I am a great fan of this space, so it was a delight to hear that their season is motoring along with great success as they continue to select work that provokes and entertains. So, is it any wonder The Finborough Theatre was recently named the London Pub Theatre of the Year at the London Pub Theatres Awards for the second time, following their first win in 2020. They also won four other awards including Best Production and Best Actor for Yes So I Said Yes, Bacon and The Straw Chair.
Off-West-End theatre is currently facing an unprecedented series of challenges. In January 2022, the Finborough signed the Equity Fringe Agreement for their own in-house productions, and abolished all rental fees for visiting productions, but still they want to develop and inspire audiences further and so Milla Jackson was recently appointed as their Development Director – great to see a theatre forging ahead and seeking to expand – but that is how dynamic Finborough Theatre is.
Their plan is to maintain and expand their ambitious program of vibrant new writing and unique rediscoveries, while also ensuring that their ticket prices remain affordable and accessible – what is brilliant is that casts and creative teams continue to be properly paid.
Artistic Director Neil McPherson says:
“Although proudly located in Earl’s Court and deeply embedded in our local community, we have always also tried to ensure that we do not fall into the easy trap of being “London-centric”, and so our new January to March 2023 season is one of our most international ever with three UK premieres – unique rediscoveries from Canada and Norway, and a stunning new play from France.
At the same time their online work continues to be truly international with their ongoing free-to-view #VoicesFromUkraine season. They have also been building partnerships with the ProEnglish Theatre, Kyiv; the WEST Association (World of English Speaking Theatres), run from Kyiv; and the Worldwide Ukrainian Play Reading Series, a collaboration with the Theatre of Playwrights in Kyiv, and the Centre for International Theatre Development. Their recent production of Pussycat in Memory of Darkness played live in Kyiv itself in December 2022, prior to an international tour.
To ensure that the Finborough Theatre remains as accessible as possible to everyone, they have kept their ticket prices the same as in 2022, and they continue to offer £10 tickets for under 30s for the first week of every new production when booked online, and Tuesday evenings at concession price for everyone.
Finborough have also announced the winner of the ETPEP Award 2022 – first time playwright Saana Sze for their play Belly of the Beast. Saana will receive a prize of £8,000, a development relationship with the Finborough Theatre including one-to-one dramaturgy; a rehearsal workshop with actors and a director to develop the play; and a staged reading performance of the winning play at the Finborough Theatre. There were also also ten runner-up prizes of £400 each.
The Finborough Theatre season includes a a range of voices not always heard in the theatre
It opened in January with the UK premiere of the multi-award-winning Canadian classic, Salt-Water Moon by David French, Returning to the Finborough Theatre following his sell-out production of Not Quite Jerusalem, Peter Kavanagh directed a romantic exploration of young love, set on the shores of Newfoundland.
The season continued with a UK premiere from France. Acclaimed director Alice Hamilton directs One Who Wants To Cross by Marc-Emmanuel Soriano, playing 31 January-25 February 2023. Bringing a contemporary human tragedy into devastating focus, One Who Wants To Cross is a dramatic meditation on illegal migrants, wherever their place of origin…
The season culminates with the UK premiere of the award-winning modern Norwegian classic, The Journey To Venice by Bjørg Vik, translated by Janet Garton, plays 28 February-25 March 2023. A frank and tender (bitter)sweet comedy, The Journey to Venice is a celebration of aging, fantasy, love, and the sacrifices we make in order to keep on living. Wiebke Green directs.
#VoicesFromUkraine #Українськіголоси #Ukrayinsʹkiholosy
Presented as part of #FinboroughFrontier, an exciting new complement to their live theatre work, embracing the possibilities of digital creativity, #VoicesFromUkraine is their ongoing season of online readings and performances of Ukrainian work in English. Finborough continues to work with the ProEnglish Theatre in Kyiv, the WEST Association (World of English Speaking Theatres), and the Worldwide Ukrainian Play Readings series (run by the Center for International Theatre Development and the Theatre of Playwrights, Kyiv).
Live productions included Two Ukrainian Plays featuring Natal’ya Vorozhbit’s Take The Rubbish Out, Sasha in a double bill with Neda Nezhdana’s Pussycat in Memory of Darkness, pairing Ukraine’s leading contemporary playwright together with a Ukrainian playwright making her UK debut, which played at the Finborough Theatre in August. Pussycat in Memory of Darkness also performed live in Kyiv, Ukraine, in December 2022, and will shortly be seen on an international tour.
Online, free-to-view releases include Otvetka and He Who Opens The Door by Neda Nezhdana, The Peed-Upon Armored Personnel Carrier by Oksana Gritsenko, A Dictionary of Emotions in a Time of War by Yelena Astasyeva, and Planet Speranta by Oleksii Kolomiiets, as well as responses to the war from Russian poet Tatiana Voltskaya and composer and writer Bréon Rydell, and interviews and discussions.
It is an exciting time for the Finborough Theatre who are not only keeping theatre going with affodable ticket prices while giving voice to a wide range of cultures and countries but they are also scowering for lost success and for plays that might have been overlooked both at home and abroad.
I look forward to reviewing ONE WHO WANTS TO CROSS – so watch this space!
Tuesday, 31 January – Saturday, 25 February 2023
The UK premiere
ONE WHO WANTS TO CROSS
by Marc-Emmanuel Soriano. Translated by Amanda Gann. Directed by Alice Hamilton.
Press Nights: Thursday, 2 February 2023 and Friday, 3 February 2023 at 7.30pm
Photocall: Tuesday, 31 January 2023 at 1.00pm-1.30pm
Tuesday, 28 February – Saturday, 25 March 2022
The UK premiere
THE JOURNEY TO VENICE
by Bjørg Vik. Translated by Janet Garton. Directed by Wiebke Green.
Press Nights: Thursday, 2 March 2023 and Friday, 3 March 2023 at 7.30pm
Photocall: Tuesday, 28 February 2023 at 1.00pm-1.30pm
Performance Times and Prices
Tuesday to Saturday evenings at 7.30pm.
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3.00pm.
Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Book online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk
Box Office 020 7244 7439
No booking fees
Prices for Weeks One and Two – Tickets £20, £18 concessions, except Tuesday evenings £18 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £20 all seats.
Previews £15 all seats.
£10 tickets for Under 30s for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only.
£15 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham on the first Saturday evening, when booked online only.
Prices for Weeks Three and Four – Tickets £23, £20 concessions, except Tuesday evenings £20 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £23 all seats.
Group Bookings for all performances – 1 free ticket in every 10 purchased.