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The Finborough Rediscovers Howard Brenton Classic, MAGNIFICENCE

"I loathe us, I loathe our stupid puerile view of the World ... That WE have only to do it, that WE have only to go puff, and the monster buildings will go splat..."

The first professional London production in over 40 years of Magnificence, the seminal 1973 play by revered British dramatist Howard Brenton, runs at the Finborough Theatre for a strictly limited four week season from Tuesday, 25 October 2016 (Press Nights: Thursday, 27 October and Friday, 28 October 2016 at 7.30pm).

London, 1973. Poverty, homelessness, rising inequality, unemployment, industrial disputes. Five young activists squat a disused building and try to make a stand against it all.

Fired up by left-wing idealism but short on pragmatism, they discover that the revolution may be a long time coming, and when the protest leads to tragedy, some of them are driven to more violent methods. Meanwhile, on the banks of the Cam, a dying Tory grandee performs his last political act.

Both epic and intimate, Magnificence takes us from the grubby barracks of the revolutionary struggle, to the heart of centre-right Tory politicking, creating a panoramic vision of Britain at a pivotal moment in history. Many of its themes remain burning issues today - police brutality, drug abuse, shallow politicians, a social housing crisis, and whether violence can ever be justified for political ends. Magnificence showcases the humane, political voice which has made Howard Brenton such a remarkable force in British theatre.

"It's very exciting that a company of young people, who weren't born when I wrote it, are so passionate about reviving my 1973 play MAGNIFICENCE at the Finborough Theatre. When it was written there was an ugly debate on the left: was the 'direct action' of urban terrorist groups like the Baader Meinhof gang in Germany and the Red Brigades in Italy justified? I wrote the play to clear my head of this political pyschodrama. It came out as a tragic-comedy, near to farce at times. But it could be called 'a tragedy of waste'. Maybe the young, angry, confused writer I was then hit on a truth: idealism can turn to hatred and destroy the best of us". - Howard Brenton

Magnificence originally premiered at The Royal Court Theatre in June 1973, directed by Max Stafford-Clark, and with a cast including Pete Postlethwaite, Kenneth Cranham, Michael Kitchen and Robert Eddison.

The run will be accompanied by the FINBOROUGHFORUM, a series of informal post-show discussions and debates, on Wednesday evenings: 26 October, 2, 9 and 16 November. All events are free to ticketholders for that evening's per-formance of the play. FINBOROUGHFORUM events will all be Twitter friendly with live tweets from @FinboroughForum. Using the hashtag #finfor, the speakers will also answer questions posed on Twitter so everyone can be included, no matter where they are in the world. The events will feature a Q&A session with Howard Brenton, discussions with
academics on the political parallels between the early 70s and today, and panel talks with present-day activists campaigning on similar themes.

Playwright Howard Brenton is one of the UK's most respected dramatists. His acclaimed past plays include The Romans In Britain, Bloody Poetry, Weapons of Happiness, Pravda with David Hare, and more recently In Extremis, Anne Boleyn and Doctor Scroggy's War for Shakespeare's Globe, Paul and Never So Good for the National Theatre, and 55 Days, The Arrest of Ai Weiwei, Drawing the Line and Lawrence After Arabia at Hampstead Theatre. He also wrote fourteen episodes of BBC spy drama Spooks.

Director Josh Roche is the Artistic Director of Fat Git Theatre. In 2016 he has been Directing and Assistant Directing at the Royal Shakespeare Company, directing the opening of The World Shakespeare Congress and working in collaboration with the Southbank Sinfonia on Shakespeare in Music. He has worked on Gregory Doran's Death of a Salesman and Shakespeare Live, Maria Aberg's Doctor Faustus and Polly Findlay's The Alchemist. He's also assisted John Dove at Shakespeare's Globe (Doctor Scroggy's War, Farinelli and the King), Steve Marmion at Soho Theatre (Utopia, The Boy Who Fell into a Book), with English Touring Theatre (Eternal Love) and with Joe Murphy (Blink, Taming of the Shrew). For Fat Git Theatre, he has directed A Third (Finborough Theatre), Winky (Soho Theatre and Underbelly at the Edinburgh Festival), Encounter (Theatre503), (i feel fine) (New Diorama Theatre and Vault Festival), Uninvited (New Diorama Theatre and Bedlam Theatre at the Edinburgh Festival) and Gaia: New Approaches as the culmination of Fat Git's residency at the University of Warwick. Other direction includes The Cafe a site-specific play at The Coffee Works Project in association with Old Red Lion Theatre. He also works as a dramaturg and literary consultant for Sonia Friedman Productions.

