Finborough Theatre Presents the European Premiere Of a One Woman Play On Religious Cults

By: Mar. 28, 2018
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Finborough Theatre Presents the European Premiere Of a One Woman Play On Religious Cults

The European premiere of Gracie by multi-award-winning Canadian playwright Joan MacLeod plays at the Finborough Theatre for nine Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees from Sunday, 29 April 2018 (Press Night: Monday, 30 April 2018 at 7.30pm).

Gracie was born into a polygamous religious community, and brought across the US border to Canada at the age of eight, when her mother became the eighteenth wife of an elder there. A lively and irrepressible child, her world is full of faith and family, but by the time she is fifteen, and at marriageable age, she feels increasing pressure to conform...but will she ever dare to take the leap and step into the outside world?

A gripping and life-affirming story about growing up in a religious cult by Joan MacLeod, winner of Canada's most prestigious literary award, the Governor General's Award.

Carla Langley plays Gracie. Theatre includes The Ferryman (Royal Court Theatre and Gielgud Theatre), Orca (Southwark Playhouse), Future Conditional (The Old Vic), Cuddles for which she won the Manchester Theatre Award for Best Studio Performance (Studio at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, 59E59 Theaters, New York City, Ovalhouse and National Tour), The Minotaur (Polka Theatre and Clwyd Theatr Cymru), Liola (National Theatre), Desolate Heaven (Theatre 503), The Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol (Edinburgh Festival) and As You Like It (Sam Wanamaker Festival at Shakespeare's Globe). Television includes Witness For The Prosecution and Penny Dreadful. Radio includes Fury.

This play is a work of fiction, inspired by Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) communities in Canada and the U.S.

Playwright Joan MacLeod was born in 1954 and grew up in North Vancouver, British Columbia. MacLeod studied creative writing at the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia, and later joined the Playwrights Unit at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, remaining with Tarragon for six years as a Playwright in Residence. Since 2004, she has been a professor at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. She won the Governor General's Award for English-language drama at the 1991 Governor General's Awards for Amigo's Blue Guitar, and was shortlisted for the same award at the 1995 Governor General's Awards for The Hope Slide and Little Sister, and at the 2009 Governor General's Awards for Another Home Invasion. She won the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award in 1993 for The Hope Slide, was shortlisted for the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play in 1990 for Amigo's Blue Guitar, and won the Jessie Richardson Award and the Betty Mitchell Award in 2001 for The Shape of a Girl. She was named the winner of the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre in 2011.

Director Gemma Aked-Priestley has directed The Narcissist (Hen and Chickens Theatre for Flux Theatre), Grimm: An Untold Tale (Underbelly at Edinburgh Festival) and Tender Napalm (Karamel Club). Assistant Direction includes assisting Sam Hodges on the world premiere of Howard Brenton's The Shadow Factory (Nuffield Southampton Theatres), Daniel Goldman on Thebes Land (Arcola Theatre), David Mercatali on Tonight With Donny Stixx (Bunker Theatre) and Matt Cowart on Lockhart (Bernie Grant Arts Centre). Gemma is currently developing Passing with playwright Indigo Griffiths, with support from the Arts Council England, Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Bunker Theatre and Women@RADA. She is the Assistant Director for The Mono Box and founder of PLAYSTART. Gemma supported director Katie Henry as a Casting Assistant on the National Theatre's revival of War Horse and was subsequently invited to shadow rehearsals in London and Canterbury. She studied at the University of East Anglia and trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. She is the recipient of bursaries from the Mayflower Theatre, Yorkshire Ladies Council of Education, Barker-Mill Foundation and the JMK Trust.

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