Ronan Raftery and John Hodgkinson to Star in Finborough Theatre's UNSCORCHED; Cast Announced!

The cast has been announced for the winner of the Papatango New Writing Prize 2013, in partnership with the Finborough Theatre. The world premiere of UNSCORCHED by Luke Owen will be directed by Justin Audibert. Featuring designs by Georgia Lowe, lighting by Joshua Carr, and sound by Richard Hammarton.

Unscorched will star Ronan Raftery (Juno and the Paycock, National Theatre; The Shawshank Redemption, West End; Fresh Meat) and John Hodgkinson (A Walk On Part, National Tour; The Seagull, National Theatre; Skyfall; Peep Show). Also in the cast are Richard Atwill, George Turvey and Eleanor Wyld.

"I've seen a lot of people sit in that chair while I've sat in this one. This job needs to be done. And you can't survive in it if you care. If you care, it will kill you."

The winner of the fifth Papatango New Writing Prize, in its third year in partnership with the Finborough Theatre, is Unscorched by first time playwright Luke Owen. It will be directed by Justin Audibert, former Resident Director at The National Theatre Studio, and will receive a four week run at the Finborough Theatre, opening on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 (Press Night: Thursday 31 October 2013 at 7.30pm).

Tom spends all his days surfing the net... Because Tom works in child protection.

Faced with watching recordings of the most unforgivable crimes on a daily basis, in a job that barely anyone else can endure, Tom struggles to retain his humanity. Meeting Emily might just mean his life has changed for the better, but when your entire working life is spent watching the most terrible of crimes, can you ever go home and say "I love you"?

The Internet Watch Foundation estimates there are 50,000 - 60,000 regular viewers of child pornography in the UK alone. With reports of footage of abuse rising by 42% in the last six months, Unscorched examines the impact on those analysts confronting such footage every day.

Tackling an important and taboo subject with sensitivity, humour and courage, and chosen from more than 500 entries to win this year's Papatango New Writing Prize, Luke Owen's first play reveals a dramatist of exceptional promise.

Unscorched was selected unanimously from more than 500 entries to win the fifth Papatango New Writing Prize by a panel including the four members of Papatango - George Turvey, Matt Roberts, Sam Donovan and Chris Foxon - together with Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre, and Francis Grin, Literary Manager of the Finborough Theatre. All scripts were judged anonymously.

As winner of the Papatango New Writing Prize, Unscorched also received a week's development and public reading at the Bristol Old Vic and the script is published by Nick Hern Books.

Previous winners of the Papatango New Writing Prize include Dawn King's Foxfinder which was one of The Independent's Top Five Plays of the Year, won playwright Dawn King the OffWestEnd Award for Most Promising Playwright and a prestigious Pearson Award bursary through the Finborough Theatre, won the Critics' Circle Most Promising Newcomer Award for director Blanche McIntyre, and was nominated for OffWestEnd Awards for Best New Play and Best Male Performance; and Pack by Louise Monaghan, of which Michael Billington of The Guardian said "[it] knocks spots off much of the new writing I have seen". The first winner of the Prize, Dominic Mitchell, received huge acclaim for his BBC series In The Flesh, having been discovered and championed by Papatango who produced Potentials, his debut show.

Playwright Luke Owen, 30, grew up in Woking and now lives in Norwich, where he works as an actor and copywriter. He is a graduate of the University of East Anglia, where he took a BA in English and Drama before graduating from the acclaimed MA course in Creative Writing. He was a member of The Royal Court Theatre Young Writers' Programme.

Director Justin Audibert was the recipient of the 2012 Leverhulme Award for Emerging Directors and was Resident Director at the Finborough Theatre and The National Theatre Studio. He is Artistic Associate of HighTide Festival Theatre, Associate Director for Red Ladder and Associate of Told By An Idiot. Recent directing includes A Season in the Congo: Parallel Project (Clare, Young Vic),Wrong 'Un (Red Ladder), Gruesome Playground Injuries (Gate Theatre), The Tempest (Royal Shakespeare Company - Shakespeare in a Suitcase), Future Regrets (Royal Shakespeare Company at the Live Theatre, Newcastle), Mojo (Royal Shakespeare Company at the Hampstead Downstairs), Front (RADA Festival) and Company Along The Mile (West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Lowry, Manchester, and Arcola Theatre). As an Assistant Director he has worked with Greg Doran, Paul Hunter, Lucy Bailey, David Farr, Rachel Kavanaugh and Sarah Esdaile. In 2012, he was the Acting Coach for the finalists of BBC 2's Shakespeare Off By Heart. Justin trained on the Birkbeck MFA in Theatre Directing.

Papatango Theatre Company was founded by Matt Roberts, George Turvey and Sam Donovan in 2007, who were joined by Chris Foxon in 2012. The company's mission is to find the best and brightest new talent in the UK with an absolute commitment to bringing this work to the stage. Since then, Papatango have produced sixteen pieces of new writing in venues including the Tristan Bates Theatre, the Old Red Lion Theatre and the Pleasance London, as well as working with Bristol Old Vic and seeing new productions of Papatango shows go on across the world.

2009 saw the launch of the Papatango New Writing Prize. Since 2011, the Papatango New Writing Prize has been in partnership with the Finborough Theatre. www.papatango.co.uk

The Finborough Theatre is located at 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED. Box Office 0844 847 1652 Book online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk. The show runs Tuesday, 29 October - Saturday, 23 November 2013, Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm. Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm. Saturday matinees at3.00pm (from 9 November 2013).

Prices for Weeks One and Two (29 October-10 November 2013) - Tickets £14, £10 concessions, except Tuesday Evenings £10 all seats, and Saturday evenings £14 all seats. Previews (29 and 30 October) £9 all seats.
£6 tickets for Under 30's for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only.
£10 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on Saturday, 2 November 2013 when booked online.
Prices for Weeks Three and Four (12-23 November 2013) - Tickets £16, £12 concessions, except Tuesday Evenings £12 all seats, and Saturday evenings £16 all seats.
Performance Length: Approximately two hours with one interval of fifteen minutes.

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