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Mark Quartley and Jessica Barden to Star in Finborough Theatre's ARMSTRONG'S WAR; Full Cast Announced!

A Finborough Theatre commission, Colleen Murphy's Armstrong's War opens at the Finborough Theatre as a fully staged workshop production (prior to its official World Premiere in October 2013 at the renowned Arts Club Theatre, Vancouver, B.C., Canada) for a limited run of nine Sunday and Monday evening and Tuesday matinee performances from Sunday, 11 August 2013 (Press Night: Monday, 12 August at 7.30pm).

Written by multi-award-winning former Canadian Playwright in Residence at the Finborough Theatre, Colleen Murphy, Armstrong's War is the tale of a twenty one year-old Canadian soldier who has been wounded in Afghanistan. As the young soldier recovers in hospital, feisty Halley Armstrong - a twelve year-old girl guide eager to earn every possible badge - announces that she has volunteered to read for him.

Despite initial misgivings, a relationship develops between this most unlikely of couples who find that they have something in common beyond storytelling...

Playwright Colleen Murphy is the former Canadian Playwright in Residence at the Finborough Theatre where her previous productions have included The December Man (L'homme de decembre),The Goodnight Bird, The Piper and Beating Heart Cadaver. Since 2010, Colleen has been guest playwright at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, Canada and was Playwright-in-Residence at The Factory Theatre in Toronto in 2011/2012. She is currently working on three new plays, as well as libretti for new operas with composers Aaron Gervais and Andrew Staniland. Murphy's play, The December Man (L'homme de décembre), won the 2007 Governor General's Literary Award for Drama. Her large opera, The Enslavemant and Liberation of Oksana G, composed by Aaron Gervais, will be produced by Tapestry New Opera in Toronto in 2015. Murphy is also an award winning filmmaker and her films have played in festivals around the world includingPutty Worm, The Feeler, Shoemaker, Desire, War Holes, Girl with Dog and Out in the Cold.

Director Jennifer Bakst is currently Resident Assistant Director at the Finborough Theatre, where she has assisted Lisa Blair on I Didn't Always Live Here, Andrew Keates on Rooms: A Rock Romance and Max Pappenheim on Nothing Is the End of the World (Except for the End of the World). Trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, her directing includes The Collectors (Courtyard Theatre), Bash (Etcetera Theatre), Tiny Dynamite (Cockpit Theatre), Precious Little Talent (KaraMel Club) and Fallen Angels (Theatro Technis). Assistant Direction includes assisting Patrick Kinmonth on Samson et Dalila (Deutsche Oper Berlin), Jasmin Solfaghari on Albert Herring(Leipziger Musikhochschule) and Jacqui Somerville on A Midsummer Night's Dream (Theatre in Education Tour). Jennifer also produced Letters, Signs and Songs (Shakespeare's Globe), a charity gala performance for and about Gaza.

The cast is:

Mark Quartley as Corporal Michael Armstrong
Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes Malcolm in Macbeth (Trafalgar Studios), the title role in Private Peaceful (National Theatre at Theatre Royal Haymarket), Claudio in Measure for Measure (Royal Shakespeare Company), Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Royal Shakespeare Company), Written on the Heart (Royal Shakespeare Company and Duchess Theatre) and The Tempest (Theatre Royal Bath).

Jessica Barden as Halley Armstrong
Theatre includes Pea in Jerusalem (Royal Court Theatre and Apollo Theatre).
Film includes Jody Long in Tamara Drew, Hanna, Mrs Ratcliffe's Revolution, Mindscape, Lay Me Down, The Dark, Comedown and The Dark Half.
Television includes Coronation Street, Vera, My Parents are Aliens, No Angels, The Chase and the forthcoming Sammy's War.

Finborough Theatre is located at 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED. Box Office 0844 847 1652 Book online at The production runs Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27 August 2013 and Sunday and Monday evenings at 7.30pm. Tuesday matinees at 2.00pm. Tickets £14, £10 concessions.

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