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Finborough Theatre Announces August Productions


The Finborough Theatre Announces two upcoming productions for August, 2011, Blue Surge and Portraits.

BLUE SURGE Tuesday, 2 August - Saturday, 27 August 2011

Mark Cartwright in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre presents The UK Premiere Blue Surge by Rebecca Gilman Directed by Ché Walker. Cast includes: Cast: Kelly Burke. Samantha Coughlan. Alex Guiney. James Hillier. Clare Latham.

The UK premiere of Rebecca Gilman's acclaimed play Blue Surge opens at the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre on Tuesday, 2 August 2011 (Press Night: Thursday, 4 August 2011 at 7.30pm) for a limited four-week season.

He's a 38 year old cop. She's an 18 year old prostitute. They're in love. What could possibly go wrong?

Curt is a small-town cop in Midwest America under pressure to close down the local massage parlor. But after an encounter with one of its occupants, Sandy, his job suddenly becomes anything but clear-cut. As Curt and Sandy embark upon an unlikely relationship, they realize they might just achieve the American Dream. Yet when events begin to get out of control, they find escaping the past is much more difficult than it seems...

Set against challenging questions about the class struggle in America today, this moving love story between cops and hookers is a tale of expectations missed and overcome, a play about the narratives we all write for ourselves and how fortune and single moments can change our lives.

Playwright Rebecca Gilman plays include The Glory of Living, Spinning into Butter, Boy Gets Girl and The Sweetest Swing in Baseball. She was the first American playwright to win an Evening Standard Award for The Glory of Living (seen in the UK at The Royal Court Theatre), which also won the George Devine Award, was named one of Time magazine's Best Plays of the Decade, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Spinning into Butter (also seen at the Royal Court) received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Play and the Roger L. Stevens Award from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays. Her other plays include Boy Gets Girl and The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, both seen at the Royal Court in the UK. Her work has been produced in the US at such venues as the Lincoln Center Theatre in New York, The Public Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Manhattan Class Company, as well as other theatres internationally. A native of Alabama, she was awarded the 2008 Harper Lee Award for Alabama's Most Distinguished Writer of the Year. Blue Surge was originally presented at the prestigious Goodman Theatre, Chicago, and was subsequently seen at the New York Shakespeare Festival's Public Theater. This production marks its UK premiere.

Director Ché Walker returns to the Finborough Theatre where he made his directorial debut with Achidi J's Final Hours in 2004 and where he directed the sell-out Etta Jenks, starring Daniela Nardini and Clarke Peters (2005). Other Theatre includes Been So Long (Young Vic and English Touring Theatre), Extended Family (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Glory of Living (BAC), Estate Walls, Little Baby Jesus (Oval House), Lovesong (English Touring Theatre and Edinburgh Fringe), Car Thieves (National Theatre Studio) and Dance for Me (Tricycle Theatre). Ché's writing includes Been So Long (The Young Vic and Royal Court Theatre), The Frontline (Shakespeare's Globe), Iphigenia (Southwark Playhouse), Flesh Wound (Royal Court Theatre), Crazy Love (Paines Plough), Car Thieves (National Theatre Studio), Carmen (Open Air Theatre), Dance For Me (Theatre Royal Stratford East) and Rootz Spectacular (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry). He is also writing the book for The Eighth, a new musical with music and lyrics by Paul Heaton of The Beautiful South for this year's Manchester International Festival as well as writing his own musical adaptation of The Bacchae with Arthur Darvill for English Touring Theatre. This year, Ché will direct the feature film adaptation of his original musical, Been So Long from his own screenplay for Greenacre Films/UKFC and is also developing an original television series with the BBC.

Kelly Burke recently graduated from RADA. Theatre includes Marie and Bruce (Royal Court Theatre), Zelda (Charing Cross Hotel) and Avocado (King's Head Theatre), Radio includes The Little Sister, The Big Sleep and These Are the Times (BBC Radio 4).

Samantha Coughlan. Theatre includes The Children's Hour (Comedy Theatre), Rain Man (Apollo Theatre), Death of a Salesman (Lyric Theatre), National Anthems (The Old Vic), Orpheus Descending (English Theatre of Berlin) and Steel Magnolias (Octagon Theatre, Bolton). Film includes The Bends, Rabbit Fever, Love Sick, and Viva Liberty. Television includes Spooks, Absolute Power, Deckies and Above Suspicion - Silent Scream.

