Noel Coward's THIS WAS A MAN Begins Tonight at Finborough Theatre
Banned by the Lord Chamberlain for its facetious and irreverent treatment of adultery, This Was A Man, a previously unseen play by Noël Coward, directed by actress Belinda Lang, opens for its long overdue UK professional premiere in a strictly limited three week season at the Finborough Theatre tonight, 15 July 2014 (Press Night: Thursday, 17 July 2014 at 7.30pm).
Edward Churt is a successful painter. His wife Carol has a "vivid personality composed of a minimum of intellect and a maximum of sex". Increasingly aware of her infidelity, Edward defends himself with a veneer of sophisticated insouciance. But his best friend and army comrade is determined to avenge him...
This Was A Man explores some of Coward's lifelong and enduring themes of social mores, jealousy and the futility of a life with no moral compass. Can good manners emasculate us? What happens when we repress our inner caveman? Is it more courageous to look away or to face our demons and fight? What, indeed, does it mean to be a "man"?
Written in 1925 and immediately banned by the censor, This Was A Man opened on Broadway in 1926, and was subsequently produced across Europe, but has never been seen professionally in the UK until now.
Sir Noel Coward was born in 1899, and died in 1973. He was an actor, playwright, screenwriter, composer, lyricist, artist, novelist, short story writer, poet and cabaret artist. His many plays include The Vortex, Hay Fever, Easy Virtue, Bitter Sweet, Private Lives, Fallen Angels, Cavalcade, Design for Living, Tonight At 8.30, This Happy Breed, Present Laughter and Blithe Spirit. His screenplays include In Which We Serve and Brief Encounter. His songs include Mad Dogs and Englishmen.
Director Belinda Lang has appeared in numerous plays by Noël Coward, including Hands Across The Sea, Private Lives (Theatre Royal Bath and National Tour), Blithe Spirit (Chichester Festival Theatre), Hay Fever (Theatre Royal Haymarket and Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), A Song At Twilight (National Tour) and Present Laughter (Vaudeville Theatre), which she has also appeared in and directed on a National Tour. Her most recent production as a director was the National Tour of The Reluctant Debutante by William Douglas Home.
Nicholas Audsley | Bobby
Theatre includes A Christmas Carol (Bridge House Theatre).
Television includes Anne Frank: The Whole Story, Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders, Silent Witness, Suffocation and The Cazalet Chronicles.
Alex Corbert Burcher | Harry
Trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
Theatre includes Dreams from the Pit (Palace Theatre), Threesome (Etcetera Theatre), 35 to Nothingness (Theatre503), Jam (93 Feet East) and The White House (Courtyard Theatre).
Film includes Meet Pursuit Delange: The Movie, Fury, Between Places and Zero Dark Thirty.
Television includes Southside Story and Seconds from Disaster.
Jamie De Courcey | Edward
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Hangover Square.
Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes A Doll's House, Dr Faustus, 1984, Great Expectations, The Importance of Being Ernest (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), The Sacred Flame (English Touring Theatre), The Ashes (Nottingham Playhouse), Sold, Decade (Theatre503), A Voyage Round My Father (Donmar Warehouse and Wyndham's Theatre), Alphabetical Order (Salisbury Playhouse), The Rivals (Theatre Royal Bath and National Tour), Hamlet (Theatre Royal Northampton), An Inspector Calls (National Theatre, Birmingham Rep and National Tour), Macbeth (Arcola Theatre), Alice in Wonderland (Royal Shakespeare Company), Another Country (Arts Theatre and Oxford Playhouse), The School of Night (Minerva Theatre, Chichester, and Chichester Festival), Plenty (Almeida at the Albery Theatre) and Skylight (Harrogate Theatre).
Film includes Rush, Private Peaceful and Wonder.
Television includes Downton Abbey, Foyles War, Wire in the Blood, Heartbeat, The Hollow, Agatha Christie's Poirot, Midsomer Murders, The Way We Live Now and Beast.
