Follow Us on Twitter

Finborough Theatre - January to March 2018

Season preview

DURING 2018, the Finborough Theatre celebrates 150 years of the Finborough Theatre building with the FINBOROUGH150 series, an anniversary selection of the best plays from 1868.

The first season of 2018 features the first rediscovery from 1868 in the FINBOROUGH150 series, alongside five premieres of new writing – three from brand new British and Irish writers in their formal professional debuts, and two multi-award-winning American playwrights with two hard-hitting and controversial new plays.

Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson said: “A recent article in the press bemoaned the lack of new British playwrights at some of London’s funded “new writing” theatres. As always, it is up to venues such as ours to redress the balance. This season features three new debut plays from British and Irish playwrights, alongside two new plays from multi-award-winning American playwrights.

“Three of the new plays this season were first seen in our acclaimed Vibrant – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights seasons which will celebrate its tenth consecutive year in 2018. As always, too, we celebrate the old alongside the new, and this season we begin celebrating the 150th anniversary of our building with the first in our new FINBOROUGH150 series.”

Commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Nanking massacre, the season opens with the European premiere of Into the Numbers by the multi-award-winning playwright Christopher Chen. Commemorating the 80th anniversary of ‘The Rape of Nanking’, one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century, it plays for a four week limited season from January 2 to January 27.

It is accompanied by the world premiere of Imaginationship, Sue Healy’s new play on love, sex, obsession and death in Great Yarmouth. Originally seen as a staged reading as part of Vibrant 2017 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, it plays on Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees between January 7 and January 23.

The season continues with the world premiere of Cornish playwright Henry Darke’s debut play, Booby’s Bay. Described as a passionate, comic fable about the housing crisis in Cornwall and beyond, and a maverick’s mission to turn the tide, it runs from January 30 to February 24.

It plays alongside the opening production of the FINBOROUGH150 series – the first London production since 1890 of the 1868 hit, Cyril’s Success. A semi-autobiographical satire on playwrights and theatre folk by local resident Henry J. Byron, it plays for nine Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees between February 4 and February 20.

The season ends with the world premiere of the first English-language adaptation of the classic novella by Ghassan Kanafani, Returning to Haifa. Adapted for the stage by Naomi Wallace and Ismail Khalidi, it is a compelling story of two families – one Palestinian, one Israeli – forced by history into an intimacy they didn’t choose.

It concides with the 70th anniversaries of both the Nakba or “catastrophe” (the mass dispossession of the Palestinians in 1948) and the foundation of the State of Israel, and runs from February 27 to March 24. This production marks the play’s world premiere, following its banning by the Public Theater, New York City.

It plays concurrently with the world premiere of Checkpoint Chana by Jeff Page, a new play examining the point where pro-Palestinian criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism blur. Originally seen as a staged reading as part of Vibrant 2017 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, it runs on Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees between March 4 and March 20.

From January 30, 2018, by popular request, the Finborough Theatre will be moving to a new ticketing provider, Spektrix, for all ticket bookings. The website address will remain Also from January 30, 2018, telephone bookings will be on a new number 01223 357851 and will be free to call. There will no booking fees on online, personal or postal bookings, but there will be a 5% booking fee on telephone bookings.

Also at the Finborough Theatre: Jerome K. Jerome’s The Passing of the Third Floor Back (November 28 to December 22) and Israel Zangwill’s classic refugee drama The Melting Pot (Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees from December 3 to December 19, 2017).