Alexander Guiney's theatre credits include The Hotel Play and Marie and Bruce (Royal Court Theatre), Crave (Camden People's Theatre), Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Richard III, The Tempest, Strindberg's Apartment and The Robbers (Faction Theatre Company), Romeo and Juliet (Harlow Playhouse) and US Love Bites (Etcetera Theatre). Film includes Dark Country, From This Day, Fracture and The Man Who Forgot How To Write. Alexander is a founding member of the Faction Theatre Company.

James Hillier last performed at the Finborough Theatre playing the leading role in the sell-out UK premiere of Tennessee Williams' Something Cloudy, Something Clear, directed by Tamara Harvey, in 2003. Other theatre includes Lulu (Almeida Theatre), The Homecoming (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Closer (Royal and DernGate Theatres, Northampton) and A Clockwork Orange (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow). He is a familiar face on television following his long running role as Sergeant Christian Young in Holby Blue as well as appearing in numerous television programmes and films including Great Expectations, Survivors, The Four Feathers and Blackbeard.

Clare Latham's theatre credits include Strindberg's Apartment (Faction Theatre Company), Crave, A Doll's House Revisited and At the Broken Places (Saviour Theatre Company), The Skin of Our Teeth and The Typists (Lost Theatre, London). Off-Broadway in New York, Clare played Lady Anne in Richard III (Orb Theatre at the Flamboyan Theatre) and directed and produced Been So Long by Ché Walker.

The Press on previous US productions of Blue Surge
"Blue Surge never cheats and yet manages to surprise as it unfolds with increasing intensity. The climax is persuasive, shatteringly beautiful, and absolutely right." Peter Rainer, New York
"Remarkable...Gilman is - quite unabashedly - an old-school dramatist,conjuring recognizable characters and situations...She does not think theater should be a metaphor for life or a poetic expression of life, but rather that it should BE life." --JoAnne Kaufman, New York
"A writer of surprising gifts" Chicago Tribune
"Gilman has the undeniable virtue of focusing with lucidity and evenhandedness on subjects that are more often sensationalized in the popular arts." Ben Brantley, The New York Times
""Gilman's characters resist simple cliches, and their progress - or lack of it - is detailed with compassion and wit." Elysa Gardner, USA Today
"Gilman's writing is heartfelt and the narrative crackles along with plenty of surprises." Chris Jones, Variety

The Press on playwright Rebecca Gilman
"A dangerous, searching, brilliant play" John Peter, Sunday Times on Spinning into Butter
"This is a drama that will send audiences arguing into the night, and one that cries out to be seen". Charles Spencer,
Daily Telegraph on Spinning into Butter
"Exerts a fiercely intelligent grip... an engrossing play" Michael Billington, The Guardian on Boy Gets Girl
"What can one say? Except that plays don't come much tougher, or more compassionate, than 33-year-old American Rebecca Gilman's The Glory Of Living... It's a viscerally powerful piece... Gilman's real theme in this powerfully unnerving play is the desolation of her native soil." Michael Billington, The Guardian on The Glory of Living

Finborough Theatre, The Finborough, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED

Box Office 0844 847 1652 Book online at

Tuesday, 2 August - Saturday, 27 August 2011
Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm. Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm. Saturday matinees at 3.00pm (from the second
week of the run).
Prices for Weeks One and Two (2-14 August 2011) - Tickets £15, £11 concessions, except Tuesday Evenings £11
all seats, and Saturday evenings £15 all seats.
Previews (2 and 3 August) £11 all seats.
£5 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 the first Saturday of the run only.
Prices for Weeks Three and Four (16-28 August 2011) - Tickets £18, £15 concessions, except Tuesday Evenings
£15 all seats, and Saturday evenings £18 all seats.
Performance length: Approximately 120 minutes.


by William Douglas Home.
Directed and Designed by Alex Marker.

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of artist Augustus John, the first production in 24 years of William Douglas Home's Portraits opens at the Finborough Theatre for a limited run of six Sunday and Monday performances from Sunday, 7 August 2011 (Press Night: Monday, 8 August 2011).

