Hindle Wakes

by Stanley Houghton

11 September – 29 September 2012

The centenary production of the 1912 feminist classic and the first London production in more than 30 years

The entire run is completely sold out including extra matinees on Wednesday 26 September and Friday 28 September at 3pm
For our Returns Policy, please click hereThe Finborough Wine Cafe is closed. The theatre is unaffected. Entrance will be by the Ifield Road entrance, open from one hour before the performance.

★★★★★ Five Stars, WhatsOnStage
★★★★★ Five Stars, Everything Theatre
★★★★ Four Stars, The Guardian
★★★★ Four Stars, One Stop Arts
★★★★ Four Stars, The Good Review

It’s holiday week in the Lancashire town of Hindle, just before the First World War. Fanny Hawthorn, a spirited, determined mill girl, has just returned from a weekend in Blackpool with her friend Mary Hollins. At least that’s what she tells her parents. In fact, she’s been spending the weekend with Alan Jeffcote, a wealthy mill owner’s son who is engaged to someone else. When Fanny’s parents discover the truth, they set out to ensure that Alan will do the decent thing and marry her – only to discover that Fanny has her own ideas on the matter…

One of the first plays to have a working class female protagonist, Hindle Wakes was hugely controversial at the time of its writing.

Image copyright Stephen Fitzgerald

About The Playwright Stanley Houghton

Playwright Stanley Houghton (1881- 1913) was born in Ashton-upon-Mersey, Sale, Cheshire. Educated at Manchester Grammar School, he went into his father's cotton business where he worked until the success of Hindle Wakes in 1912 allowed him to finally achieve his ambition to become a professional writer. He died just a year later of meningitis. One of the acclaimed 'Manchester School' of playwrights, championed by Annie Horniman of the Gaiety Theatre, Manchester, and including such writers as Harold Brighouse and Allan Monkhouse, Houghton's other works include The Intrigues, The Reckoning, The Dear Departed, Independent Means (recently revived by the Library Theatre, Manchester), The Younger Generation, The Master of the House, Fancy-Free, Trust the People and The Perfect Cure.

About The Director Bethan Dear

Director Bethan Dear returns to the Finborough Theatre where she directed the world premiere of The Goodnight Bird by Colleen Murphy in May 2011, and was Resident Assistant Director at the Finborough Theatre in 2010 where she assisted Blanche McIntyre and Adam Lenson. Trained at Middlesex University. Directing includes What Will Survive of Us (National Theatre Inside-Out), Count Down To The Happy Day (Tristan Bates Theatre), Autumn in Arcadia (The Castle Theatre and Arts Centre, Wellingborough) and They May Not Mean To But They Do (The Lion). Assistant Direction includes Festival of the Dead (Nabakov at BAC) and The Shepard Tone for theatre company Tangled Feet. Bethan has also worked extensively in British and international youth theatre including productions for Islington Community Youth Theatre, as well as companies in both Namibia and Uganda.

About The Set and Costume Designer Holly Seager

At the Finborough Theatre, Holly designed The Goodnight Bird (2011).  Previous designs include Chapel Street, winner of Old Vic New Voices Edinburgh 2012 (Underbelly at the Edinburgh Festival) Clockwork Watch (Latitude Festival) Geronimo, (Company TSU at The ARC, Stockton), Tell Tales (Bussey Building), Into The Woods (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), Stag (The Courtyard Theatre), The Rising (Gecko at the New Wolsey Theatre), Sweeney Todd (National Youth Music Theatre at the The Rose, Kingston). She was Scenic Artist on The Veil (National Theatre), Castor and Pollux (English National Opera) and Richard III (The Old Vic). She was Associate Designer to Mark Friend on Sweeney Todd (National Youth Music Theatre), Costume Supervisor to Jean-Marc Puissant on God’s Garden (Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House) and Assistant Set and Costume Designer to Jason Denvir on New Boy (Tabard Theatre), All Bob’s Women (Arts Theatre), Life Coach, New Boy, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Trafalgar Studios) and The Revenger’s Tragedy (The Rose, Kingston).

