Finborough Theatre Presents CARTHAGE, Begin. Tonight
A Finborough Theatre commission, Carthage is the debut play from the Finborough Theatre's new Channel 4 Playwright in Residence, Chris Thompson, and will receive its world premiere in a four week run from tonight, 28 January 2014 (Press Night: Thursday 30 January 2014 at 7.30pm).
Tommy Anderson was born in a prison, and he died in one too. The last moments of his life are recorded on CCTV, yet no one can answer the simple question: whose fault was it? His mother Anne blames Marcus, the guard who was supposed to be looking after him. Marcus, acquitted by the courts but tormented by his part in Tommy's death, wants the family's social worker to admit to the role she played. And social worker Sue can't work out when it was she stopped caring.
Piecing together a boy's life and death in care, Carthage asks who should raise our children when the systems designed to protect them can be as abusive as the situations from which they were rescued.
First time playwright Chris Thompson works as a social worker. Over the last ten years he has worked with young people in care, young offenders and in child protection. He currently works in young people's sexual health in the NHS. Carthage is both a personal response to ten years of managing risk and intervening in other people's lives - sometimes successfully, sometimes not - and an unflinching debut play about guilt, blame and the power of human touch. Writing with honesty and humour, he confronts the big question that has haunted him his entire social work career: "What good did I actually do?"
Playwright Chris Thompson is the Channel 4 Playwright in Residence at the Finborough Theatre, where he makes his professional debut with Carthage. The play has won Chris a Channel 4 Playwright's scheme bursary (formerly the Pearson Playwright Award), as judged by a panel including Sir Richard Eyre CBE, Michael Billington OBE and Indhu Rubasingham. The Finborough Theatre premiered an earlier version of Carthage as part of last year's Vibrant - A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, the Finborough Theatre's annual festival of new writing. In 2013, Chris was invited to take part in The Royal Court Theatre's Studio Writers' Group and the Kudos/Bush Initiative. He is currently under commission to the Bush Theatre.
Director Robert Hastie returns to the Finborough Theatre where he directed the acclaimed revival production of John McGrath's Events While Guarding the Bofors Gun, and Carthage as part of Vibrant 2012 - A Festival of Finborough Playwrights. Other directing credits include the UK premiere of Sunburst by Tennessee Williams as part of The Hotel Plays at Holborn Grange Hotel. As Associate Director work includes Coriolanus and the forthcoming Privacy at the Donmar Warehouse, Sixty-Six Books which opened the new Bush Theatre, where he directed World Premieres including In The Land of Uz by Neil LaBute and The Middle Man by Anthony Weigh, and Much Ado About Nothing starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate at the Wyndham's Theatre. Robert is also Trainee Associate Director at the Donmar Warehouse, an Associate Artist of the National Youth Theatre, a Connections Director for the National Theatre Connections programme and a co-founder of The Lamb Players.
The playtext of Carthage will be published by Oberon Books and available to purchase at performances.