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Vibrant 2018 - Finborough Theatre

Vibrant 2014

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

CURATED by Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson and produced by Nikki Hill, Vibrant 2018 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights runs at the Finborough Theatre on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays from October 7 to October 25.

Now in its tenth consecutive year, highlights include the winner of this year’s RADIUS Playwriting Competition, an award-winning new play from New Zealand, and a unique opportunity to watch the birth of a new British musical, in an eclectic and idiosyncratic selection of staged readings.

As part of the Finborough’s ongoing commitment to ensuring diversity and opportunity, particularly in those areas neglected by other UK theatres, this year’s playwrights embraces all age groups, and all of the new British playwrights (except one) are over 40.


Lock Her Up! by Rachel Anthony, directed by Chloe Christian – Sunday, October 7 at 7.30pm.

Katherine and Oliver are media students at a prestigious American university. When their romantic hook-up takes a sinister turn, Katherine calls on her seminar group to support her. Into the ensuing explosive debate over coercion, pornography and consent, a mysterious figure arrives – to confront the strange gender games we all play, in the era of Trump and #metoo.

Relativity – The Einstein Musical with book and lyrics by Phil Willmott, music by Phil Willmott and Sonum Batra, directed by Phil Willmott – on Mondays, October 8, October 15 and October 22 at 7.30pm.

An exciting opportunity to see a script in hand presentation of a new musical, in the early stages of development, exploring Albert Einstein’s stormy first marriage to the pioneering physicist, Mileva Marić. Their witty and passionate collaboration unlocked the secrets of the universe, yet ended in a devastating act of cruelty that ensured she would never eclipse her husband’s genius. Audience feedback will help shape this tuneful new musical’s future.

The House of Julius Jacobs by Jonathan Gillis, directed by Courtney Larkin – Thursday, October 11 at 3pm.

Palestine, 1946. Julius Jacobs, former Mancunian, is Assistant Chief Secretary at the British Mandate and has just received an OBE for services to His Majesty. He is also a staunch Zionist, and counts the leaders of the Zionist movement among his closest friends. His loyalties to his employers are strained in the face of Britain’s failing mission in Palestine. But the discovery of a secret pact between his friends and local terrorist groups makes him reassess his loyalties to them too.

Torn between the two, his open opposition to his friends leaves him isolated as the danger draws ever closer to himself, his workplace – and the house that has come to symbolise his entire world. Based on a true story.

Petrichor by Hannah Morley, directed by Melissa Dunne – Sunday, October 14 at 7.30pm.

Chloe Bradley has the keys to a home she can’t walk into, and both her shoes – and her mother – are missing. When a chance encounter with a Street Pastor gives her temporary shelter from the streets, she is given a lifeline. In a town of locked doors and forbidden rooms, Chloe is forced to question whether there can be a path back home, or whether home was all an illusion in the first place. Set on the streets of Doncaster, Petrichor explores whether our loss of faith is more of a loss than we want to admit.

Petrichor won this year’s Spotlight on Humanity: Radius Playwriting Competition, judged by Neil McPherson and Sue Healy, Artistic Director and Literary Manager of the Finborough Theatre. The next Radius Playwriting Competition will take place in 2020, and will be announced in December 2019.

The Chief by Tim Jeal, directed by Simon Greiff – Thursday, October 18 at 3pm.

It is 1914, and the war hero, Robert Baden-Powell, has already founded the Boy Scouts, and married a desirable younger woman. He has also been knighted by the King. So why isn’t he happy? For a start, he is suffering from mystifying headaches – which is why his wife has referred him to a ‘mind doctor’ who admires Freud and doesn’t believe in will-power. But how can that help him get better and father the son he longs for? Or stop his male private secretary being killed in France, and the government stealing his Scouts? But where there’s a will, there’s a way…isn’t there?

Terp by Ayad Andrews, directed by Fay Lomas – Sunday, October 21 at 7.30pm.

2003. Basra, Iraq. For young Iraqi student Tawfeeq, the Second Gulf War is the chance to be a part of revolutionary change, an opportunity to help set all Iraqis free from the tyranny of Saddam’s reign. All he has to do is assist the Coalition Forces by being a terp – an interpreter. But that fateful decision is about to change his and his family’s life forever…

Anahera by Emma Kinane, directed by Caitlin McLeod – Thursday, October 25 at 3pm.

Eleven-year-old Harry Hunter is missing. While they wait for news, Anahera – a newly qualified Māori social worker – supports Harry’s distraught parents. But as the hours pass and the situation pushes everyone to their limits, Anahera is forced to take a stand.

Anahera was chosen for Auckland Theatre Company’s workshop The Next Stage in 2015 and was a finalist in the Adam NZ Play Awards in 2016. It premiered in September 2017 at Circa Theatre in Wellington, receiving rave reviews, and won Most Outstanding New New Zealand Play at the Wellington Theatre Awards 2017.

For more information and to book tickets, visit