THE RETREAT Comes to the Finborough Theatre

Performances begin on Tuesday, 25 April 2023.

By: Mar. 29, 2023
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THE RETREAT Comes to the Finborough Theatre

In a production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre, a European premiere from one of Canada's most acclaimed contemporary dramatists, Jason Sherman - The Retreat opens at the Finborough Theatre for a three week limited season on Tuesday, 25 April 2023.

Rachel, a 30-something Hebrew school teacher, is aching to be a screenwriter. And it doesn't help that she's in hot water with her bosses for criticising Israel's actions on the West Bank in front of her pupils.

David and Jeff are two independent film producers in need of a good script. While Jeff is pragmatic about the schlock they put out, David yearns for artistic substance. He thinks he may have found it in Rachel's ambitious but unwieldy script about a false messiah - but he soon finds himself enthralled by more than Rachel's writing.

Inspired but reeling, Rachel is intoxicated by the possibilities of a new career and a new life, but fears that she may be compromising her integrity. Meanwhile, Jeff aims to bring everyone down to earth with the cynical realities of the film industry.

As David and Rachel's professional and personal lives entwine, they undertake a life-changing journey into the meaning of power, and the meaning of blind loyalty.

A fast-paced acerbic take on art, craft, money and passion, The Retreat contains strong language, sexual references and sensitive subject matter.

The multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre, well known for producing more Canadian plays than any other theatre in Europe, rediscovers again the work of Jason Sherman - who received his UK debut at the Finborough Theatre in 2005 with a critically acclaimed sell-out production of Patience - with a long-overdue European premiere of his 1996 play, originally seen at Toronto's Tarragon Theatre.

Playwright Jason Sherman is one of Canada's most influential and prolific playwrights, with a multi-award winning body of work that has been produced around the world. Among his plays seen in the UK are Patience which marked his UK debut at the Finborough Theatre in 2005, and two plays seen at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond - Reading Hebron and Three in the Back, Two in the Head. Three in the Back, Two in the Head was also the winner of Canada's most prestigious literary award - the Governor General's Award. His most recent work includes The Message about Canadian media guru Marshall McLuhan (2017), Ominous Sounds at the River Crossing (first produced in Vancouver in 2022), and Copy That, which earlier this year received its French-language premiere in Montreal. He has also written adaptations of The Brothers Karamazov for Canada's Stratford Festival, and The Cherry Orchard (After the Orchard) for the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Jason is also a celebrated screenwriter, most recently writing and directing the documentary My Tree, which premiered at the 2021 Hot Docs Festival and was nominated for Best Documentary at the Canadian Screen Awards. He also wrote the docudrama We Were Children, about Canada's residential schools system, as well as numerous one-hour TV series. He created and wrote a number of radio dramas for the CBC, including National Affairs and Afghanada. Jason teaches screenwriting in George Brown's Acting For Media program. He lives in Toronto.

Director Emma Jude Harris makes her Finborough Theatre debut. Direction includes Cabildo (Wilton's Music Hall and Arcola Theatre), The Agency (Tête à Tête), The Telephone (live streamed opera), sorry did I wake you (Tristan Bates Theatre) and Ares (VAULT Festival). Her dramaturgical work includes Watch On The Rhine (Donmar Warehouse) and the forthcoming The Unknown Goddess (Britten Pears Arts). She has also acted as a research consultant for Venice Preserv'd (Royal Shakespeare Company) and Absolute Hell (National Theatre). Harris is a Jewish American director, dramaturg and researcher, and trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.


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