The cast is:
Will Bliss | Will
Trained at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes Doctor Faustus, Don Quixote and The Alchemist (Royal Shakespeare Company), Money, Medea and Tropicana (Shunt Theatre Company), Double Think (Edinburgh Festival), Darker The Night and Roast (Hen and Chickens Theatre), Pool Hall at the End of the Earth (Theatre503), and Honoria and Mammon and Unfortunate Mother (The Owle Schreame Theatre Company).
Film includes Cold Calling, Art Is... and Godard and Others.
Television includes Lucky Man, Mr Sloane, EastEnders, Jo, Utopia, Holby City, Dave Shakespeare, White Heat, Oh My God and Misfits.

Tyson Douglas | Cliff
Theatre includes Timon of Athens (National Theatre), La Boheme (Soho Theatre), Bouncers (Leicester Square Thea-tre), Stitched Up (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Lost In Mozart and Sweet Charity (Edinburgh Festival), The Winning Crowd (Lost Theatre) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Saint Joan (Workhouse Theatre).
Film includes D Is For Detroit.
Television includes Doctors and Holby City.
Radio includes A Small Town Murder.

Tim Faulkner | Constable/Alice
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Sommer 14.
Theatre includes The Mousetrap (St Martin's Theatre), The Guardsman (Albery Theatre), Dangerous Corner (Ambassadors Theatre), Inspiration Gala Performance (London Palladium), One Moment in Time (Her Majesty's Theatre), Collision (Hackney Empire), Three Women (King's Head Theatre), The Dorchester (Jermyn Street Theatre), Above All Courage (New End Theatre, Hampstead) A Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo and Juliet (Stafford Festival Shakespeare), Emilia Galotti (Trilogy Theatre Company), Lock Up Your Daughters (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry), Outside Edge (Churchill Theatre, Bromley), Boston Story and Charley's Aunt (The Mill at Sonning), First Impressions (Theatre Royal Margate) and The Dream Time (Edinburgh Festival).
Television includes Much Ado About Nothing, Messiah, Inspector Morse, Rumpole of The Bailey, Howards Way, Casualty, Doctors, My Hero, The Fourth Arm, Allo Allo, Stalkey and Co and Old Men at The Zoo.

Joel Gillman | Jed
Theatre includes A Life Of Galileo (Royal Shakespeare Company), Chicken Soup With Barley (Royal Court Theatre), Saved (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith) and The Way Of The World (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield).
Television includes The Living And The Dead, Frankenstein Chronicles, Ripper Street, Silent Witness, Walter, Casualty, The Mimic, Being Human and Garrow's Law.

Daisy Hughes | Mary
Theatre includes Doctor Scroggy's War (Shakespeare's Globe), Eternal Love (Shakespeare's Globe and National Tour), Gallathea (Shakespeare's Globe At The Wilderness Festival), Richard III (Royal Shakespeare Company), Swimming (Soho Theatre), Playing With Grown Ups (Theatre503 and 59E59 Theaters, New York) and The Illusion (Southwark Playhouse).
Film includes The Merciless Beauty, The Price Of Death, Kids In Love and Home At Last.
Television includes Doctors.

Hayward B Morse | Babs/Old Man
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Eden's Empire, Weapons of Happiness and So Great A Crime.
Trained at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes 84 Charing Cross Road (Arts Theatre, Cambridge), Bar Mitvah Boy and School for Wives (Upstairs at the Gatehouse), Barking In Essex (Wyndham's Theatre), Barefoot In The Park (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford), An Ideal Husband (English Theatre of Frankfurt), The Caretaker, London Suite and Relatively Speaking (English Theatre of Hamburg), Deathtrap (Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon), Travels With My Aunt (Birmingham Rep),The Rocky Horror Show (King's Road Theatre), The Canterbury Tales (Phoenix Theatre), What The Butler Saw (Queen's Theatre) and the Broadway production of Butley (Morosco Theater, New York) for which he received a Tony award nomination.
Film includes Agency and Death Wish 3.
Television includes The Secret Files, James May's Man Lab and Footballers' Wives.
Audio work includes The Theban Plays, The Discourses of Epictetus, The Life of the Buddha and over 100 audiobooks for the Royal National Institute For Blind People.

