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Finborough Theatre Presents MIXED MARRIAGE, Opens 10/4


The first London production for 90 years of St John Ervine's searing Belfast tragedy Mixed Marriage, first seen at The Abbey Theatre, Dublin, plays for a four-week season from Tuesday, 4 October 2011 (Press Night: Thursday, 6 October 2011 at 7.30pm) at the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre.

As the city's factories come out on strike, John Rainey, the respected head of a Protestant family, acts to calm the sectarian tension being stirred up by politicians for their own ends. On the streets, Rainey successfully unites Catholic and Protestant against the machinations of the factory owners, the nationalists and the Orangemen. But at home, passions rise when Rainey discovers that his son wants to marry the beautiful, innocent Nora, a Catholic...

Set in Ireland before partition, Mixed Marriage is a poetic tragedy - leavened with earthy humour - which dissects class and religious sectarianism through the breakdown of one ordinary family. It was a groundbreaking success in its time and established Ervine as a great Irish writer.

This production is another Finborough Theatre rediscovery, following in the footsteps of such sell-out successes as J.M. Barrie's What Every Woman Knows and Quality Street, Graham Greene's The Potting Shed and Emlyn Williams' Accolade, and performs alongside Drama at Inish by Lennox Robinson (the original director of The Abbey Theatre production of Mixed Marriage) in the Sunday/Monday slot.

Director Sam Yates is Artistic Associate at Royal and DernGate Theatres, Northampton. He has been Associate Director to Michael Grandage, Trevor Nunn, Jamie Lloyd, Josie Rourke and Phyllida Lloyd. Designer Richard Kent has been associate to designer Christopher Oram since 2008 and will, later this year, design Richard II for the Donmar Warehouse alongside Lighting Designer David Plater. Composer and Sound Designer Alex Baranowski's recent credits include Hamlet, Frankenstein and Earthquakes in London at The National Theatre.

The cast includes Christopher Brandon, Damien Hannaway, Nora-Jane Noone, Daragh O'Malley, Joel Ormsby and Fiona Victory. Christopher Brandon's credits include The Charming Man (Theatre 503), 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (Bush Theatre) and A Midsummer Night's Dream, Timon of Athens (Shakespeare's Globe); Damien Hannaway's credits include The Lamplight (Players Theatre, Dublin), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Players Theatre, Dublin, and Paris) and his leading role in Hill 16 for which he was nominated for the Best Actor award at the Cherbourg British and Irish Film Festival; Nora-Jane Noone whose extensive screen credits include a leading role in the award-winning The Magdalene Sisters makes her theatrical debut in Mixed Marriage, other film credits include January, Legend of the Bog, The Descent 2, Doomsday and The Descent, and television includes Garrow's Law, The Day of the Triffids, Holby City and Coronation Street. Daragh O'Malley extensive television credits include the role of Sergeant Patrick Harper in the long running ITV Napoleonic drama series Sharpe, as well as numerous stage credits with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Lyric Belfast, Abbey Theatre Dublin, Glasgow Citizens and the Young Vic, film credits include Withnail and I, Puckoon, Cuthroat Island and The Long Good Friday; Joel Ormsby recently featured in Channel 4's The Promise; and Fiona Victory whose recent theatre credits include The Playboy of the Western World (Liverpool Playhouse), Pygmies in the Ruins, Iranian Nights (Royal Court Theatre), The Winter's Tale, Hamlet, The Tempest (Young Vic), extensive television credits including Dangerfield, The Bill, Hanging Gale, Casualty, Resnick and Red Roses for Me, and film credits including Swept from the Sea, Dear Rosie, Champions and Return to Oz.

Playwright St John Ervine (1883-1971) was a dramatist, novelist, biographer and critic. A protestant, born in East Belfast, he was for a time an unlikely choice as Literary Manager at The Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under W.B. Yeats, where Mixed Marriage, his first play, was produced in 1911, directed by Lennox Robinson. It was subsequently seen in London at The Royal Court Theatre in 1911 and revived in the West End at both the Ambassadors and Aldwych Theatres in 1922. His many other plays include John Ferguson (1915), Anthony and Anna (1926), The First Mrs. Fraser (1926) and Boyd's Shop (1939). In later life, Ervine turned his back on Ireland and its politics, and moved to England where he became a noted drama critic for The Observer and The Morning Star, as well as a novelist and a biographer of both Oscar Wilde and Bernard Shaw.

Director Sam Yates is Associate Artist at Royal and DernGate Theatres, Northampton, under Laurie Sansom. Previous direction for the Finborough Theatre includes two plays by Nicholas de Jongh for Vibrant - A Festival of Finborough Playwrights - To Keep the Ghost Awake (2010) and There Goes My Future (2011). Direction includes Mrs P. (Workshop for Mercury Musical Developments), Electra and Oedipus (Garrick Theatre, Stockport), Oleanna (Hong Kong Arts Centre), The Turke (Arcola Theatre), The Tempest and Macbeth (ADC Theatre, Cambridge) and Yeats' Purgatory (Edinburgh Festival). He was Associate Director to Josephine Hart on Poetry Week (Donmar Warehouse), Michael Grandage on Hamlet with Jude Law (Donmar Warehouse, Elsinore and Broadway), Madame De Sade with Dame Judi Dench (Donmar Warehouse), Trevor Nunn on Birdsong (Comedy Theatre), Jamie Lloyd on Salome (National Tour) and The Little Dog Laughed (Garrick Theatre). He was Assistant Director to Josie Rourke on How To Curse (Bush Theatre) and Burying Your Brother in the Pavement (National Theatre), Paul Raffield on Hysteria (Birmingham Rep), Rachel Kavanaugh on Uncle Vanya (Birmingham Rep) and Phyllida Lloyd on Wise Children (National Theatre Studio).

Designer Richard Kent's designs include Decline and Fall (Old Red Lion Theatre), Stronger and Pariah (Arcola Theatre) and Gin and Tonic and Passing Trains (Tramway Theatre, Glasgow). As Associate to Christopher Oram since 2008 - King Lear (Donmar Warehouse and Brooklyn Academy Of Music, New York), Red (Donmar Warehouse and Broadway) and A Streetcar Named Desire, Ivanov, Twelfth Night, Madame De Sade and Hamlet (Donmar Warehouse). Opera includes Don Giovanni (Metropolitan Opera, New York), Madame Butterfly (Houston Grand Opera) and Billy Budd (Glyndebourne). Richard will design Richard II at Donmar Warehouse later this year.

Lighting Designer David Plater's designs include Sondheim @ 80 (Donmar at the Queen's Theatre), Stronger and Pariah (Arcola Theatre), 4 Quartets, Frame 312, Three Days of Rain, Morphic Resonance, Splash Hatch, Summer Begins and Badfinger (Donmar Warehouse), Michael Ball (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Loyal Women (Royal Court Theatre), Dave Strassman Show (Apollo Theatre), Dark Tales (Arts Theatre), Company (Derby Playhouse) and The Arab Israeli Cookbook (Tricycle Theatre and Gate Theatre). David will design lighting for Richard II at the Donmar Warehouse later this year and Ballet Black for the Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, in 2012.

Composer and Sound Designer Alex Baranowski's credits include Hamlet and Earthquakes in London (National Theatre and Tour), Frankenstein (National Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (Royal Shakespeare Company) and Hobson's Choice (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield). Forthcoming productions include The Faith Machine (Royal Court Theatre), Salt, Root and Roe (Trafalgar Studios) and Othello (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield).


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