Donbas, 2014. A nameless woman stands in the street. Wearing a pair of dark black sunglasses, she tries to sell a basket of kittens. She has lost everything else she holds dear: her home, her family, her hope. Russia has taken over Crimea and stirred up ongoing violence in her beloved homeland of Donbas. Betrayed by her neighbour and brutalised by Russian-backed militia, her hope has waned for humanity. She can only now place her hope in finding a home for a basket of kittens, a home she cannot offer. An urgent piece of new writing from Neda Nezhdana that starkly reveals the roots of Russia’s war on Ukraine through the eyes of one woman. Its original production at the Finborough Theatre in August 2022 as part of Two Ukrainian Plays received huge press acclaim. The play was nominated for both Best Lead Performance in A Play and Best New Play (one of three selected finalists) in the OffWestEnd Awards.
The world premiere staged reading of the ETPEP Award 2022 winner Saana Sze.YoungMartha, a bright and agreeable student, falls in love with Gia, who has had enough of school and teachers that don’t care about girls like her…NowMartha enters the teaching industry, optimistic about making a positive change, but soon begins a quick journey towards disillusionment when they realise the corporate hell they’re in…Black, non-binary and queer, YoungMartha and NowMartha are set against rigid systems which insist they conform.Belly of the Beast examines school politics, from the standpoint of both student and a teacher, as it asks “What are schools for?”
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.
This production contains strong language, sexual references and sensitive subject matter.
Graciela would really like everyone to stop dying. After the scarring loss of her beloved dog Buster at the age of five, Graciela decides that no one she loves will ever die.But stopping death is easier said than done. Time rolls on inescapably and, as she grows, Graciela will, like everyone else, gain and lose the people most important to her to the eternal absence of mortality.Wickedly funny and deeply humane, A Brief List of Everyone Who Died tells the story of all the deaths that make up a life.An online rehearsed reading of A Brief List of Everyone Who Died was shown by the Finborough Theatre in 2021, and was a finalist for the OffWestEnd Awards OnComm Award. Jacob Marx Rice’s play Chemistry, also directed by Alex Howarth, was critically acclaimed at the Finborough Theatre in 2019, and is currently in pre-production for a movie adaptation.
2023. A Quaker meeting house on the Finborough Road – or is it a theatre? Benjamin Lay – shepherd, sailor, prophet, and the British Empire’s first revolutionary abolitionist – returns from the grave almost 300 years after his death, as feisty and unpredictable as ever. A 4ft tall “Little David” confronts the “Goliath” of slavery once again as he pleads to be readmitted into the Quaker community that has disowned him and who still believe him to be dangerous. Now, “trembling at the edge of playing God himself”, how far will Benjamin go as he stares down his accusers? Continuing a unique decade-long collaboration between multi-award-winning playwright Naomi Wallace and multi-award-winning historian Marcus Rediker, featuring acclaimed American actor Mark Povinelli and directed by RSC Honorary Associate Director Ron Daniels, The Return of Benjamin Lay sweeps across the centuries in a bold exploration of an utterly impossible man.
Earl's Court or West Brompton
The pub opens one hour before the performance for weekday matinees.
The Finborough Theatre is in the West Brompton area of London, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The theatre presents a varied programme of work which includes UK and world premieres of new plays; the venue has always been a supporter of new writing. The Finborough Theatre is an award-winning venue that is recognised as one of the best Off-West End theatres in London and continues to build on this reputation with the events it presents today.The building was originally designed in 1868 as a public house by George Godwin. The additional space above the theatre was converted into a theatre by June Abbot in 1980, and saw many famous artists grace its stages during its first decade, including Clive Barker, Kathy Burke, Ken Campbell, Mark Rylance and Clare Dowie.This rich history of new writing continued into the next two decades, and has seen many of the great plays presented by resident theatre companies transfer to major theatres like the Royal Court. There are almost too many talented names that have had theatre premieres at the Finborough Theatre to mention. Some notable names include Rachel Weisz, David Mamet, James Graham, and the final premiere performance of the late John Bennett.
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