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Not Quite Jerusalem - Finborough Theatre

Not Quite Jerusalem

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

COMMISSIONED to celebrate the Finborough Theatre’s 40th anniversary year, the first new UK production in 40 years of Paul Kember’s award-winning 1980 comedy-drama, Not Quite Jerusalem, runs from March 3 to March 28, 2020.

All I’m talking about is this. Democracy. Having a say in your own affairs. Taking decisions about your own lives …It’s not like that in England.

It’s 1979, and Mike, Carrie, Pete and Dave have fled grim, divided England for the sunshine, sex, beer and bagels of a Israeli kibbutz, only to find that what was supposed to be a working holiday is more like hard labour in 100-degree temperatures.

Pete and Dave soon alienate themselves with their foul-mouthed, high-spirited behaviour. Carrie desperately tries to fit in, but cannot relate to either her fellow-countrymen or the Israelis. Only Cambridge drop-out Mike seems able to articulate what it means to be young, conflicted, English, and a very long way from home. Until, that is, he meets no-nonsense kibbutznik Gila…

First presented at the Royal Court Theatre in 1980 where it broke box office records and revived there in 1982 (with casts including David Threlfall, Phil Davis, Kevin McNally, Selina Cadell and Bruce Alexander), Not Quite Jerusalem won first-time playwright Paul Kember the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Award.

The cast includes Russell Bentley (Ami), Miranda Braun (Carrie), Ailsa Joy (Gila), Joe McArdle (Dave), Ryan Whittle (Mike) and Ronnie Yorke (Pete).

Presented by Cumulus Productions in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre, Not Quite Jerusalem is directed by Peter Kavanagh and designed by Ceci Calf, with lighting by Ryan Stafford and costume design by Isobel Pellow.

NB: Not Quite Jerusalem contains strong language.

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

The English premiere of acclaimed Northern Irish playwright Joseph Crilly’s On McQuillan’s Hill continues at the Finborough Theatre until February 29, 2020.