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Finborough Theatre - February to May 2019

Maggie May

Season preview

THE Finborough Theatre’s Spring season features three stunning rediscoveries, all unseen in London for many years – a heart-breaking play set against the backdrop of apartheid South Africa by Athol Fugard; a hit British musical of the 1960s from the composer of Oliver!, Lionel Bart; and a third rediscovery from neglected Ulster playwright St John Ervine.

The season opens with the first UK production for 35 years of A Lesson from Aloes by Athol Fugard, a devastating story of betrayal and mistrust set against the backdrop of apartheid. Directed by actor, writer and director Janet Suzman and with lighting by the legendary Mannie Manim, A Lesson from Aloes plays from February 27 to March 23.

The Finborough’s acclaimed ‘Celebrating British Music Theatre’ series returns with the first professional London production for more than 50 years of Lionel Bart and Alun Owen’s musical Maggie May, a celebration of working class life in 1960s Liverpool, full of classic Lionel Bart musical numbers. Directed by recent nominee for the OffWestEnd Award for Best Director, Matthew Iliffe, Maggie May plays from March 27 to April 20.

The season culminates with the first London production for over 75 years of Jane Clegg by St John Ervine, a 1913 tale of one woman’s escape from an abusive relationship, originally compared by critics to A Doll’s House. Jane Clegg is the third rediscovery from St John Ervine at the Finborough Theatre, following the huge success of his play Mixed Marriage in 2011. Directed by renowned West End director David Gilmore, Jane Clegg plays from April 23 to May 18.

Alongside the season of rediscoveries, the Finborough continue its commitment to new writing. Playwright Hannah Morley has just been announced as one of the six winners of the Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme to spend a year at the Finborough as Playwright in Residence. The Finborough Theatre is now the only unsubsidised theatre ever to be awarded the Channel 4 Playwrights Scheme bursary eleven times.

The Finborough has also announced this year’s ETPEP Award 2019, a playwriting prize for new UK playwrights who work in the theatre industry, run by the Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust (ETPEP) in association with the Finborough Theatre. The winner will receive a prize of £8,000, a development relationship with the Finborough Theatre, and a staged reading performance of the winning play as part of the Finborough’s acclaimed new writing festival, Vibrant – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, celebrating its eleventh consecutive year in 2019.

Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson said: “Our new season features rediscoveries from renowned playwrights from South Africa and Northern Ireland, alongside a classic 1960s British musical. We also continue our commitment to new writing with an opportunity for brand new writers currently working elsewhere in theatre to win an £8000 award for a new play. At the end of last year, the Finborough Arms, our pub home, was taken over by an entirely new management and extensively refurbished, and will also shortly offer a wide menu, with all food cooked on the premises. We look forward to welcoming you.”

Also at the Finborough Theatre: Richard Kalinoski’s Beast on the Moon (January 29 to February 23, 2019).

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 01223 357851 (calls are free but there will be a 5% booking fee) or visit