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OUR AMERICAN COUSIN to Play Finborough Theatre

In a production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre, Our American Cousin is the play that President Abraham Lincoln was watching when he was assassinated at Ford's Theatre, Washington DC, on 14 April 1865 - exactly 150 years ago. The first London production in more than a century opens at the Finborough Theatre for a limited run of nine Sunday and Monday evening and Tuesday matinee performances from Sunday, 29 March 2015 (Press Night: Monday, 30 March 2015 at 7.30pm).

The 1850s. Trenchard Manor, somewhere in the British countryside, is home to a very British family with some very British problems.

Sir Edward, patriarch of the household, is close to financial ruin and is desperately seeking ways to satisfy his creditors without losing the family estate.

The Manor is sought after by the villainous Coyle who also has designs on Sir Edward's lovely daughter, Florence. Meanwhile, her cousin, Mary Meredith, the rightful heir, is consigned to working as a milkmaid for the Manor.

Cultures clash and plans are foiled when Asa Trenchard, a long lost cousin, arrives from the United States of America with his own claim to her inheritance. "I'm Asa Trenchard, born in Vermont, suckled on the banks of Muddy Creek, about the tallest gunner, the slickest dancer, and generally the loudest critter in the state."

Amidst all the drama and conspiracy, the ridiculous toff Lord Dundreary is trying to find his hair dye, woo the sickly Georgina, and not bump into the furniture...

A unique opportunity to see a play that changed world history.

Playwright Tom Taylor (1817-1880) was a prolific writer of comedies, burlesques, melodramas and farces including classic melodrama The Ticket-of-Leave Man and the theatrical comedy Masks and Faces (co-written with Charles Reade) which received an acclaimed revival at the Finborough Theatre in 2004. Born in Sunderland, he became editor of Punch Magazine in 1874. Our American Cousin was written in 1851 to coincide with the invasion of American tourists visiting the Great Exhibition in London, and was a huge success in the USA where British actor, E. A. Sothern, expanded the role of Lord Dundreary, creating a classic comic character which was much celebrated and imitated. Tom Taylor is buried in Brompton Cemetery, just five minutes from the Finborough Theatre.

Director Lydia Parker is Artistic Director of Over Here Theatre Company which produced ObamAmerica, a festival of new American writing at Theatre503 in 2014. Originally from New York where she worked as an actor, director and playwright, Lydia has directed Ice Cream by Sarah Kosar (Southwark Playhouse), We Really Should Do Something by James Fritz (Southwark Playhouse), Love by Madeleine Brettingham (Southwark Playhouse), A Big Fridge by James Fritz (Hen and Chickens Theatre and the Park Theatre), Something There That's Missing by Anh Chu (Theatre503 and The Space@Jury's Inn), Skinhead by Jessica Brown (Brockley Jack Studio), Our Children Will Be Next by Suzette Coon (Theatre503) and Write into a War by Michelle Sewell (Theatre503). She is also an Associate Director of new writing company, Little Pieces of Gold. For three years, Lydia has produced The American Actors UK Playreading Festival of New American Work at the Tristan Bates Theatre. Before moving to London, Lydia founded an English language theatre in Puerto Rico which produced Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile.

The cast includes:
Timothy Allsop | Lord Dundreary
Trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes Therese Raquin (National Theatre), Helen By Euripides (Shakespeare's Globe), The Four Minute Mile (Oxford Playhouse), The Wright Brothers (Oxford Playhouse and International Tour), Murder In The Cathedral (Oxford Playhouse), The Misanthrope (Bridewell Theatre), Strangers On A Train (English Theatre Frankfurt), Blavatsky's Tower (Baron's Court Theatre), Richard III, King Lear (Guildford Shakespeare Company) and Tom's Midnight Garden (Library Theatre, Manchester).
Television includes Detectorists and Love's Labour's Lost.

Hannah Britland | Georgina
Trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes Hobson's Choice (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park) and The Blue Room (Bridewell Theatre).
Film includes The Boy With The Thorn In His Side, The Best Offer and Rush.
Television includes Our World War, Scrotal Recall, Home and Away, Fresh Meat, Skins - Rise, Big Bad World, Vera and Misfits.

Kelly Burke | Florence Trenchard
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include The Sluts Of Sutton Drive, Blue Surge and as part of Vibrant - A Festival of Finborough Playwrights - In World and Green.
Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes Passion Play (Duke of York's Theatre), Zelda (Trafalgar Studios), Marie and Bruce (Royal Court Theatre), Ice Cream (Southwark Playhouse), $<0RP!0 (Theatre503), Fosterling (Ovalhouse), Avocado (King's Head Theatre), No Way to Treat a Lady (Landor Theatre) and Lady Windermere's Fan (Tabard Theatre).
Film includes Kill Your Friends and Enemy Of England.
Television includes 50 Ways To Kill Your Lover, A Quick Fortune and Doctors.
Radio includes The Corrections, Book Of Strange New Things, Dingus, The Road To Yalta, Hombre, Wild, The Little Sister, The Big Sleep and These Are The Times.

Maria Teresa Creasey | Mrs Mountchessington
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Hostage Song.
Trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Other theatre includes The Antipodes (Shakespeare's Globe), The Possibilities (King's Head Theatre and the National Theatre of Warsaw), King Lear (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow), Dead Man's Cellphone (The Arches, Glasgow) and Tartuffe, Eight, Romeo and Juliet, A Lie of the Mind, Three Sisters (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).
Film includes Spooks: The Greater Good, Icon, Wasteland 26, Box G40 and Please Stay.