About The Lighting Designer Chris Withers

At the Finborough Theatre, Chris was Lighting Designer for The Killing of Mr Toad (2009), Saturn Returns (2010) and The December Man (2011) and was Associate Lighting Designer on Little Fish (2011). Graduated from the BA (Hons) Lighting Design course at Rose Bruford College with first class honours.Designs include A Quiet Life (Riverside Studios Opera Festival), My Swordhand is Singing (Pop-Up Festival), Aladdin (Greenwich Theatre), Blind Date/27 Wagons Full of Cotton (Riverside Studios), Heavy Like the Weight of a Flame (Greenwich Theatre and Edinburgh Festival), Body of Water (Lost Theatre and EdinburghFestival), Naked Boys Singing (New Players Theatre), Change (Arcola Theatre), Lovec@t, (Theatre503), Blavatsky’s Tower (Camden People’s Theatre), The Great British Country Fete (Bush Theatre and Tour), Gutted- A Revenger's Musical (Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh), Dirty White Boy - Tales of Soho (Trafalgar Studios), Scouts in Bondage, What’s Wrong With Angry? (King’s Head), Dreamland (Theatre Royal, Margate), Estranged (Courtyard Theatre), Edges (Union Theatre), Frankenstein (Barbican Theatre, Plymouth), The Canterbury Tales (BAC) and Please Look At Me Now (Lorretto Theatre). Assistant and Associate Designs include Precious Little Talent (Trafalgar Studios), Lingua Franca (59E59 Theaters, New York City), Well (Apollo Theatre) and How to Disappear Completely and Never be Found (Southwark Playhouse).

About The Sound Designer Max Pappenheim

At the Finborough Theatre, Max designed the sound and original composition for The Fear of Breathing (2012) and Barrow Hill (2012), and directed Perchance to Dream (2011). Sound Designs include Borderland, Kafka v Kafka (Brockley Jack Studio Theatre), Being Tommy Cooper (Old Red Lion Theatre), Four Corners One Heart (Theatre503), Tangent (New Diorama Theatre) and Werther's Sorrows and Salome (Edinburgh Festival). Directing includes San Giuda (Southwark Cathedral), The Charmed Life (King's Head Theatre) Finchley Road (LOST Theatre) and Quid Pro Quo (Riverside Studios). Max was nominated for an OffWestEnd Award 2012 for Best Sound Design.

About The Composer Craig Adams

Craig is Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer at the Finboirough Theatre, facilitated by Mercury Musical Developments and Musical Theatre Network UK. His scores include LIFT (concept album available on iTunes) Battlements(Vanbrugh Theatre), The Watchers and Ghosts Of The Past (YMT:UK), Ballet People (The Place), Therese Raquin (Mercury Musical Developments The Works Readings) and DEFECT (currently in development with Perfect Pitch). Musical Arrangements and Direction include Kerry Ellis  - The Great British Songbook and On The Edge (London Hippodrome), Julie Atherton’salbum, No Space for Air, and Up Close with Louise Dearman. www.craigadamsmusic.com. Twitter@Musiccraigadams

The Press on Hindle Wakes

★★★★★ Five Stars, WhatsOnStage
★★★★★ Five Stars, Everything Theatre
★★★★ Four Stars, The Guardian
★★★★ Four Stars, One Stop Arts
★★★★ Four Stars, The Good Review

"This excellent revival of Houghton's 1912 play reminds us of his virtues: a firm sense of structure, a rejection of fossilised attitudes, and a passionate belief in female independence.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Expertly produced, expertly performed, expertly designed, and a fantastic script...This is London's best off-West End theatre at its finest: a slick, expertly produced, expertly directed production of a brilliant script. And of course, we expect no less from the Finborough. It is no surprise the run has already sold out, but if you are in any position to beg, steal or otherwise acquire a ticket, you should do so without hesitation.” Everything Theatre