Dorothea Myer-Bennett | Carol
Trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Theatre includes Arcadia, As You Like It, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Richard III, The Misanthrope, The Comedy of Errors, King Lear, The Cherry Orchard (Tobacco Factory, Bristol), The Spire (Salisbury Playhouse), The Fitzrovia Radio Hour (Edinburgh Festival and National Tour), Present Laughter (National Tour), Transparency (Ransom Theatre), Freshwater (Charleston Festival Theatre), Hay Fever (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), She Stoops to Conquer (Birmingham Rep and National Tour), Restoration (Headlong Theatre), Mendelssohn in Scotland (City of London Sinfonia) and The Tamer Tamed (Shakespeare's Globe).
Film includes The Payback.
Television includes Jude the Obscure, Dead Man Talking and Plastic People.
Voice includes The Voice of Inga in Fable Legend.
Robert Portal | Evelyn
Theatre includes A Little Hotel on the Side, Private Lives, The Deep Blue Sea (Theatre Royal Bath), The Doctor's Dilemma, The Invention of Love, Ajax (National Theatre), The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre), The Common Pursuit (Menier Chocolate Factory), Tom and Viv (Almeida Theatre), The Rivals, Henry VI, The Transit of Venus, Love's Labour's Lost, The Country Wife, The Venetian Twins, A Christmas Carol (Royal Shakespeare Company), Calico (Duke of York's Theatre), Noises Off (Piccadilly Theatre), Venus Observed and Cain and Abel (Chichester Festival Theatre).
Film includes Kids in Love, Turner, Welcome to the Punch, The Iron Lady, My Week With Marilyn, Mother's Milk, The Kings Speech, You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, Stiff Upper Lips, Mrs Dalloway, Heroes and Villains and In Your Dreams.
Television includes Meet Pursuit Delange, Psychoville, Ashes To Ashes, In Love With Barbara, Men Are Wonderful, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, Hogfather, Surviving Disaster, Rosemary and Thyme, Pharaoh and The Great Belzoni, The Queen's Sister, Distant Shores, The Thick of It, Clocking Off, The Queen's Lover, Bye Bye Baby, The Armando Ianucci Show, Simisola, The Merchant of Venice, Julia Jekyll and Harriet Hyde, Whoops Mr Thornton is a Moron, Embassy and The Painted Lady.
Georgina Rylance | Zoe
Trained at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes Twelfth Night (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) and Alpha Beta (Edinburgh Festival).
Film includes The Flight of the Swan, Scooterman, Afterlife, Puritan, 7 Seconds and The Prophecy Uprising.
Television includes Armadillo, Man and Boy, Manchild, As If, Dinotopia, Keen Eddie, The Deputy, Spartacus, The Government Inspector, Poirot - The Mystery of the Blue Train, Inspector Lynley, New Tricks, Crusoe and Le Grand.
Grace Thurgood | Margot
Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes The Comedy of Errors (National Theatre), Front (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art Theatre Festival), The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre), 'Corrie!' (National Tour), The London Exiles (Soho Theatre) and Human: Street Artists (Tristan Bates Theatre).
Film includes Walter's War.
Television includes EastEnders, A Week of Dangerous Dressing, The Bill and King Makers.
The Finborough Theatre previously presented The Rat Trap in 2006, Noel Coward's first ever play in its first production for 80 years, directed by Tim Luscombe.
PRESS NIGHT: THURSDAY, 17 JULY 2014 AT 7.30PM
PHOTOCALL: TUESDAY, 15 JULY 2014 AT 1.00PM-1.30PM
Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London, SW10 9ED
Box Office 0844 847 1652 Book online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk
Tuesday, 15 July - Saturday, 2 August 2014
Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm. Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm. Saturday matinees at 3.00pm (from 26 July 2014).
Prices for Week One (15-20 July 2014) - Tickets £16, £14 concessions, except Tuesday Evenings £14 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £16 all seats. Previews (15 and 16 July) £12 all seats.
£10 tickets for Under 30's for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only.
£12 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on Saturday, 19 July 2014 when booked online.
Prices for Weeks Two and Three (22 July-2 August 2014) - Tickets £18, £16 concessions, except Tuesday Evenings £16 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £18 all seats.
Performance Length: Approximately two hours with one interval of fifteen minutes.