Broome, James, Knowles & More Slated for Finborough's THE NORTHERNERS, 4/4-4/19

Chequered Blue Theatre in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre presents
The London Premiere  of The Northerners by Harold Brighouse.

Directed by Tim Newns. Designed by Trudi Molloy. Lighting by Josh Carr. Costume Design by Penn O'Gara.

Cast: Peter Broome. Tomos James. Patrick Knowles. William Maxwell. John Rawnsley. Laurence Saywood. Adam Stevens. Stephanie Thomas. Joe Wredden. Louise Yates.

Lancashire, the 1820's. In the grip of a post-war recession, the workers are on the brink of revolt, the Luddites are burning the new machinery and the employers are doing everything possible to maximise their profits, regardless of the human cost.

When a weaver's beautiful daughter agrees to wed the boss's son for the good of the family, she quickly becomes entangled in a perilous game of love as she is torn between the factory owner's son and her ex-lover, the leader of the workers rebellion. As the price of bread rises, wages fall and families starve, mills and looms are engulfed in flames as Matthew and his fellow weavers fight a hopeless and desperate battle against the ever-expanding factory.

As we approach a General Election, The Northerners is a sobering and relevant reminder of the struggles endured by the working class to maintain their independence and livelihoods in the face of advancing industrialisation, and a poignant heart-breaking tale of the ordinary people caught up in forces beyond their control.

A honest, dark and powerful drama, The Northerners now receives its London premiere after nearly a hundred years, and only its third ever production in the UK, following its original production at the Gaiety Theatre, Manchester in 1914, and a revival at the Bolton Octagon in 1979.

Playwright Harold Brighouse (1882-1958) remains best known for his 1916 classic Hobson's Choice. The story of how a tyrannical Lancashire boot maker is brought down to earth by his daughter and her simple husband, Hobson's Choice has been much revived and was last seen in London at The Young Vic in 2003. It was filmed by David Lean with Charles Laughton and John Mills, and even adapted into a ballet. Brighouse brought a new and groundbreaking style to British theatre, portraying the bleak and harsh lives of the working classes, but combining it with a unique Northern flavour and wit. He was a leading member of the ‘Manchester School' of playwrights, along with well known Northern writers such as Stanley Houghton and Allan Monkhouse, a group of writers all largely based at Annie Horniman's Gaiety Theatre, Manchester.

Director Tim Newns is a former Resident Assistant Director at the Finborough Theatre where he was Assistant Director on Country Magic, I Was A Beautiful Day and The Druid's Rest, and also produced Country Magic and The Druid's Rest.

Peter Broome's credits include Unsent Letters (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), The Murder Game (Cambridge Theatre), Feast of Snails (Lyric Theatre), King Lear, The Provoked Wife (The Peter Hall Company).

Tomos James' credits include The Sea and Scenes From Bond (Theatre Royal Haymarket), David Copperfield (Mercury Theatre, Colchester), For King and Country (National Tour), Tunnel 228 (Old Vic and Punchdrunk) and Animal Farm (Creation Theatre Company, Oxford). Film credits include Atonement and Mr Nice.

Patrick Knowles' credits include Troilus and Cressida (Royal Shakespeare Company), Paradise Regained (Royal Court Theatre) and Gates of Gold (Library Theatre, Manchester). Television and film credits include Pelican Blood, New Tricks, Apparitions and Mutual Friends.

William Maxwell's credits include Sons of York, Day by the Sea, Seed and Grace (Finborough Theatre), Nicholas Nickleby (Royal Shakespeare Company - Broadway), Maybe Tomorrow (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Scrooge, Lysistrata (BAC), The Jail Diary Of Albie Sachs, Julius Caesar, Baal, Twelfth Night (Royal Shakespeare Company), Comedians (Old Vic and National Tour), His Lordship's Fancy (Gate Theatre), Spider's Web and Funny Money (Palace Theatre), Northanger Abbey (Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch), The Resistable Rise Of Arturo Ui (Library Theatre, Manchester) and Knock Down Ginger (Warehouse Theatre, Croydon).

John Rawnsley's credits include Cats (New London Theatre), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (National Theatre Studio), Doctor Dolittle (Apollo Theatre and National Tour), The Pirates of Penzance (National Tour), The Enchanted Pig (Young Vic and National Tour), The Good Old Days (City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds), Park Avenue (Sadler's Wells), Laura (Watermill Theatre, Newbury) and Destiny of Dreams (National Tour). Opera credits include Cosi Fan Tutte (BBC), IL Barbiere di Siviglia (Glyndebourne Festival Opera), Lucia di Lammermoor (Royal Opera House) and Rigoletto (English National Opera).

Laurence Saywood's credits include Summer Begins, ‘Tis Pity She's A Whore, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, The Winslow Boy, Old Time Music Hall, Three Sisters, Much Ado About Nothing, Jack and the Beanstalk, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Destiny, Tartuffe and DNA (East 15 Acting School), Much Ado About Nothing (Shooting Stars Theatre Company), Lord of the Flies (Broadway Theatre, Catford) and Drive Thru Nativity (Blue Elephant Theatre).
Adam Stevens' credits include Blood Brothers (Phoenix Theatre and International Tours), Defenders of the Earth, Marat/Sade, The Winter's Tale, Of Mice and Men, Death and the Tango, As You Like It, Hello Again and My Best Friends Are Metal Heads (Birmingham School of Acting). Television includes Dani's House.

Stephanie Thomas' credits include I Wish to Die Singing, The Beaver Coat, The Representative (Finborough Theatre), Her Naked Skin (National Theatre), Frost/Nixon (Gielgud Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (Greenwich Playhouse), When I Laugh (National Tour), The Tempest (York Theatre Royal) and a reading of Millicent Scowlworthy (Donmar Warehouse).
Joe Wredden's trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art where his credits include Anna Lucasta, Troilus and Cressida, Three Sisters, The Seagull, The Ruins, The Importance of Being Earnest, Present Laughter, Oedipus, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, The Custom of the Country and Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams.

Louise Yates' credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream (Northcott Theatre, Exeter), The Secret Rapture, Playing for Time (Salisbury Playhouse), Bread and Butter (Southwark Playhouse), The Road to Ruin, A Kind of Alaska (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), One Under (Tricycle Theatre), Body Clock (White Bear Theatre) and The Merchant of Venice and The Taming of the Shrew (US Tour). Television credits include A Wing and a Prayer, When There's Smoke, The Estate Agents, Wire in the Blood, Patrick's Planet, Doctors and The Bill.

Sundays and Mondays, 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19 April 2010.
Evenings at 7.30pm.
Tickets £13, £9 concessions
except Tuesday Evenings £9 all seats, and Saturday evenings £13 all seats.
Performance Length: Approximately 2 hours.
Box Office: 0844 847 1652

Finborough Theatre, The Finborough, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED


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