Foxfinder

by Dawn King

29 November – 23 December 2011

“You, Foxfinder, must be clean in body and mind. Always remember that the smallest fault in your character could become a crack into which the beast may insinuate himself, like water awaiting the freeze that will smash the stone apart.”

The World Premiere as part of the Papatango New Writing Festival

THE ENTIRE RUN IS NOW COMPLETELY SOLD OUT including the extra matinee on Thursday 22 December at 2.30pm

Time Out Critics’ Choice
The Guardian Critics’ Choice
★★★★★ Five Stars WhatsOnStage
★★★★ Four Stars The Telegraph
★★★★ Four Stars The Guardian
★★★★ Four Stars The Independent
★★★★ Four Stars Evening Standard
★★★★ Four Stars Exeunt
★★★★ Four Stars Spoonfed
★★★★ Four Stars Time Out
Nominated for the Off West End award for 2011 for Best New Play and Best Male Performance

William Bloor, a Foxfinder, arrives at Sam and Judith Covey’s farm to investigate a suspected contamination. What follows will change the course of all their lives, forever. Foxfinder is a gripping, unsettling and darkly comic exploration of belief, desire and responsibility.

Foxfinder has just won writer Dawn King a Pearson Award Bursary as Playwright-in-Residence at the Finborough Theatre.

For an overview of the entire festival and for a full production schedule, please click here

About the Playwright Dawn King

Playwright Dawn King was one of ten writers from across the UK chosen for the BBC Writersroom 10 scheme, a prestigious mentoring and support programme. Through this she is developing a new play with West Yorkshire Playhouse. She is also currently writing My One and Only, an afternoon play for BBC radio 4. Her episode of horror series The Man in Black will broadcast on BBC radio 4 Extra later this year. Previous radio work includes afternoon play 28 and episodes for the first and second series of science fiction drama Planet B for BBC radio 7. She was made co-series leader for the third series. Her recent theatre work includes Water Sculptures/Zoo double bill (Union Theatre), Face Value (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), The Bitches’ Ball (Hoxton Hall), National Tour and Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh) and Doghead Boy and Sharkmouth Go To Ikea (The Junction, Cambridge). Previous work has received performances, workshops and readings at; Royal Court Theatre, Soho Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Theatre503, Arcola, Old Red Lion, Etcetera Theatre, The Latitude Festival, Resonance FM and The Union Theatre. Dawn was a member of both the Soho Theatre and Royal Court Theatre Young Writers’ Programmes and holds an MA distinction in Writing for Performance from Goldsmiths University, London. www.dawn-king.com

About the Director Blanche McIntyre

Director Blanche McIntyre returns to the Finborough Theatre where she directed the sell-out productins of Accolade and Molière or the League of Hypocrites. She was the winner of the first Leverhulme Bursary for Emerging Theatre Directors. She was Associate Director at Out of Joint in 2010, and Director in Residence at the National Theatre Studio London and the Finborough Theatre in 2009. Directing includes When Did You Last See My Mother? (Trafalgar Studios), Pinching For My Soul (Focus Theatre, Dublin), Robin Hood (Latitude), Open Heart Surgery (Soho Theatre and Southwark Playhouse), Wuthering Heights (National Tour), The Revenger’s Tragedy (BAC), The Master and Margarita (Greenwich Playhouse), Three Hours After Marriage (Union Theatre), Doctor Faustus, The Devil Is An Ass and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde as Told to Carl Jung by an Inmate of Broadmoor Asylum (White Bear Theatre), Cressida and The Invention of Love (Edinburgh Festival), Prometheus Bound (Burton Taylor Theatre, Oxford). She was also Associate Director on The Big Fellah (Out of Joint 2010 and 2011 tours). Blanche also works as a writer and librettist.

The Press on Director Blanche McIntyre

★★★★ Five Stars Financial Times, Fringe Review and West London Living
Time Out Critics' Choice and Show Of The Week
★★★★ Four Stars Time Out, Musicomh.com, WhatsonStage, The Guardian, Evening Standard, The Public Reviews, TNT

The British Theatre Guide - Alternative Top 5 Shows

"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

"Blanche McIntyre's superbly acted production captures precisely the feel of a period of double-lives and double-standards" Michael Billington, The Guardian

"A forgotten gem... Accolade is humorous, humane and subtle in its suspenseful twists, and McIntyre's up-close staging enthralls. A talented young director and an exceptional fringe revival" Kate Bassett, Independent on Sunday

With a fraction of the budget and playing space, this is the production last year's National Theatre revival of Rattigan's After The Dance wanted to be – and perhaps the play it wanted to be as well" – Ian Shuttleworth, Financial Times

"Director Blanche McIntyre unearths a potent broadside directed at English prurience and hypocrisy... Witty and sad, tense but chary of melodrama, 'Accolade' is an elegantly understated piece with a palpable fury in its depths... blessed with just about the finest cast I've ever seen in a fringe show" – Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

"At this early date, Accolade already classifies as one of the defining rediscoveries of this theatrical year... The praise afforded Accolade, one senses, has only just begun" – Matt Wolf, New York Times

"Blanche McIntyre's suspense-filled, utterly authentic exhumation... Upcoming director McIntyre is alive to the play's every emotional nuance... McIntyre's first-rate production ensures that its dilemmas remain timeless and gripping" – David Benedict, Variety

The Press on Foxfinder

“In a wan year for new writing, Dawn King's play shines out like a beacon...The most compelling new work I have seen this year.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“A bold and often brilliant stab at something new.” Dominic Maxell, The Times

