by Matt Parvin

23 May – 17 June 2017

“They said I was violent. You’re the ‘victim’ – what do you think?”

The World Premiere

Ten years ago, Bella Soroush’s life was ruined by one of her pupils – Kane McCarthy. She has gradually rebuilt things – new school, new town, new friends – and finally feels at home in the depths of the countryside.

Now Kane is back in her classroom, armed with relics of the past and claiming to want forgiveness.

As the truths they’ve clung to begin to collapse, teacher and pupil are forced to confront their prejudices and the shared history that has bound them together.

Set over a single evening, Jam is a relentless, incendiary new drama that interrogates social fault-lines in Britain today, and the tension between truth and justice.

Jam is Matt Parvin’s debut full length play. It is directed by Tommo Fowler, who returns to the Finborough Theatre following his acclaimed productions of Obama-ology and I Wish To Die Singing.

The run will be accompanied by the FINBOROUGHFORUM, a series of informal post-show discussions and debates, on Wednesday evenings: 31 May and 7 June. All events are free to ticketholders for that evening’s performance of the play. FINBOROUGHFORUM events will all be Twitter friendly with live tweets from @FinboroughForum. Using the hashtag #finfor, the speakers will also answer questions posed on Twitter so everyone can be included, no matter where they are in the world. The events will feature a Q&A session with Matt Parvin, the writer, Tommo Fowler, the director and members of the cast.


Wednesday 31 May
Discussion with Matt Parvin and Tommo Fowler of the issues surrounding the play.

Wednesday 7 June
Q&A with Matt Parvin, Tommo Fowler and members of the cast.


Playwright Matt Parvin trained at the Royal Court Theatre and the Arcola Theatre Writers Programme, and was part of the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, Writers Collective. His professional debut Two Roads premiered at VAULT Festival in 2015, and he has adapted Alice in Wonderland (Edinburgh Festival and National Tour). His short plays include Monster Party and You Maverick (Arcola Theatre), Everyday Horse (Theatre503), Roost (Oxford New Writing Festival 2013, and winner of Best Script Prize) and The Death of Riot Boy (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton).


Director Tommo Fowler returns to the Finborough Theatre where he directed I Wish To Die Singing (Winner of Studio Theatre Award for Best New Play) and Obama-ology, and was Resident Assistant Director on Harajuku Girls and Sommer 14: A Dance of Death. Theatre includes Griff Rhys Jones: Jones and Smith (National Tour), Mumburger (Archivist's Gallery, and OffWestEnd Awards nomination for Best Female Performance), Somewhere Else Entirely (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton), PLAY #13 (Vault Festival), Monster Party (Arcola Theatre) and The (Accidental) Death of Alan Bishop (Pleasance London). Assistant Direction includes Passin' Thru (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur (The Print Room) and Rainbow (Edinburgh Festival, and winner of a Fringe First Award).


“A triumph … it’s hard to imagine a more perfect evening” Daily Info on Alice in Wonderland

“Impressive theatre” Daily Info on Roost

“Impressive … Insightful” Theatre Reviews Hub on Two Roads

“It explodes out, leaving a pile of smouldering rubble and blackened clichés” Oxford Theatre Review on You Maverick


“A fascinating and highly recommended play.” Graham Archer, West End Wilma

“Matt Parvin’s play is about how different kinds of authority, privilege, disadvantage and vulnerability intersect and shape us.” David Ralf, The Stage

“A fascinating and somewhat complex examination about lying and the reasons why people lie. a provocative and forthright play.” Chris Omaweng, London Theatre 1

“The tension throughout the play is so palpable that you’ll be on the edge of your seat.” Eva de Valk, Everything Theatre

“An excellent production.” Graham Archer, West End Wilma

“The creeping ideas of identity and role linger well beyond the final curtain, an impressively chilling feat that makes this production a must see.” Alexander Bawden, The Upcoming

“An edge-of –your-seat drama.” Anna Williams, Pocket Size Theatre

“Matt Parvin’s impressive debut full length play Jam is an intense two-hander.” Peter Barker, Traffic Light Theatregoer

“Jam leaves you turning its events over and over long after its characters seem to find equilibrium.” David Ralf, The Stage

“A claustrophobic two-hander about a conflict of race, class, gender and generations.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Taut, cruelly funny and crammed with quirky detail.” Sam Marlowe, The Times

“A thought provoking piece of theatre.” Steve Sparrow, THESPYINTHESTALLS

“Truly thought-provoking, causing the audience to question themselves long after the curtain calls.” Simona Negretto, The Play’s the Thing UK

“Parvin skilfully navigates the line between tension and drama, gently easing the rapidly escalating anxiety he induces with a nervous humour and sly wit.” Alexander Bawden, The Upcoming

“This is an encounter as breathless and ragged as a playground fight and…it grips.” Sam Marlowe, The Times

“A thought-provoking classroom drama.” Peter Barker, Traffic Light Theatregoer

“Writer Matt Parvin has created an explosive new piece of writing that deserves to be seen.” Sian Rowland, London Pub Theatres

“The writing cleverly makes the audience think about the content long after they have left the venue.” Steve Sparrow, THESPYINTHESTALLS

