by Henry Darke
30 January – 24 February 2018
“I’m untameable. Like the wind. Or Heathcliff. Or Bruce Springsteen during his Nebraska period. As long as all these houses are empty I’ll be a freewheeling holiday home breaking hobo, The Beast Of Booby’s Bay”
The World Premiere
★★★★ The Spy in the Stalls
★★★★ Reviews Gate
★★★★ The Upcoming
★★★★ London Pub Theatres
★★★★ Everything Theatre
★★★★ Close-Up Culture
First seen in Vibrant – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, the world premiere of a first play by Cornish playwright Henry Darke, Booby’s Bay.
Above a secluded cove in Cornwall, Huck, a former fisherman, is holed up in an empty second home. The holiday season is fast approaching, the sharks are coming, but he refuses to budge. As Booby’s Bay fills up for the annual surfing competition, Huck wants to shake things up, even if no one is listening. He’s got media connections and intends to make a political stand.
A passionate, comic fable about the housing crisis in Cornwall and beyond, and a maverick’s mission to turn the tide.
Booby’s Bay is Henry Darke’s first full-length play. It is directed by Chris White and following its world premiere at the Finborough Theatre, it will be performed at the Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol and then a site specific venue in Cornwall.
About The Playwright Henry Darke
Playwright Henry Darke trained on the Royal Court Theatre Young Writers’ Programme and his one-act play Highfliers was selected for The Royal Court Theatre Young Playwrights Season. He was selected for ‘The Royal Court 50’ Most Promising Playwrights in the UK by the Drum Theatre, Plymouth, and is currently writing his second and third full-length plays, Chippy, set in Padstow; and Service, set in London. Booby’s Bay initially appeared in Vibrant – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, and was subsequently developed by The Bristol Old Vic through their ‘Open Sessions’ scheme, supporting the most talented voices from the South West. His award winning short film Big Mouth won Encounters Film Festival and was shortlisted for a BAFTA. He also directed Channel 4 Coming Up episode Hooked. He is a member of the BBC Writersroom Dramaroom 2017.
About The Director Chris White
Director Chris White’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream currently plays in repertoire at the National Centre for Performing Arts, Beijing, and his recent production of Scenes From 68 Years (Arcola Theatre) was nominated for three OffWestEnd Awards including Best Director. He was Assistant Director to David Lan at The Young Vic, Mike Alfreds and Simon Usher at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Chris returns to the Finborough Theatre where he directed 1984 by Satinder Chohan as part of Vibrant 2014 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights. Further Direction includes The Visit, The Suicide, Le Foreste di Arden (Teatro Della Contraddizione, Milan), Hard Places (Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai,and Indian Ttour), The Truth (La Virgule, Lille), Fewer Emergencies (Teatro Litta, Milan), Trouble and Wonder (Royal Shakespeare Company), I Burn, I Pine, I Perish (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry), 40 Years Young (The Young Vic), Soho Young Playwrights (Soho Theatre), The Water When It Burns (Hampstead Theatre), The Sale (Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff), Plan D which was nominated for the Meyer-Whitworth Award (Tristan Bates Theatre) and Cocoa (Theatre503). Chris co-leads the Young Writers Lab at Soho Theatre and works internationally as an Associate Practitioner for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He is a former JMK Award finalist and is currently developing a production of Pericles in Sri Lanka, in association with The British Council.
The Press on Booby's Bay
"The play is packed with themes which emerge from the text like driftwood – beautifully formed... Gentrification, ritual, the housing crisis, and the scars of childhood form a rich backdrop... A promising debut." Dave Fargnoli, The Stage
“Strong production, with the cast doing a solid job at bringing Darke’s work to life.” Phoebe Cole, The Spy in the Stalls
“A very funny black comedy about the housing crisis in Cornwall.” Rob Dungate, Reviews Gate
“An impassioned, wistful, yet comic tale that efficiently shifts between laughter and tears.” Phoebe Cole, The Spy in the Stalls
“A generous ensemble piece.” Phoebe Cole, The Spy in the Stalls
“A strong production, with the cast doing a solid job at bringing Darke’s work to life. It is refreshing to theatrically hear about the lives from a corner of the country that does not get noted enough.” Phoebe Cole, The Spy in the Stalls
“This newsworthy play about second home ownership in Cornwall is likely to strike a chord.” Polly Allen, Everything Theatre
“A strong debut from a very promising playwright.” Alex Sierz, My Theatre Mates
“Henry Darke’s first full-length play and on the basis of Booby’s Bay, his is a name to look out for in the future.” The Reviews Hub
“Hopefully, we will be seeing more of Henry Darke’s writing.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres
“Henry Darke’s characters are engaging and beautifully flawed.” Polly Allen, Everything Theatre
“Darke’s storytelling is effective.” Alex Sierz, My Theatre Mates
“Florence Roberts seamlessly moves from pregnant Jeanie to sassy barmaid Cassandra.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture
“Stand-out performance from Florence Roberts.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres
“Joseph Chance and Florence Roberts show versatility and prowess.” Phoebe Cole, The Spy in the Stalls
“Strong backing from Joseph Chance, Esther Coles and Florence Roberts.” Rob Dungate, Reviews Gate
