off the intimacy with director Svetlana Dimcovic’s brilliant professional cast.” Nick Buckley, The Mirror

“All the acting deserves commendation, and those who stood out had to shine bright against a glittering and succulent array of talent.” Richard J. Thornton, ExtraExtra

“As well as its main repertoire, as interesting as that of any fringe theatre in London, the Finborough in Earl's Court stages Sunday and Monday night performances of forgotten rarities.” Michael Coveney, WhatsOnStage

“The Finborough cast, led by a wound-up Paul Cawley following in famous footsteps and remarkable, 25 year-old Zoe Thorne as the thirteen year-old girl who unlocks the mystery, are terrific.” Michael Coveney, WhatsOnStage