Directed by Carla Kingham. Set and Costume Design by Ruta Irbite. Lighting by KieRon Johnson. Sound by Max Pappenheim. Produced by Audrey Thayer. Presented by Marricdale Productions in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre. Supported by the B. S. Johnson Estate.

Cast: Sarah Berger. Brian Deacon. Reginald Edwards. Alex Griffin. Emma Paetz. Bertie Taylor-Smith.

"Laughter is a weapon: all you can do is laugh, isn't it?"

In a production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre, for the first time in the UK theatre history, You're Human Like the Rest of Them, an evening of three short plays by British literary powerhouse B. S. Johnson, will be staged together at the Finborough Theatre, playing nine Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees from Sunday, 5 March 2017 (Press Night: Monday, 6 March 2017 at 7.30pm).

Spanning ten years of Johnson's short yet prolific career, the evening features the first UK revival in many years of Johnson's short plays You're Human Like the Rest of Them and Down Red Lane, and the world stage premiere of Not Counting the Savages.

Hailed by Samuel Beckett as a 'most gifted writer', this is a rare opportunity to see the work of Britain's 'ultimate forgotten author', one of the most irreverent, visionary voices to come out of post-war Britain.

You're Human Like the Rest of Them is the wickedly funny portrayal of a young man facing up to the excruciating reality of the human condition. When plucky schoolmaster Haakon is sent to hospital with a minor back complaint, he finds himself in a lecture in back care alongside a cast of colourful octogenarians. Outraged by their exposure of the flaws of the human design, he returns to his own classroom a changed man, posing a new lesson of the day: what is the meaning of life? Originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1964, Johnson's first stage play later went on to become a ground-breaking film.

Down Red Lane was Johnson's final work written before his early death at the age of 40. A man newly come up in the world, the Diner has found a new vocation - fine dining. Knowing only too well the weakness of his regular customer, the Waiter plies him with every temptation. Unable to resist, the Diner is seemingly intent on indulging himself to death until his angry working class body begins to fight back. It's Man versus Belly in Johnson's absurd tale of the consequences of indulgence and desire.

Not Counting the Savages was originally produced as a teleplay directed by Mike Newell and starring Brenda Bruce as part of the BBC's Thirty Minute Theatre season in 1972. This production marks its world stage premiere. Wife is left traumatised by an encounter with a flasher in a local graveyard, but when she turns to her family for support, her doctor husband is indifferent, her son gets a voyeuristic kick and her daughter accuses her of overreacting. When the family conference is cut short by an emergency call from the hospital, Wife is left wondering why her husband is able to save a life, but desperately unable to save their marriage.

The run will be accompanied by the FINBOROUGHFORUM, a series of informal post-show discussions and debates, on Monday evenings: 13 and 20 March. All events are free to ticketholders for that evening's performance of the play. FINBOROUGHFORUM events will all be Twitter friendly with live tweets from @FinboroughForum. Using the hashtag #finfor, the speakers will also answer questions posed on Twitter so everyone can be included, no matter where they are in the world. Speakers will be announced shortly.

Playwright B. S. Johnson was a novelist, film-maker, journalist and playwright and wrote extensively for stage, television and radio. His better-known novels include Albert Angelo, The Unfortunates, House Mother Normal and Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry, which went on to become a major film starring Nick Moran. Largely unknown to the wider reading public at the time of his early death in 1973, Johnson's work has since grown a cult following leading to critically acclaimed film adaptations, BBC revivals and a major reissue by Picador. A life-long enthusiast and biographer of Johnson, Jonathan Coe's 2004 Like a Fiery Elephant inspired renewed interest in Johnson's work, as did the BFI's release of a collection of Johnson's films.

Director Carla Kingham returns to the Finborough Theatre following Vibrant 2015 - A Festival of Finborough Playwrights where she directed a reading of Anti-Matter by Joy Wilkinson. Recent productions include After the Heat We Battle for the Heart (VAULT Festival), Lotty's War (National Tour), Bi (Rich Mix Cultural Foundation), Tracey (White Bear Theatre) and No Border (Theatre503 and Oxford Playhouse) which was later commissioned for development by Nuffield Theatre, Southampton. Carla is currently Associate Director on LES MISERABLES at the Wermland Opera House, Sweden, and is an associate for comedy group Sleeping Trees Theatre. Carla is a Senior Reader at Theatre503, works extensively as a facilitator for organisations such as The Young Vic, Hoxton Hall, Westminster School and Artsdepot, and as a freelance dramaturg. She is currently developing a new musical with critically acclaimed band The Magnetic North, and a new play by Tallulah Brown for production in 2017.