Rupert Elmes | Harry Vernon and John Wickens
Trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Theatre includes The Curing Room (Pleasance London).
Film includes Goodnight Gigi and One In A Million.
Rupert has also featured in several television commercials.

Lily Howkins | Augusta
Trained at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
Theatre includes Gleam (Pleasance London and Soho Theatre), Twelfth Night (International Tour), Who's Afraid Of The Brothers Grimm? (The Space), The Tempest (National Tour), A Midsummer Night's Dream (International Tour) and Odyssey (Bedlam Theatre, Edinburgh).
Film includes Those Who Kill, An Average After Hours, The Hen Party and Clear Intentions.

Andrew McDonald | Sir Edward
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Early Days, The Insurgents and A Man With
Connections.
Theatre includes This House, The Alchemist, The Royal Hunt Of The Sun, Pizarro,
Tartuffe (National Theatre), The Scottsboro Boys (Garrick Theatre), Daytona (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Butley (Duchess Theatre), The Entertainer (Old Vic Theatre), The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice (Vaudeville Theatre), Don Carlos (Gielgud Theatre and Crucible Theatre, Sheffield), Much Ado About Nothing, The Simple Truth, The Odyssey (Bridewell Theatre), Equus, Abigail's Party, An Inspector Calls (National Tours), Epsom Downs, Antigone (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton), Hamlet, The Merchant Of Venice and Scenes From A Separation (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), Dandy Dick, Blue/Orange (Theatre Royal Brighton), Jimmy In Broadmoor (Theatre503), Bonnie and Clyde, The Prince Of Milton Keynes, Three Is Company (King's Head Theatre) and Gagarin Way (BAC).

Julian Moore-Cook | Buddicombe and Abel Murcott
Trained at East 15 Acting School.
Theatre includes The Beggars Opera (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park), ObamAmerica (Theatre503), Cleopatra (King's Head Theatre), Beyond Caring (Yard Theatre) and The Education of Hitler (Tristan Bates Theatre).
Film includes Mission Impossible 5.
Television includes 24: Live Another Day and Casualty.

Solomon Mousley | Asa Trenchard
Trained at Drama Centre London.
Theatre includes Eight (Trafalgar Studios and International Tour), Bong Hits 4 Jesus, Bradley, Chelsea, Nameless (Theatre503), Whistleblower, The Story Of Edward Snowden (Waterloo East Theatre), Bash (Etcetera Theatre), Pericles (Crystal Ensemble, Berwaldhallen, Stockholm) and Macbeth (Crystal Ensemble, 47/49 Tanner Street).
Film includes Guardians Of The Galaxy and The Eichmann Show.
Television includes Utopia.

Olivia Onyehara | Mary Meredith
Trained at Drama Studio London.
Theatre includes Time and The Conways (Nottingham Playhouse), Sket (Liminal Space), Tanzi Libre (Southwark Playhouse), All Our Daughters? (New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme) and The Possibilities (Tristan Bates Theatre).
Film includes Drone Strike, My Name is Joe, Effervescent Dust Specs and No Laughing Matter.

Andy Rashleigh | Binny
Theatre includes Waiting For Godot (The Young Vic), Cider With Rosie (Oxford Playhouse), Who Killed Hilda Murrell? (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield),Trumpets And Drums (York Theatre Royal), Detective Story (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester)The Wind In The Willows, Oh What A Lovely War! (Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke) and War With The Newts (Everyman Theatre, Liverpool).
Film includes V For Vendetta, The Gathering Storm, Nowhere In Africa, Whatever Happened To Harold Smith, Get Real, Richard III, A Hollow Reed and Funny Bones
Television includes Cranford, Coronation Street, The Bill, Heartbeat, Bloodlines, Doctors, Speed Under, Rosemary and Thyme, Casualty, Dalziell and Pascoe, Lloyd and Hill, North Square, Bomber, Peak Practice, Band Of Gold, Out Of The Blue and River.

Daniel York | Richard Coyle
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include The Wallace.
Theatre includes The World Of Extreme Happiness (National Theatre), The Merchant Of Venice, The Country Wife, Moby Dick (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Importance Of Being Earnest, The Birds (International Tour), Animal Farm (Theatre Royal, Hobart, Tasmania), Boeing Boeing (Drama Centre Theatre, Singapore), Turandot (Hampstead Theatre), Branded (The Old Vic), Five Tanks (Hackney Empire), The Good Woman Of Setzuan (Haymarket Theatre, Leicester), In The Bag (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh), Tartuffe (Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke), The Changeling (Southwark Playhouse), Sun Is Shining (King's Head Theatre and 59E59, New York), Romeo and Juliet (Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke), Measure For Measure (Library Theatre, Manchester), Nativity (Birmingham Rep), Une Tempete (Gate Theatre), Kiss of the Spiderwoman (Singapore Repertory Company), The Glass Menagerie (Singapore Repertory Company), The Magic Fundoshi (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), Hamlet (Thelma Holt Productions) and Porcelain (Royal Court Theatre).
Film includes Faraway, Act Of Grace, We've Got The Toaster, Doom the Beach, Rogue Trader, and Peggy Su!.


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