“Esther Coles brings a brightening energy to Booby’s Bay.” Laura Foulger, The Upcoming
“A wonderfully zany Esther Coles.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture
“Bradley Taylor is the shining light in this production.” Phoebe Cole, The Spy in the Stalls
“Bradley Taylor is the show stealer.” Laura Foulger, The Upcoming
“Bradley Taylor is compelling.” Dave Fargnoli, The Stage
“Bradley Taylor’s gloriously dislikable, swaggeringly wet-suited racist braggart Daz.” Katherine Waters, The Arts Desk
“Bradley Taylor, who plays surfer Daz with an effective physicality.” The Reviews Hub
“Oliver Bennet, all raw nerves and twitches, is a splendid anarchic Huck.” Rob Dungate, Reviews Gate
“Played with jittery energy by Oliver Bennett.” Dave Fargnoli, The Stage
“Finely acted by Oliver Bennett as the mantra-chanting Huck, Florence Roberts as his security-seeking lover, and Joseph Chance as a surf-loving journo.” Michael Billington, The Guardian
“All the actors excel.” The Reviews Hub
“Performances are solid, carrying the zaniness and local flavour of Darke's text.” Alex Wood, WhatsOnStage
“The five actors fill the stage with life.” The Reviews Hub
“Very fine performances.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres
“The acting is all top-notch.” The Reviews Hub
“A young cast who give the play a real impetus.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture
“Ambitious direction from Chris White.” Laura Foulger, The Upcoming
“Director Chris White fills the placid space with bold, high energy activity.” Dave Fargnoli, The Stage
“Directed skilfully by Chris White.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture
“Dazzling.” Rob Dungate, Reviews Gate
“Rich with evocative topics.” Laura Foulger, The Upcoming
“Plump with comedy, clever musings and wordplay.” Laura Foulger, The Upcoming
“A bleakly comic character study.” Dave Fargnoli, The Stage
“Intriguing.” Alex Wood, WhatsOnStage
“Lovely on the ear, a play with breadth and depth.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres
“A passionate attack on the immorality of unoccupied second homes.” Michael Billington, The Guardian
“Painfully wistful.” Heather Jeffery, London Pub Theatres
“Strong and timely.” Michael Billington, The Guardian
“Fresh and not frightened to tackle big issues.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture
Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes Babe, The Sheep Pig (National Tour), Tomorrow I Was Always a Lion and The Price of Money (Belarus Free Theatre), The Worst Wedding Ever (Salisbury Playhouse), Backbeat (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Duke of York’s Theatre and International Tour), Change (Arcola Theatre), The Fool (Cock Tavern), Avocado (King’s Head Theatre) and To the End of the World and Abigail’s Party (Warwick Arts Centre and Edinburgh Festival).
Film includes All Is by My Side.
Television includes The Coroner.
Trained at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes The Woman in Black (Fortune Theatre), Jeeves and Wooster (National Tour and Far East Tour), Pocket Comedy, A Midsummers Night's Dream, The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew (National and International Tours for Propeller), I Killed Rasputin (Edinburgh Festival), Moonlight and Magnolias and Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (Perth Rep Theatre), A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow), The School of Night (Soho Theatre), Terror 2010 (Southwark Playhouse), The Merchant of Venice (Lamb House, Rye), Mary Mother of Frankenstein (Theatre National Brussels and Salzburg Festival), Peter and Vandy (Theatre503), Cyrano de Bergerac (Chichester Festival Theatre), Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stafford Castle), Cyrano de Bergerac (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Tartuffe (Watermill Theatre, Newbury, and National Tour), Macbeth (Haymarket Theatre, Leicester), The Importance of Being Earnest (Bristol Old Vic), The Spanish Golden Age Season – Pedro, The Great Pretender and The Dog in The Manger (Royal Shakespeare Company and Playhouse Theatre), Tamar’s Revenge (Royal Shakespeare Company), Incarnate (Edinburgh Festival) and Snowbound (Etcetera Theatre).
Television includes Wallander, Family Business and Bloody Britain.
Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes Touched (Nottingham Playhouse), Empathy Museum (LIFT Festival), The Nap (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield), Brian Pern Live (Lyric Theatre), Matchbox Theatre (Hampstead Theatre), Shed Plays (Royal Festival Hall), The Girlfriend Experience (Royal Court Theatre, The Young Vic and Drum Theatre, Plymouth), The Recruiting Officer (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Rom Com (Hackney Empire), Closer To Ormsby (The Shunt Arch) and Woyzeck, Can't Stand Up For Falling Down, Billy Liar and The Snow Queen (Hull Truck).
Film includes On Chisel Beach, Il Maestro, Cheeky and Sixty Six.
Television includes EastEnders, Josh, Damned, The Syndicate, Code of A Killer, House Of Fools, Nurse, Great Night Out, Doctors, Shameless, Tittybangbang, Whose Baby?, Sea of Souls, A Thing Called Love, No Angels World Productions, Coronation Street, Peak Practice and Hunting Venus.
Radio includes Ricky Zoom, Nurse and Down the Line.
Esther has written her own comedy The Allotment that was aired on BBC R4 in 2017.
Trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes Punts (Theatre503), BU21 (Trafalgar Studios), French Without Tears (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, and English Touring Theatre National Tour), Shakespeare in Love (Noël Coward Theatre) and Arcadia (Nottingham Playhouse).
Film includes This Is A Relationship, Dan?, Life in Black and Accolades.
30 January – 24 February 2018
Tickets and Times
Approx 90 mins with no interval.