Finishing The Picture

by Arthur Miller

12 June - 7 July 2018

“She is frightened and resentful and angry – and we’ve got about half an hour to cure all three”

The UK premiere of Arthur Miller’s final play

★★★★★ Act Drop
★★★★ The Reviews Hub
★★★★ Close-Up Culture
★★★★ The Spy in the Stalls
★★★★ Boyz

Following his critically acclaimed, up-close reinvention of Arthur Miller’s Incident at Vichy and sell-out revival of The American Clock, multi-award-winning director Phil Willmott brings the intense focus of the intimate Finborough Theatre to bear on Miller’s final work, Finishing The Picture.

As the women of today’s Hollywood campaign for dignity and equality, Finishing the Picture is a razor sharp psychological study of an abused, misunderstood female star and the havoc her unpredictability brings to a film set in 1961.

Inspired by the filming of The Misfits, the screenplay Miller wrote for his then wife, Marilyn Monroe, and focused on the bemused and exasperated director, screen writer, producer, acting coaches and crew that closely mirror the real life production team of The Misfits – and whilst leading lady Kitty shares many characteristics with Monroe herself,

Finishing the Picture – Arthur Miller’s very final play – is a devastating indictment of how a male-dominated movie industry inadvertently destroyed a vulnerable young woman, even as they transformed her into a screen goddess, and how they were unable to deal with the wreckage they caused.

This UK premiere is only the play’s second production anywhere in the world, following its original large-scale premiere at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in 2004, shortly before the playwright’s death.

About The Playwright Arthur Miller

Playwright Arthur Miller (1915-2005) was inarguably one of the greatest American dramatists of the twentieth century with a career that spanned over seven decades. His plays include The Man Who Had All The Luck (1940), All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953), A View from the Bridge (1955), A Memory of Two Mondays (1955), After the Fall (1964), Incident at Vichy (1964), recently presented at the Finborough Theatre also directed by Phil Wilmott, The Price (1968), The Creation of the World and Other Business (1972), The Archbishop’s Ceiling (1977), The American Clock (1980), also recently presented at the Finborough Theatre also directed by Phil Wilmott, Playing for Time (1980), The Last Yankee (1991), The Ride Down Mount Morgan (1991), Broken Glass (1994), Mr Peter’s Connections (1998), Resurrection Blues (2002) and Finishing the Picture (2004).

About The Director Phil Willmott

Director Phil Willmott is a multi-award winning director, artistic director, playwright, composer, librettist, teacher, dramaturg, arts journalist and performer. He trained as an actor at Rose Bruford in the 1980s and was made a fellow of the college in 2012. Alongside his innovative reinterpretations of the classics, musical theatre revivals and new musical development his notable productions of contemporary and recent drama include F**cking Men (Finborough Theatre, Kings Head Theatre and West End), Liza, Liza, Liza (UK tour for Bill Kenwright), Billy Liar, Athol Fugard's Master Harold... and the Boys (Liverpool Playhouse), Angels in America and Kiss of the Spider Woman (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield), The American Clock, The Notebook of Trigorin, Country Magic, Crime and Punishment, The Lower Depths, The Grapes of Wrath, Trelawny of the Wells and Loyalties (Finborough Theatre), Fear and Misery of the Third Reich, Three Sisters in a version by Tracy Letts, Heartbreak House and The Cherry Orchard (Union Theatre) and Encounter, a new gay love story inspired by Brief Encounter (Above the Stag Theatre). As a writer, many of his plays, musicals and adaptations have been published and are regularly produced around the world. The adaptation of Lysistrata he wrote with Germaine Greer was presented as part of the Almeida's Greek Season starring Tamsin Grieg, and his adaptation of Gorki's The Lower Depths is published by Oberon Books.

Press On Finishing The Picture

“Superlative.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“The Finborough’s fine production.” Scott Matthewman, The Reviews Hub

“You may have to work fast to grab some tickets for this rare production of Arthur Miller's final play.” Peter Brown, Act Drop

“The production is excellent and the acting strong.” Andy Curtis, London Pub Theatres

“An exemplary evening of drama.” Scott Matthewman, The Reviews Hub

“An incredible look at the power of and the absurdity of unchecked ego.” Stephen Vowels, Boyz

“Another spellbinder.” Peter Brown, Act Drop

“Thrilling theatre.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“A powerful look at the dark forces that made Monroe such a vital but troubled personality.” Miriam Gillinson, The Guardian