“An enjoyable and engaging interpretation of Stanley Houghton’s rarely performed text.” Alex Wilson, The Good Review

“Delightful.” Alex Ramon, One Stop Arts

“Utterly delightful...This is nothing short of a theatrical joy. I have not laughed as much at a play in a long time and these were not mere chuckles but full on belly laughs that I simply could not contain.” Colin Appleby, Bargain Theatreland

“A well acted and well-directed production that offers a fascinating look into a rarely considered part of our national history. A fitting revival of Hindle Wakes and a fitting way to celebrate its 100th anniversary.” Alex Wilson, The Good Review

“Houghton's play belongs to an extraordinary period in British drama that, within the space of a year, yielded George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and Githa Sowerby's Rutherford & Son – both plays, like his, about women finding their voice in accordance with shifts in society.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“It is impossible to watch without feeling profound respect for playwright Stanley Houghton and the message he conveys.“ Mel West, What’s On Stage

“It is testament to the quality of the writing and the strength of direction under Bethan Dear, that all of the cast uniformly give performances which make these characters and their predicament relevant to a modern audience.” Colin Appleby, Bargain Theatreland

“An immaculate cast work together superbly.” Alex Ramon, One Stop Arts

“Every aspect of each performance is honed to perfection.” Everything Theatre

“Anna Carteret is especially delicious as the sharp Mrs. Hawthorn, something of a Lancashire Lady Macbeth.” Alex Ramon, One Stop Arts

“Anna Carteret is suitably formidable as Fanny's mother.” Partially Obstructed View

“Bluffly played by Sidney Livingstone.” Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide

“A gem of a comic cameo from Sidney Livingstone.” Alex Ramon, One Stop Arts

“Charmingly played by Sarah Winter.” Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide

“As Beatrice, Alan’s hard-done-by fiancée, Sarah Winter does something rather extraordinary with her small role, creating a wide-eyed, tremulous figure who nonetheless proves to have her own kind of steely resolve.”

“Ellie Turner gives Fanny a spirit that any young man would respond to.“ Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide

“The excellent Ellie Turner is able to make her mark in the wonderful final scene, as Houghton’s celebration of a woman’s sexual and financial independence proves to still have the capacity to stir.”

“Ellie Turner snaps out some fabulous lines as whip-smart Fanny.” Mel West, What’s On Stage

“Ellie Turner as Fanny Hawthorn captures just the right amount of rebelliousness and determination.” Colin Appleby, Bargain Theatreland

“The standout performance however, comes from Ellie Turner as the young girl, who takes on a very difficult role and delivers it with all the skill and expertise of the seasoned actress she is – a pleasure to watch.” Everything Theatre

“Ellie Turner also turns in a firecracker of a performance as young Fanny Hawkins.“ Alex Wilson, The Good Review

“As the feckless Alan, Graham O’Mara seem suitably irresponsible but with a touch of charm to suggest why young women might find him attractive.” Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide

“From a divine coming-home-drunk scene onwards, Graham O'Mara's Alan is hilarious, at once exasperating and sympathetic.” Alex Ramon, One Stop Arts

“Susan Penhaligon as Mrs Jeffcote only has to purse her lips to elicit delighted laughter.” Mel West, What’s On Stage

“Richard Durden is fantastic as the father of the errant young man (portrayed masterfully by Graham O'Mara).” Everything Theatre

“Richard Durden's arrogantly assertive Mr Jeffcote and Anna Carteret's hectoring Mrs Hawthorn are clearly two of a kind: Susan Penhaligon and Peter Ellis, as their respective partners, reveal softer, more forgiving natures.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Richard Durden gives a lovely performance.” Laura Thomson, The Telegraph

“Peter Ellis, as the young girl's father, also creates a touching portrayal of the mild-mannered weaver.” Everything Theatre