“Matt Parvin’s tense new script.” Alexander Bawden, The Upcoming

“The dialogue was excellent.” Anna Williams, Pocket Size Theatre

“Harry Melling delivers an astonishing performance.” David Ralf, The Stage

“Harry Melling is remarkable.” Sian Rowland, London Pub Theatres

“Melling’s Kane is a riveting mix of nervous ingratiation and unpredictable anger.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Harry Melling brilliantly succeeds in drawing a complex and highly wrought individual.” Anna Williams, Pocket Size Theatre

“Harry Melling skilfully conveys Kane’s mood swings and hyperactive, inarticulate rage.” Alison Bean, View from the Cheap Seat

“Melling is wholly convincing.” Ed Nightingale, The Gizzle Review

“The excellent Harry Melling.” Graham Archer, West End Wilma

“Jasmine Hyde’s Bella matches each moment, her performance a triumph of horrorful reactions and explosive corners.” David Ralf, The Stage

“The brilliant Jasmine Hyde.” Graham Archer, West End Wilma

“Hyde adroitly suggests Bella’s surface composure conceals a guilt-ridden panic.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Hyde delivers an incendiary performance.” Michael Davis, Breaking the Fourth Wall

“Equally powerful is Jasmine Hyde.” Sian Rowland, London Pub Theatres

“Melling and Hyde's excellent performances - circling each other, both saying more with their eyes than with their mouths.” Gary Naylor, Broadwayworld.com

“Two performers who act with such visceral energy from every inch of their bodies.” Ed Nightingale, The Gizzle Review

“They are the perfect foil to one another and as their passions escalate the play hits a shocking climax.” Ed Nightingale, The Gizzle Review

“Hyde and Melling work well together, circling one another as their roles shift and slide in this complicated game of give and take.” Eva de Valk, Everything Theatre

“An uneasy and gripping piece of new writing featuring two bloody good performances. Catch it while you can.” Eva de Valk, Everything Theatre

“Two excellent performances.” Anna Richmond, The Tung

“Astonishing performances in a punishing schoolroom drama.” David Ralf, The Stage

“Haunting two-person play.” Alexander Bawden, The Upcoming

“Hyde and Melling’s strong acting.” Anna Williams, Pocket Size Theatre

“Jasmine Hyde as Bella and Harry Melling as Kane are terrific to watch.” Paul Ewing, Paul in London

“Two fine actors who throw themselves into their roles in an intense evening that is likely to leave viewers shaken but also stirred.” Philip Fisher, British Theatre Guide

“Compellingly acted by Harry Melling and Jasmine Hyde.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Both performances are superb.” Jenny Gilbert, The Arts Desk

“Excellently acted.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Two flawless performances delivered by Jasmine Hyde and Harry Melling.” Simona Negretto, The Play’s the Thing UK

“Jasmine Hyde as Bella and Harry Melling as Kane are faultless.” Aline Waites, ALINEWAITES

“Terrific performances.” Steve Sparrow, THESPYINTHESTALLS

“Director Tommo Fowler allows each character to present their side convincingly, before letting their accounts slowly crumble.” Anna Richmond, The Tung

“Tommo Fowler’s sweatily intense production is performed with thrilling verve and ferocity by Jasmine Hyde and Harry Melling.” Sam Marlowe, The Times

“Tight direction from Tommo Fowler.” Aline Waites, ALINEWAITES

“The see-sawing of narratives and mismatched remembrances is represented effectively through Emma Bailey’s stage design.” Anna Richmond, The Tung

“An ingenious scaffold climbing frame design from Emma Bailey.” Peter Barker, Traffic Light Theatregoer

“The Finborough Theatre, however, is one of those rare gems that have both excellent programming and excellent aircon. (All hail the Finborough Ice Dragon who, by the way, has his own Twitter account.)” Eva de Valk, Everything Theatre

“Subtle use of sound and lighting tighten an already iron grip on the atmosphere.” Alexander Bawden, The Upcoming

“A strong debut ensconced by an award-winning venue, probably London’s finest example of ‘a theatre above a pub’.” Anna Williams, Pocket Size Theatre

“Alexandra Faye Braithwaite's soundscape subtly mingles the murmurs of an outside world with the obligatory ringing of school bells.” Peter Barker, Traffic Light Theatregoer

“Matt Parvin’s debut play Jam, produced by the ever-adventurous Finborough.” Jenny Gilbert, The Arts Desk


"A tale told with great affection" ★★★★ Sunday Telegraph on Griff Rhys Jones: Jones and Smith

“Tommo Fowler gives us a fast flowing production in which comedy, suspense and high emotion are delivered with equal confidence." ★★★★ Stephen Bates, The Public Reviews on Obama-ology

"Terrific…Tommo Fowler's production has plenty of dash" Lyn Gardner on Obama-ology

“Simple, moving and powerful” ★★★★ Aleks Sierz, The Stage on I Wish to Die Singing

“Searing…soberly directed by Tommo Fowler and well acted by a seven strong cast” Michael Billington, The Guardian on I Wish to Die Singing

“Complex, stimulating and thoroughly delightful. Tommo Fowler’s sympathetic production... strikes a good balance between heightened feelings and emotional restraint.” Aleks Sierz on Mumburger

23 May – 17 June 2017

Tickets and Times

Tuesday 7:30pm
Wednesday 7:30pm
Thursday 7:30pm
Friday 7:30pm
Saturday 3:00pm (from 3 June 2017)
Sunday 3:00pm