Augustus John's ability as portrait artist won him the admiration of fellow artists, public recognition and the Order of Merit. William Douglas Home's play presents various points in the Bohemian artist's turbulent life from 1944 - 1961 through a reconstruction of sittings with three of his subjects (all played by the same actor) - General Bernard Montgomery, fellow artist Mathew Smith and designer Cecil Beaton. This keenly observed, sensitive play is finely interwoven with the thread of John's gradually developing pacifism - from his certainty in spring 1944 that Monty's young ADC will not survive the second front, to war's devastating effect on Matthew Smith, to John's vibrant fear of the nuclear nightmare and his own approaching death.

In a theatrical year that has seen the successful reappraisal of successful West End playwrights such as Terence Rattigan and the Finborough Theatre's own rediscovery of Emlyn Williams, Portraits rediscovers the work of William Douglas Home, one of the West End's most successful post-war dramatists. As always, the Finborough Theatre has avoided the more obvious anniversaries of writers such as Rattigan and Tennessee Williams to commemorate the life and work of leading artist Augustus John.

Directed by the Finborough Theatre's acclaimed Resident Designer in his directorial debut, this is the first production of Portraits since its world premiere at Malvern and its subsequent West End transfer in 1987, when it was directed by John Dexter, and starred Keith Michell, Simon Ward and Stephen Boxer.

Playwright William Douglas-Home (1912-1992) was one of the West End's most successful post-war dramatists. His plays include Now Barabbas (1947), The Chiltern Hundreds (1947), The Thistle and the Rose (1948), The Reluctant Debutante (1955) (which was twice filmed, most recently in 2003 under the title What a Girl Wants, starring Colin Firth and Kelly Preston), The Reluctant Peer (1964), Betzi (1965), A Friend Indeed (1965), The Secretary Bird (1967), The Queen's Highland Servant (1967), The Jockey Club Stakes (1970), Lloyd George Knew My Father (1972), At the End of the Day (1973), The Dame of Sark (1974), The Kingfisher (1978), and After the Ball is Over (1985). The younger brother of Prime Minister Alec Douglas Home, he regularly stood for Parliament himself. He was court-martialled and imprisoned during the Second World War for his refusal to obey orders during the Allied operation to capture the port of Le Havre in September 1944 because French civilians had not been permitted to evacuate.

Director and Designer Alex Marke r makes his professional directorial debut with this production. Previous directing includes a staged reading of Iain Finlay MacLeod's Atman, starring Jasper Britton and Alan Cox, as part of Vibrant - An Anniversary Festival of Finborough Playwrights, and he is also Director of the Questors Youth Theatre, the largest youth theatre in London. Alex Marker has been Resident Designer of the Finborough Theatre since 2002 where his designs have included Charlie's Wake, The Women's War, How I Got That Story, Soldiers, Happy Family, Trelawny of the ‘Wells', Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams, Albert's Boy, Lark Rise To Candleford, Red Night, The Representative, Eden's Empire, Love Child, Little Madam, Plague Over England, and its West End transfer to the Duchess Theatre, Hangover Square, Sons of York, Untitled, Painting A Wall, Death of Long Pig, Molière or The League of Hypocrites and Dream of the Dog and its West End transfer to the Trafalgar Studios. Trained in Theatre Design at Wimbledon School of Art, he has designed over fifty productions including King Arthur (Arcola Theatre), The Schools' Theatre Festival (Young Vic), Origin: Unknown (Theatre Royal, Stratford East), My Real War 1914-? (Trafalgar Studios and National Tour), An Eligible Man (New End Theatre, Hampstead), The Viewing Room (Arts Theatre), Sweet Charity (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), The Pink Bedroom (Courtyard Theatre), Oklahoma! (New Wimbledon Theatre) and Cooking With Elvis (Lyceum Theatre, Crewe). His work has been extensively featured in exhibitions, most recently as part of the Collaborators: UK Design for Performance in Nottingham.

Finborough Theatre, The Finborough, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED

Box Office 0844 847 1652.
Sundays and Mondays, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22 August 2011
Evenings at 7.30pm. Tickets £13, £9 concessions.


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