Chris Porter | Slaughter/Lenin
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include Martine.
Trained at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes Romeo and Juliet (Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company, Garrick Theatre), The Winter's Tale and The Maid's Tragedy (Shakespeare's Globe), The Winter's Tale, The Taming of the Shrew, The Wind in the Willows, Henry V, Twelfth Night, Othello, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Merry Wives of Windsor (Guildford Shakespeare Company), Round and Round the Garden (The Mill at Sonning), What the Dickens (Drum Theatre, Plymouth), Friend or Foe (Mercury Theatre, Colchester), The Hypochondriac (Liverpool Playhouse), Victory and The Art of Success (Arcola Theatre), Hard Times (Compass Theatre, Ickenham), Onysos the Wild (Theatre503 and Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh), Tartuffe (Watermill Theatre, Newbury), Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (Globe Theatre, Warsaw), Angels Among The Trees (Nottingham Playhouse), The Legend of King Arthur and Bartleby (Red Shift Theatre Comapny), Saints Day and The Road to Ruin (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond) and The Dwarfs, The Local Stigmatic and Lakeboat (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, and Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh).
Film includes The Winslow Boy.
Television includes Bad Girls, Footballers' Wives, The Bill, Nail Bomber and The Genius of Mozart.
Radio includes The Wild Asses Skin and Heart Transplant.

Eva-Jane Willis | Veronica
Trained at Drama Centre London.
Theatre includes Perfect Match (Palace Theatre, Watford), We Really Should Do Something (Bush Theatre), Long Story Short (Pleasance London and Charing Cross Theatre), Next Door and Bruises (Tabard Theatre) and The 3rd Sector and En Folkefiende (Pleasance London).
Film includes Chick Lit, Le Medre and Only Child.
Television includes Humans, Uncle and Maigret Sets a Trap.
Awards include First Prize Laurence Olivier Bursary Award.

The press on the original production of Magnificence
"Arguably [Brenton's] first real masterpiece" Andrew Dickson, The Guardian
"A wonderful piece of theatre; annexing whole new chunks of modern life and presenting them in a style at once truthful
and magnified." Irving Wardle, The Times on the original production.

The press on director Josh Roche's past productions for Fat Git Theatre
"An exciting company, asking fascinating questions" Catherine Love, Exeunt
"A provocative, challenging look at the limits of open relationships" Four Stars, The Stage on A Third
"Laura Jacqmin's risque and rueful comedy has a voyeuristic intimacy and is genuinely funny" The Guardian on A Third
"Fat Git Theatre Company, have found a very human way of looking at an intractable problem, and of doing so with a charm that makes these unspeakably big and terrifying issues feel relevant to the small, quiet realities of all our lives." Four Stars, Exeunt on (i feel fine)
"The story vibrates with the kind of quiet humanity that warms the best of Daniel Kitson or Alan Bennett. Director Josh Roche displays a strong sense of timing and confident understatement." Four Stars, Exeunt on Winky
"Josh Roche's direction [is] stylish, inventive and remarkably assured." Four Stars, A Younger Theatre on Specie

Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED

Box Office 0844 847 1652 Book online at
Tuesday, 25 October - Saturday, 19 November 2016
Tuesday to Saturday evenings at 7.30pm. Sunday matinees at 3.00pm. Saturday matinees at 3.00pm (from 5 November 2016).
Prices until 6 November 2016 - Tickets £16, £14 concessions, except Tuesday evenings £14 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £16 all seats. Previews (25 and 26 October) £12 all seats.
£10 tickets for Under 30's for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only.
£12 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on Saturday, 29 October 2016 when booked online only.
Prices from 8 November 2016 - Tickets £18, £16 concessions, except Tuesday evenings £16 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £18 all seats.
Performance Length: Approximately two hours with one interval of fifteen minutes.
FINBOROUGHFORUM post show discussions
Wednesdays, 26 October, 2, 9 and 16 November 2016
Free to ticketholders for that evening's performance of the play.

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