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Jeannie, a unique Christmas rediscovery comes to the Finborough Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

A 1930s comedy for Christmas, Jeannie by rediscovered female playwright Aimée Stuart, runs at the Finborough Theatre for a four-week limited season from Tuesday, November 27 to Saturday, December 22, 2018.

What’s the use of romance if there’s no truth in it?

It is 1936 in a “wee one-eyed” town in Scotland. Jeannie is a drudge for her mean controlling father, but dreams of a different life. When she receives a large inheritance, she seizes the opportunity to finally escape to the glamour and sophistication of European travel.

During her stay in Vienna, she encounters Stanley, a washing machine inventor from Yorkshire, and then a real Viennese Count. But Jeannie is no pushover. She knows her own mind, she is a stickler for the truth, and she hates scroungers…

A 1930s version of the Cinderella story, Jeannie is described as a charming light romantic comedy, ideal for the Christmas season, and unseen in London since 1940.

The cast includes Evelyn Adams (as Maggie/The American Woman), Max Alexander-Taylor (Waiter/Porter/Ensemble), Kim Durham (Father/Clerk/Herr Ober), Mairi Hawthorn (Jeannie), Carol Holt (Bessie/Mistress), Madeleine Hutchins (Mrs.Whitelaw/The Blonde), Matthew Mellalieu (Stanley) and Patrick Pearson (The Count).

Jeannie’s author Aimée Stuart was one of the West End’s most successful female playwrights between the wars – and a fascinating character in her own right – staunchly feminist, and never afraid to tackle controversial subjects which led to some of her plays being banned by the Lord Chamberlain. The original production of Jeannie was an instant hit, transferring both to the West End and Broadway and turning Barbara Mullen who played the title role into a star overnight. It was also filmed with Michael Redgrave and Kay Hammond.

Presented by New Shoes Theatre in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre, Jeannie is directed by Nicolette Kay (Artistic Director of New Shoes Theatre, Seed, Love Child and Hurried Steps, Finborough Theatre), with set and costume design by James Helps and sound design by Rachael Murray.

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 01223 357851 or visit

Also at the Finborough Theatre: Bury The Dead by American playwright Irwin Shaw (until November 24) and the world premiere production of Exodus (November 4 to November 20, 2018).