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MIXED MARRIAGE Comes To Finborough Theatre, Oct 4

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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.

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.

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.


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