About The Finborough Theatre
Founded in 1980, the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre, led by Artistic Director Neil McPherson, presents plays and music theatre, concentrated exclusively on thought provoking text-based new writing, as well as rediscovering genuinely neglected works from the 19th and 20th centuries, many produced or co-produced in-house. We offer a stimulating and inclusive programme at the centre of London’s cultural life, appealing to theatregoers of all generations and from a broad spectrum of the population.
The Finborough Theatre has an unparalleled track record of maintaining an excellence throughout all our work – despite remaining completely unfunded – on a par with the larger subsidised theatres, whilst maintaining the freedom and intimacy of our home above a pub in Earl’s Court. We attract the finest creative talent to work with us, as well as discovering new practitioners who go on to become leading voices in British theatre.
The Finborough Theatre regularly transfers productions to the West End and Off-Broadway, and plays premiered here have gone on to be seen in the UK, USA, Canada, South Africa, Eire and Australia.
Behind the scenes, we continue to discover and develop a new generation of theatre makers – through our vibrant Literary team and our greatly respected volunteer programme. The Finborough Theatre was also the inaugural holder of both the Leverhulme Bursary for Emerging Directors in partnership with the National Theatre Studio, and the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer scheme, facilitated by Mercury Musical Developments and Musical Theatre Network.
The Press on the Finborough Theatre
“Under Neil McPherson, possibly the most unsung of all major artistic directors in Britain, the Finborough has continued to plough a fertile path of new plays and rare revivals that gives it an influence disproportionate to its tiny 50-seat size.” Mark Shenton, The Stage 2017
“The pocket-size Finborough Theatre, under the artistic direction of Neil McPherson, has been earning a place on the must-visit list with its eclectic, smartly curated slate of new works and neglected masterpieces.” Vogue
“Nominated for an even more audacious and successful programme than ever in 2012, West London’s tiny, unsubsidised Finborough Theatre is one of the best in the entire world. Its programme of new writing and obscure rediscoveries remains “jaw-droppingly good”. Time Out/The Hospital Club
“A disproportionately valuable component of the London theatre ecology. Its programme combines new writing and revivals, in selections intelligent and audacious.” Ian Shuttleworth, Financial Times
“The Finborough Theatre is a scrum sell-out…When in doubt, book in advance – that would seem to be the maxim that applies to the Finborough Theatre. So successful is this 50-seat Earl’s Court powerhouse- as run by Neil McPherson, who has been Artistic Director since 1999 – that productions here very swiftly sell well, and then sell-out, and even before the critics have indicated their approval, it can be a scrum to bag the last few remaining perches.” Dominic Cavendish, The Daily Telegraph
“Not for the first time, one looks to the Finborough to come up with the most compelling play in London.” Michael Billington, The Guardian
“The Earls Court play-generating boiler room celebrates its 30th anniversary with readings of 30 new plays….The Finborough’s achievement is a mighty one, doing more for new writing on little or no money than some other, better-funded theatres.” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
“Few leading fringe theatres have walked off with so many awards or promoted such a rich variety of writers as the Finborough.” Jeremy Malies, Plays International
“The Finborough Theatre has developed a reputation out of all proportion to its tiny size. It has played its part in the careers of many remarkable playwrights, directors, and actors.” Alastair Macaulay, Financial Times
“The tiny Finborough Theatre in Earls Court is one of the most stimulating venues in London, fielding a programme that is a bold mix of trenchant, politically thought-provoking new drama and shrewdly chosen revivals of neglected works from the past.” Paul Taylor, The Independent
“Earl’s Court rather than the South Bank seems the place to find the internationally-minded repertory due from a national theatre company.” Timothy Ramsden, Reviewsgate.com
“The reviewers’ cliché “Neglected plays are usually neglected for a good reason” carries the implicit qualifier “…except when the Finborough stages them.” The more obscure revivals presented by this little studio theatre are almost always worthwhile, often impressive and sometimes revelatory. With Emlyn Williams’ 1950 drama, here receiving its first revival, we are well into revelation.” Ian Shuttleworth, FInancial Times