“A thought-provoking, well-executed production of Arthur Miller’s swansong.” Emily K Neal, The Spy in the Stalls

“To describe Arthur Miller’s final play as a thinly-veiled slice of autobiography would be an understatement.” Scott Matthewman, The Reviews Hub

“An important and inventive work with historical as well as current relevance, the rarity value of the play alone is enough to deserve a visit.” Peter Brown, Act Drop

“As a tribute to Miller, it restores his final work to the status it deserves.” Scott Matthewman, The Reviews Hub

“A super production given great relevance by the current drive in Hollywood and the film industry generally for greater equality and an end to the abhorrent behaviour of the likes of Harvey Weinstein.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Unmissable.” Peter Brown, Act Drop

“Miller’s razor-sharp dialogue.” Scott Matthewman, The Reviews Hub

“Superbly brought to life by the performing ensemble.” James Billot, KCW Today

“Inspired and well-acted production.” Andy Curtis, London Pub Theatres

“Fantastic performances.” Emily K Neal, The Spy in the Stalls

“The cast is exceptional.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“The cast get the material to crackle.” Andy Curtis, London Pub Theatres

“The cohesive group of actors deliver strong performances from start to finish.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“Sterling performances.” Scott Matthewman, The Reviews Hub

“Oliver Le Sueur captures the right balance of sympathy and smarm as producer Philip and Jeremy Drakes is convincing as screenwriter Paul, Miller’s long-suffering but un-saintly self-portrait.” Julia Rank, The Stage

“Well played by Jeremy Drake.” Andy Curtis, London Pub Theatres

“Tony Wredden stands out.” Peter Brown, Act Drop

“With Bailey and Goldie excelling.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Nicky Goldie excels.” Andy Curtis, London Pub Theatres

“Stephen Billington’s steely-eyed film director Derek Clemson.” Scott Matthewman, The Reviews Hub

“Phil Willmott’s skilful direction expertly bringing this passionate play to life.” Stephen Vowels, Boyz

“Phil Willmott's authoritative production.” Peter Brown, Act Drop

“Director Phil Wilmott has done it again – turning one of Arthur Miller lesser known gold into theatrical magic.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Miller's script is as timely as ever with their delivery under Willmott's direction.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“Phil Willmott's production is as polished and thoughtful as you would expect, with a first-rate ensemble who provide terrific work all-round, keeping us totally absorbed and gripped for the duration.” Peter Brown, Act Drop

“Isabella Van Braeckel’s superb set.” Andy Curtis, London Pub Theatres

“Lovely costume touches provided by Penn O’Gara.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Eerie, dominating shadow work from lighting designer Rachel Sampley.” Peter Brown, Act Drop

“Superb lighting.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Lighting (Rachel Sampley) and sound (Nicola Chang) are used exceptionally well.” Emily K Neal, The Spy in the Stalls

“Cleverly-worked, grating jazz-based sound design from Nicola Chang.” Peter Brown, Act Drop

“A transfer to the West End surely beckons.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

The Press on Phil Willmott's Production of Arthur Miller's The American Clock At The Finborough Theatre

“Beautifully lucid direction from Phil Wilmott.” Giles Cole, WhatsOnStage.

“A tremendous production of an intelligent play.” Jon Wainwright, Atomies.

“Director Phil Willmott's rare revival is timely: the parallels with our own situation are numerous and disturbing.” Laura Barnett, Time Out.

“An engrossing production from Finborough favourite Phil Willmott.” Phillip Fisher, British Theatre Guide.

The Press on Phil Willmott's Production of Arthur Miller's Incident At Vichy at the Finborough Theatre

★★★★★ Everything Theatre, The Jewish Chronicle, ActDrop.

★★★★ The Telegraph, Time Out, Reviews Gate, The Reviews Hub, LondonTheatre1 , Jewish Renaissance and BritishTheatre.com.

“This long-forgotten Miller play receives a powerful fringe revival… This is buried treasure.” Dave Calhoun, Time Out.

“This excellent revival…The tension, assisted by the Finborough’s cramped confines, is stoked to perfection by director Phil Willmott.” Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph.

“A marvellous production…Compellingly staged and beautifully acted.” Matthew Lunn, BritishTheatre.com.

“This pointed and unsettling revival at the Finborough makes a strong case for its relevance.” Dave Calhoun, Time Out.

12 June - 7 July 2018

Tickets and Times

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

1 hour and 50 minutes with one interval of fifteen minutes