Channel 4 Playwright in Residence to Debut CARTHAGE at Finborough Theatre, Jan 28-Feb 22

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 Tuesday, 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.

Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Box Office 0844 847 1652 Book online at
Tuesday, 28 January - Saturday, 22 February 2014
Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm. Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm. Saturday matinees at 3.00pm (from 8 February 2014).
Prices for Weeks One and Two (28 January-9 February 2014) - Tickets £14, £10 concessions, except Tuesday Evenings £10 all seats, and Saturday evenings £14 all seats. Previews (28 and 29 January) £9 all seats. £6 tickets for Under 30's for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only. £10 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on Saturday, 1 February 2014 when booked online.
Prices for Weeks Three and Four (11 February-22 February 2014) - Tickets £16, £12 concessions, except Tuesday Evenings £12 all seats, and Saturday evenings £16 all seats.
Performance Length: Approximately ninety minutes with no interval.
Twitter: @CarthagePlay


Elaine Claxton | Karin Francis
Theatre includes Beasts and Beauties (Hampstead Theatre), Nation, The Relapse, A Winter's Tale, Richard II, The Relapse and The Children's Hour (National Theatre).
Television includes Wire In The Blood, Doc Martin, Silk and Waking The Dead.

Claire-Louise Cordwell | Anne Anderson
Trained at RADA.
Theatre includes Ecstasy (Hampstead Theatre and West End), Beautiful Thing (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), The Swan, There is War, Burn/Chatroom/Citizenship (National Theatre) and Dangerous Lady (Theatre Royal, Stratford East).
Television includes Line of Duty, The Honourable Woman and Call The Midwife.

Oliver Jackson | Simon Gale / Lou Martel
Theatre includes She Stoops To Conquer (National Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream, All's Well That Ends Well, Gentleman Prefer Blondes, Kiss Me Kate, Troilus and Cressida (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, (New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich) and Alice In Wonderland (West Yorkshire Playhouse).

Jack McMullen | Tommy Anderson
Theatre includes The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Pilot Theatre at Theatre Royal York).
Film includes The Hatching.
Television includes Waterloo Road, Moving On, The Street and Casualty.

Lisa Palfrey | Sue Ruskin
Theatre includes Festen (Almeida Theatre and West End), Under the Blue Sky, Red Bud, Ingredient X (Royal Court Theatre), The Kitchen Sink (Bush Theatre) and Before It Rains (Bristol Old Vic).

Toby Wharton | Marcus Reeves
Trained at RADA.
At the Finborough Theatre, Toby co-wrote and appeared in Fog (2012), His Greatness (2012) and Carthage as part of Vibrant - A Festival of Finborough Playwrights (2012).
Theatre includes Home (National Theatre), Days of Significance (Royal Shakespeare Company), Fog (Park Theatre and National Tour), Shalom Baby (Theatre Royal, Stratford East) and Ajax (Riverside Studios).

Chinna Wodu | Alex Sutherland
Theatre includes Julius Caesar (Royal Shakespeare Company at the Noël Coward Theatre), Dr Faustus, Troilus and Cressida (Shakespeare's Globe), Italian Dreams, Teach me (Soho Theatre) and Macbeth (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester).
Television includes Da Vinci's Demons.

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