“Neil McPherson is one to watch. Since he took over the running of the Finborough Theatre in 1999, the young Scotsman has transformed this small room above an Earl’s Court pub into a blazing beacon of intelligent endeavour, nurturing new writers while finding and reviving neglected curiosities from home and abroad” Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph
“Institutions, big and small, were run by people with flair; not just Nicholas Hytner and Michael Boyd at the flagships (the National and the RSC), but Sam West in Sheffield, Jonathan Church at Chichester, Neil McPherson at the Finborough….” Michael Billington, The Guardian – Review of the Year
“Having reached the ripe old age of 30 in 2010, The Finborough is still going strong bringing bright and solid theatre to its corner in West London. Artistic director Neil McPherson is much lauded for his eye for new talent and for turfing up forgotten and hidden texts. The space may be compact, but The Finborough’s impact on London’s theatre scene belies its stature.” Time Out
Winner – London Pub Theatre of the Year 2020
Best venue 2015 – UK Studio Theatre Awards
Best Play 2015 – I Wish To Die Singing – Voices from the Armenian Genocide – UK Studio Theatre Awards
Winner – London Theatre Reviews’ The Empty Space Peter Brook Award 2012
Winner – Artistic Director Neil McPherson named as one of ‘The Hospital Club 100’ 2012
Winner – Off West End Awards 2012 – Best Male Performance for Aden Gillett in Accolade at the Finborough Theatre
Winner – Off West End Awards 2012 – Most Promising New Playwright for Dawn King for Foxfinder at the Finborough Theatre
Winner – Off West End Awards 2012 – Best Director for Blanche McIntyre for Accolade at the Finborough Theatre
Winner – Off West End Awards 2012 – Best Production for Accolade at the Finborough Theatre
Winner – Off West End Awards 2012 – Best Artistic Director for Neil McPherson at the Finborough Theatre
Winner – Off West End Awards 2012 – Most Welcoming Theatre in South West London for Finborough Theatre
Winner – Off West End Awards 2012 – Best Foodie Experience in South West London for Finborough Wine Café
Winner – Off West End Awards 2012 – Best Theatre Bar in South West London for Finborough Wine Café
Winner – Critics’ Circle Awards – Most Promising Newcomer for director Blanche McIntyre 2012
Winner – Time Out’s Best Fringe Show for Accolade 2011
Winner – The Pearson Award bursary for Playwright-in-Residence Dawn King 2012
Winner – The Stage 100’s Fringe Theatre Of The Year 2010
Winner – London Theatre Reviews’ The Empty Space Peter Brook Award 2010
The Writers’ Guild New Writing Encouragement Award 2010 for Artistic Director Neil McPherson 2010
Pearson’s Catherine Johnson Award for Best Play for Playwright-in-Residence Anders Lustgarten 2010
Winner – Off-West End Awards 2011 – Best Artistic Director for Neil McPherson
Winner – Off-West End Awards 2011 – Best Director for Thom Southerland for Me and Juliet
Winner – Off-West End Awards 2011 – Best Lighting Designer for Howard Hudson for Me and Juliet
Winner – Off-West End Awards 2011 – Best Theatre Bar in South West London for the Finborough Wine Cafe
Winner – The Pearson Award bursary for Playwright-in-Residence Simon Vinnicombe 2010
Nominated for Best Off-West End production (F***ing Men) in the 2010 Whatsonstage Theatregoers’ Choice Awards.
Nominated for Best Off-West End production (Plague Over England) in the 2009 Whatsonstage Theatregoers’ Choice Awards.
Winner – Neil McPherson – Best Artistic Director in the Fringe Report awards 2009
Winner – The winner for the second time of London Theatre Reviews’ Empty Space Peter Brook Award’s Dan Crawford Pub Theatre Award 2008, supported by Nica Burns and the Cameron Mackintosh Foundation.
Winner – The Pearson Award bursary for Playwright-in-Residence Anders Lustgarten 2009
Winner – The inaugural winner of the Catherine Johnson Award for Best Play (given by the Pearson Award) for Playwright-in-Residence James Graham 2007
Winner – The George Devine Award for Playwright-in-Residence and former Literary Manager Alexandra Wood 2007
Winner – The Pearson Award bursary for Playwright-in-Residence Al Smith 2007
Winner – The Pearson Award bursary for Playwright-in-Residence James Graham 2006
Winner – Award for Best Play (given by the Pearson Award) for Playwright-in-Residence Laura Wade 2006
Winner – The Pearson Award bursary for Playwright-in-Residence Laura Wade 2005
Winner – The inaugural winner of London Theatre Reviews’ Empty Space Peter Brook Award’s Dan Crawford Pub Theatre Award 2005
Winner – London Theatre Reviews’ Empty Space Peter Brook Mark Marvin Award 2004
Nominated for London Theatre Reviews’ Empty Space Peter Brook Award for Studio Theatres 2007, The Empty Space Peter Brook Award for Up-and-Coming Venues 2003, The Empty Space Peter Brook Mark Marvin Award 2006, 2007, 2008 (two nominations), 2009, 2010 and 2011.