The cast:
Sarah Berger | Wife, Physiotherapist
Theatre includes Under Milk Wood (Gateway Theatre, Chester), The Tempest (Southampton Theatre), The Glass Menagerie (Belfast Theatre), Three Sisters and The Dresser (Leatherhead Theatre), Twelfth Night, Henry VIII, Measure for Measure, Golden Girls, The Time of Your Life, The Party, Poppy, The Twin Rivals, Money (Royal Shakespeare Company), Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell (Apollo Theatre and The Old Vic), The Common Pursuit, The Philanthropist, Plunder, Rough Justice, Look Back in Anger (West End), Killjoy (The Mill at Sonning), Walking on Water, Lulu 7, The Charming Man (Off West End), Hay Fever, Having a Ball, Dad's Army, Star Quality, Present Laughter (Regional Tours), The Tempest and Macbeth (American Tours).
Television includes The Crucible, The Scarlet and the Black, The Green Man, An Inspector Calls, Hard Travelling, Fatherland, One by One, EastEnders, Casualty, Holby City, Josie, Second Thoughts, New Tricks, Doctors, Castles, and Murphy's Law.
Sarah is the Artistic Director and Founder of So and So Arts Club.

Brian Deacon | Husband
Theatre includes The American Venus (So and So Arts Club), Dealer's Choice (New Vic Theatre), The Woman in Black (Fortune Theatre), Dial M for Murder (Apollo Theatre), Brief Encounter (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), No More Aroving (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), Arms and The Man and Zoo Story (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (New Shakespeare Company), Curse of The Starving Class (Royal Court Theatre), Antony and Cleopatra (The Young Vic), Great and Small (Vaudeville Theatre), Madame Bovary (Palace Theatre), Exclusive Yarns (Comedy Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (Leeds Playhouse), King Lear (Northcott Theatre, Exeter), Shay (Lyceum Theatre), As You Like It and Richard II (Ludlow Festival), Hedda Gabbler (Citizen's Theatre), Benefactors (Channel Theatre Company), The Waiting Game (The Mill at Sonning), The Secret Diaries of Samuel Pepys, Emma, Jane Eyre and Othello (National Tours) and Groupie (Vienna's English Theatre).
Television includes Doctors, Emmerdale, Love and Mr Lewisham, Ghosts, The Emigrants, Lillie, Richard III, Separate Tables, Bleak House, Inappropriate Behaviour, Me and My Girl, Bugs, Family Affairs.

Reginald Edwards | Diner
Productions at the Finborough include Sommer 14 - A Dance of Death.
Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes Scouse: A Comedy of Terrors (Grand Central Theatre), King Lear (Royal and DernGate Theatres, Northampton, and National Tour), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Pride and Prejudice (Cunard Theatre), Lotty's War (National Tour), The Other Place (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art Festival), The Birthday Party, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Abigail's Party, The Long Shot (Unity Theatre), Blinded by the Light, Fully House Trained (24:7 Theatre Festival) and The Zoo Story (The Bluecoat Theatre).
Film includes Sweet and Right and Tiny Ruins: Carriages.
Television includes Holby City.

Alex Griffin-Griffiths | Belly
Trained at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes Ferrel and Goosebumps Alive (The Vaults), The Mystae (Hampstead Theatre Downstairs), Electric Eden and Early Doors (Pleasance Pop Up Theatre), The Book Club (One Star or Less), Tuck Shop (Roundabout Theatre), Danny the Champion of the World (London Contemporary National Tour) and Tracy (White Bear Theatre). Alex was a participant in the Sam Wanamaker Festival at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
Film includes Bucket and The Great Unwashed.
Television includes Stella and Midnight Miracle.
Alex is an Associate Artist of Not Too Tame Theatre Company.

Emma Paetz | Rosa, Miss Hammond
Trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes Mephisto, The Seagull, Love for Love and The Trojan Women (Guildhall School of Music and Drama). Emma was a participant in the 2016 Sam Wanamaker Festival at Shakespeare's Globe.
Film includes Final Girl.

Bertie Taylor-Smith | Jerry, Walter, Haakon
Trained at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes A Mad World My Masters (Royal Shakespeare Company), Tuck Shop (Arcola Theatre), PLAY 6 (Old Red Lion Theatre), Pomona (Gate Theatre), The Exclusion Zone (Southwark Playhouse), Cymbeline (Tabard Theatre), Twelfth Night, Hay Fever, The Winter's Tale, The Wonderful World Of Dissocia, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Coriolanus, The Erpingham Camp, When We Are Married (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama).
Film includes 121, Us Five, and Peanuts.
Radio includes Strife.

Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Box Office 0844 847 1652 Book online at

Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21 March 2017
Sunday and Monday evenings at 7.30pm. Tuesday matinees at 2.00pm.
Tickets £18, £16 concessions. (Group Bookings - 1 free ticket for every 10 tickets booked.)

FINBOROUGHFORUM events: Mondays, 13 and 20 March 2017.
Performance Length: Approximately 90 minutes with no interval.

Related Articles View More UK Regional Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You