“Rich, rare and deeply unsettling.” Sam Marlowe, Time Out

“A haunting and striking new piece. Exceptionally written, directed and performed, this remarkably tense modern parable has all the hallmarks of an instant classic – a superlative achievement from all involved.” Chris Hislop, WhatsOnStage

“Fascinating and disturbing.” Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide

“An arresting and individual work that haunts the mind long after you've seen it.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“This gripping, haunting production is something of a home-grown project for the miraculously fertile Finborough Theatre, nurturing the talent of both new Playwright in Residence King and previous Leverhulme Bursary beneficiary McIntyre.” Catherine Love, Exeunt

“A quartet of fine performances that shine under Blanche McIntyre’s direction played on James Perkin’s setting of a rostrum of bare boards traversing the theatre and atmospherically cross lit by Gary Bowman.” Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide

“Dawn King's riveting new play, directed by Blanche McIntyre, is a fascinating dystopian welter of fear, superstition and nature in revolt. It has something of the compulsion of Daphne du Maurier's 'The Birds'; but it's a thrillingly original piece of writing.” Sam Marlowe, Time Out

“Dawn King can only be commended for her taut, nigh-on-flawless script – evocatively realised by director Blanche McIntyre and the true stellar cast.” Chris Hislop, WhatsOnStage

“Delightfully subtle performances and long, nerve-wracking silences, details captured by the restrained, yet elegant set, sound and lighting designs.” Chris Hislop, WhatsOnStage

“This show is little short of flawless – as a piece of writing, it thrills, and the production has realised all thematic aspects of the piece clearly and subtly, without straying into the crass or zealous production lesser directors would have delivered.” Chris Hislop, WhatsOnStage

“A truly terrific production, and an absolute must-see.” Chris Hislop, WhatsOnStage

“With its twists and turns and its dark secrets, this is a play that thrills.” Daisy Bowie-Sell, The Telegraph

“Blanche McIntyre’s sparse, bleak production on a thrust stage and the harsh sound design from George Dennis never let the tension drop.” Daisy Bowie-Sell, The Telegraph

“King was this week awarded an illustrious Pearson Playwrights Bursary, as the Finborough’s playwright-in-residence - the seventh time this theatre has scooped a Pearson bursary, and again the only unsubsidised theatre to do so.” Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph

“Foxfinder had me at the title, so it's pleasing to report that the play itself more than lives up to its name. It's an elliptical, intriguing piece of writing from Dawn King.” Fiona Mountford, London Evening Standard

“Dawn King has written a worthy winner of the 2011 Papatango Playwriting Competition and this premier production plays for the next four weeks alongside the three runners up which will each play for one week in an earlier time slot.” Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide

“Dawn King's excitingly unusual play, which beat 600 others to win a competition organised by the theatre company Papatango.” Dominic Maxell, The Times

“King’s script, winner of the Papatango New Writing competition, is filled with perfectly timed dialogue that completely draws you in to the strange dystopian world.” Daisy Bowie-Sell, The Telegraph

“Fine performances from Gyuri Sarossy as the quietly truculent Samuel, Kirsty Besterman as his anxious, raw-boned wife and from Tom Byam Shaw, who has the wit to play the foxfinder not as a raging hysteric but as a conscientious official terrified of his own repressed emotions.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“The acting is excellent: from Gyuri Sarossy's brusque Samuel to Kirsty Besterman's wounded but quietly determined Judith; from Becci Gemmell's sympathetic Sarah to Tom Byam Shaw's unnerving William.” Dominic Maxell, The Times

“Superbly acted by Kirsty Besterman as the anxious Judith, Gyuri Sarossy as her increasingly unstable husband and Tom Byam Shaw as blazing-eyed, self-flagellating Bloor.” Sam Marlowe, Time Out

“Gyuri Sarossy and Kirsty Besterman also excel as the gruff, repressed farmer and his fragile and tense wife.” Chris Hislop, WhatsOnStage

“The other star of the evening is Kirsty Besterman, who plays Judith. Her performance is totally convincing as the worried and vulnerable farmer’s wife who is willing to give anything for a quiet life.” Daisy Bowie-Sell, The Telegraph

“Byam Shaw, one of the year's most interesting newcomers.” Fiona Mountford, London Evening Standard

“Tom Byam Shaw, fresh from his turn as Ariel to Ralph Fiennes' Prospero, is marvellous.” Chris Hislop, WhatsOnStage

“Blanche McIntyre's production is grippingly atmospheric, dark and tense and confident enough to revel in the sort of stillness and silence that ratchet up the tension. We may not find any foxes here but we'll certainly uncover some terrific young talent.” Fiona Mountford, London Evening Standard

“Director Blanche McIntyre follows last year's dazzling Finborough revival of Accolade with another first-rate production. She keeps the staging stark and simple, and makes chilling use of prolonged silences.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Blanche McIntyre's fabulous production.” Dominic Maxell, The Times

“McIntyre's atmospheric production.” Sam Marlowe, Time Out

“Blanche McIntyre’s production is tense and jarring, the Finborough’s space reconfigured by designer James Perkins’ set so that the audience is arranged around a jutting wooden stage.” Natasha Tripney, The Stage

“This strange yet familiar world is depicted, in James Perkins' design, on a bare stage in the middle of the room, which Gary Bowman's lighting and George Dennis's sound design delineate so finely that you feel you've stayed in this cottage, been out hunting for foxes at nighttime, felt the rain around you.” Dominic Maxell, The Times

“Played on a very long thrust, the audience is viscerally close to the action.” Chris Hislop, WhatsOnStage

“George Dennis’ chillingly atmospheric soundscape.” Catherine Love, Exeunt

29 November – 23 December 2011

Tickets and Times

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

Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes with no interval