“It's the female parts that really make Hindle Wakes stand out. The mothers, Anna Carteret and Susan Penhaligan, have meaty roles that they manage impressively without parody. And our heroine Fanny, the plain speaking Lancashire lass, startles and inspires with her frankness. Ellie Turner's clarity and passion in the role do the character justice - I'd go to Llandudno with her anytime.” Edward Lukes, The London Magazine

“Anna Carteret (Juliet Bravo herself), all angry elbows and northern grit, is Fanny’s feral mother, and Peter Ellis (Inspector Brownlow from The Bill) gives a beautifully quiet and realistic performance as her dad. As the archetypal self-made man who rose from weaving shed to King of Cotton, Richard Durden is the most rounded and credibly well-developed character, but his sidekick is Susan (Bouquet of Barbed Wire) Penhaligon whose pursed lips and raised eyebrows undermine his every pomposity, and steal many scenes.” Johnny Fox, Londonist

“Dear’s production succeeds in bringing out its pointed social observations, wonderful comedy and deft characterisation.” Alex Ramon, One Stop Arts

“Hindle Wakes proves a most beguiling thing in Bethan Dear’s production, which delivers the play’s social critique with disarming lightness and charm rather than stridency.” Alex Ramon, One Stop Arts

“Bethan Dear's strongly cast revival not only brings out Houghton's progressive instinct, but also deftly conveys the play's internal marital tensions.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Director Bethan Dear keeps her focus on the inherent humour of human folly, drawing out every hypocrisy and double standard and holding it up for scrutiny.” Mel West, What’s On Stage

“A tightly constructed satire on Edwardian hypocrisy, handled with deft humour by director Bethan Dear.” Edward Lukes, The London Magazine

“Holly Seager’s well-judged design conveys place and period without fuss.” Alex Ramon, One Stop Arts

“The production is markedly helped by some inspired set design.” Alex Wilson, The Good Review

“We are reminded what a resilient play this is and what a loss was Houghton's death in 1913. And who is to say that, 100 years after Hindle Wakes, we still don't live in a world that has one law for sexually adventurous men and another for women?” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Set in 1912, when the women’s suffrage movement was gaining momentum and notoriety, Hindle Wakes introduces a confident, independent heroine determined to have her own voice in a world of oppressive convention. This extraordinary piece at the Finborough Theatre leaves every 2012 audience member wishing they had half of Fanny Hawthorn’s wit and a quarter of her cojones.” Mel West, What’s On Stage

“The joy of seeing raw, full-blooded feminism in a hundred year old piece is like that of hearing your grandparents swear: you know it must have happened, but being confronted by it in all its straight-talking glory sends you squirming with glee.” Mel West, What’s On Stage

“There is one unfortunate note and that is, dear reader, that the run is pretty much sold out. I can only hope that this charming production, of an important yet relatively unknown play achieves a transfer and that all of the cast decant with it so that they may delight a larger audience than the Finborough can play host to.” Colin Appleby, Bargain Theatreland

Post Show Discussions for Hindle Wakes

Open to ticketholders for the evening shows listed below –

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Dr Karin Sellberg, Director of the Scottish Universities' International Summer School, will chair a post show discussion examining the feminist issues raised in Hindle Wakes. Dr Sellberg specialises in feminist drama and has published extensively on the topic.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Barbara Cooke, English Literature, Drama, Realism and Modernism tutor at the University of East Anglia, and Fran Bigman, PhD student at Cambridge, will be hosting a post show discussion examining the feminist content in Hindle Wakes and how the play specifically relates to 1950s and 1960s kitchen-sink dramas.

11 September – 29 September 2012

Tickets and Times

Tuesday 7:30pm
Wednesday 7:30pm
Thursday 7:30pm
Friday 7:30pm
Saturday 3:00pm
Sunday 3:00pm

Two hours including one interval