Checkpoint Chana

by Jeff Page

4 March - 20 March 2018

“We have to make sure we make the right choices. If we do, we're ok and you'll have a career, be someone who is employable and commissionable. Get it wrong and it's 'like' all over.”

The world premiere

★★★★★ Close-Up Culture

★★★★ The Spy In The Stalls

★★★★ Hiive

Originally seen as a staged reading as part of Vibrant 2017 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, the world premiere of Checkpoint Chana.

Poet Bev Hemmings is in the eye of a storm after she publishes a poem that the world seems to believe is anti-Semitic. She’s convinced she’s innocent, but everyone else – including her PA, Tamsin – wants her to apologise. A press interview is planned to begin her public rehabilitation, but Bev’s dying father, erratic behaviour and tendency to drink make her public contrition a complex process. 
Checkpoint Chana examines the point where pro-Palestinian criticism of the government of Israel and anti-Semitism blur.

About the Playwright Jeff Page

Playwright Jeff Page is a writer and voluntary sector worker. He is a graduate of the John Burgess playwriting course at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton. Plays include Attack of the A&E Zombies (Descent Theatre and Irlam Festival Fringe).

About the Director Manuel Bau

Director Manuel Bau is originally from Italy where he graduated in Theatre Directing in Venice and then trained at the London Film Academy and at the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. Direction includes Questions of Terrorism and Repression (Lion and Unicorn Theatre), A Feyre Tale (The Space, Edinburgh Fringe), The Man with The Flower in His Mouth (Christ Church College, Oxford), How Does That Make You Feel? (Lion and Unicorn Theatre), Soft the Moon Rose (Etcetera Theatre) and The White Room (Courtyard Theatre). Direction of short plays includes Girls Just Want to Have Fun-Damental Human Rights, Girl of My Dreams and The Lottery (Theatre503 and Southwark Playhouse). Associate Direction includes Le Grand Mort (Trafalgar Studios), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Royal Festival Hall) and Allegro (Southwark Playhouse). Manuel was recently language consultant on Do I Hear A Waltz? (Encores at New York City Center) and Director on Attachment on Porgy and Bess (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park).

The Press on Checkpoint Chana

★★★★★ Close-Up Culture  ★★★★ The Spy In The Stalls  ★★★★ Hiive

“Nathaniel Wade is excellent.” Joanna Hetherington, The Spy in the Stalls

“A compelling production intellectually, aesthetically and emotionally.” Joanna Hetherington, The Spy in the Stalls

“A central performance worth the entrance price alone.” David Weir, London Pub Theatres

“A play that treads dangerous ground. Yet it asks important questions.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Together with the intense cast and pin-focused direction from Manuel Bau, it's an uncomfortable night of theatre, but certainly one worth seeing.” Esop Evard, Hiive

“A wonderful (daring) play written by the talented Jeff Page.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“A politically relevant piece.” Faye Butler, Underdog Reviews

“Thoughtful writing, a beautifully detailed set and some powerful performances.” Joanna Hetherington, The Spy in the Stalls

“Beautifully written.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Well written, and fantastically acted.” Rob Warren, Everything Theatre

“Some of Page’s best writing, and performances from both Somerville and Mella to match.” Scott Matthewman, The Reviews Hub

“Geraldine Somerville brings out all of Bev’s complexities and contradictions. Her performance is by turns fragile and febrile, arrogant and self-destructive, as spiky and brittle as a sea urchin.” Dave Fargnoli, The Stage

“A sensational Geraldine Somerville.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“A fine performance by Geraldine Somerville.” William Russell, Twitter

“Somerville is a revelation.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Geraldine Somerville’s performance as Bev is superb.” David Weir, London Pub Theatres

“A brilliant performance by Geraldine Somerville.” Joanna Hetherington, The Spy in the Stalls

“Somerville's performance is sincere and captivating.” Faye Butler, Underdog Reviews

“Nathaniel Wade plays this with an infectious buoyancy.” Esop Evard, Hiive

“Played strongly by Matt Mella.” Esop Evard, Hiive

“Ably supported by Krishnamurti, Mella and Nathaniel Wade.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Superbly directed by Manuel Bau and with evocative music bookending the play, Checkpoint Chana is a winner.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Finborough Theatre is really not for the light hearted. My last visit was to see a play about genocide. Now it presents us with Checkpoint Chana, a play about anti-Semitism, free speech and racism. One thing is for sure, this place doesn’t play it safe!” Rob Warren, Everything Theatre

“Admirably attempting to grapple with difficult issues.” Scott Matthewman, The Reviews Hub

“Topical subject matter and sharp dialogue.” Edward Lukes, Once a Week Theatre

The Press on Director Manuel Bau

“Manuel Bau’s strong and captivating production… this is not theatre for the narrow-minded.” Chris Omaweng, London Theatre 1 on Questions of Terrorism and Repression

“Excellently directed by Manuel Bau… had me grinning from start to finish.” Rachel Borland, LondonTheatre1 on How Does That Make You Feel?

4 March - 20 March 2018

Tickets and Times

Monday 7:30pm
Tuesday 2:00pm
Sunday 7:30pm

1hr and 10mins with no interval