Go Bang Your Tambourine

by Philip King

6 August - 31 August 2019

There’s a devil inside you egging you on to put a stop to his happiness – and that’s why you’d want me to come away with you, isn’t it?.

The London Premiere

★★★★  Four Stars, Theatre Cat
★★★★  Four Stars, The Upcoming
★★★★  Four Stars, The Spy in the Stalls
★★★★  Four Stars, The Reviews Hub
★★★★  Four Stars, Breaking The Fourth Wall
OffWestEnd Award Winner Male Performance in a Supporting Role – John Sackville
OffWestEnd Award Nomination Female Performance in a Supporting Role – Patience Tomlinson
OffWestEnd Award Nomination Female Performance – Mia Austen
OffWestEnd Award Nomination Male Performance – Sebastian Calver
OffWestEnd Award Nomination – Production

The London premiere of Philip King’s 1970 play Go Bang Your Tambourine.

Young David Armstrong misses his mother. Following her death, he now lives alone in their North Country house, a devoted member of the Salvation Army.

But tongues start to wag when David advertises for a lodger, and good-hearted, attractive Bess, a local barmaid, moves in. But when David’s estranged Casanova of a father decides to move back in, uninvited and unwanted, the impossible situation quickly comes to a head…

Seen in London for the first time, Philip King’s touching domestic family drama is a new insight into the work of a classic British playwright.

About The Playwright Philip King

Playwright Philip King (1904-1979) was born in Yorkshire. Known as both playwright and actor, he is best known as the author of the classic 1944 farce See How They Run. He continued to act throughout his writing career, often appearing in his own plays. His other works include On Monday Next (1949), later filmed as Curtain Up (1952) starring Robert Morley, Margaret Rutherford and Kay Kendall; and Serious Charge (1956), which was also filmed in 1959 starring Anthony Quayle and Cliff Richard in his film debut. He also collaborated with other writers, most notable with Falkland Cary on Sailor Beware! (1955), filmed in 1956, and Big Bad Mouse (1964) for Eric Sykes and Jimmy Edwards.

About The Director Tricia Thorns

Director Tricia Thorns returns to the Finborough Theatre where she directed Imaginationship, Red Night and London Wall which subsequently transferred to the St James Theatre. She is Artistic Director of Two’s Company. Tricia began her career as an actor in the West End as part of John Neville’s company at the Fortune Theatre, after a Classics BA from Nottingham University. Direction includes Bodies, A Day by the Sea, The Fifth Column, The Cutting of the Cloth and What the Women Did (Southwark Playhouse), her own plays Breakfast on the Beach and Creation with casts of 40, (St Barnabas Church, Dulwich), A Hard Rain (Above the Stag Theatre), My Real War 1914-? (Trafalgar Studios and National Tour), The Searcher (Musical Futures at Greenwich Theatre), Forgotten Voices from the Great War (Pleasance London), Ex and Black ‘Ell (Soho Theatre), Twelfth Night (Dulwich Picture Gallery), Peer Gynt (Alleyn’s Theatre) and Passion Play 2000, a huge community play which she also wrote. As an actress, theatre includes End of Story (Chelsea Theatre), Harry and Me (Warehouse Theatre, Croydon), Façade (Dingley and Dulwich Festivals), A Kind of Alaska (Edinburgh, National Tour and USA Tour), Time's Up (Windsor Theatre Royal), The Libertine and The Man of Mode (Royal Court Theatre and Out of Joint Tour), Betrayal (Battersea Arts Centre and National Tour), Run For Your Wife (West End) and leading roles in theatres in Salisbury, Ipswich, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Guildford, Derby and many more. Television includes Dangerfield, A Touch of Frost, Keeping Up Appearances, The Darling Buds of May, The Bill, London’s Burning and Captives. Film includes The Turn of the Screw.

The Press on Go Bang Your Tambourine

“Another fascinating London premiere for Two’s Company and the Finborough…It draws you in all the way: what more do you want?” Libby Purves, Theatre Cat

“Compelling, concise, and heartbreaking…The audience is captivated throughout.” Miriam Sallon, The Spy in the Stalls

“Where does the Finborough Theatre find them, all those classics barely performed since the era in which they were written and only decades later making their London debuts in this tiny space above a pub in South West London. The latest discover from their bottomless treasure trove is Philip King’s 1970 play Go Bang Your Tambourine, appearing in the capital for the first time in a powerfully acted revival directed by Tricia Thorns…King’s play is another rare and valuable discovery by the Finborough; really where do they find them!” Maryam Philpott, The Reviews Hub

“Nicely observed domestic drama…A genuinely affecting portrait of grief and loneliness.” Tom Wicker, Time Out

“Written in 1970 by classic British playwright Philip King, Go Bang Your Tambourine is a captivating drama about domestic life.” Lora Maslenitsyna, The Upcoming

“A tale full of nuance, coiled intensity and honest contradiction.” Miriam Sallon, The Spy in the Stalls

“It’s the world of Alan Sillitoe and John Osborne, but far gentler.” Libby Purves, Theatre Cat

“The performances are excellent.”  Lizzie Loveridge, Curtain Up

“The piece survives, in Tricia Thorns’ production, largely through the quality of the acting.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Quality performances from all the cast.” Howard, Loxton, British Theatre Guide

“Calver beautifully balances David’s damaged immaturity and intermittent emotional panics with a sweetness – and a struggling stubbornness – which show the man he might become…It’s a fine performance.” Libby Purves, Theatre Cat

“David Armstrong played very well by Sebastian Calver in his professional debut.” William Russell, ReviewsGate

“Sebastian Calver, who is making his professional debut here, is an actor to look out for.” Lizzie Loveridge, Curtain Up

“John Sackville is all bragging and sexual energy.” William Russell, ReviewsGate

“John Sackville, beaky and brisk and sleazily sexy.” Libby Purves, Theatre Cat

“Mia Austen has a touch of the young Billie Whitelaw as the big-hearted Bess.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Played with spirit by Mia Austen.” Maryam Philpott, The Reviews Hub

“A really lovely, explosively life-affirming performance from Mia Austen as Bess.” Libby Purves, Theatre Cat

“Mia Austen delights as Bess.” Lizzie Loveridge, Curtain Up 
“Patience Tomlinson is a delight.” William Russell, ReviewsGate

“Tricia Thorns’ production, and Alex Marker’s intimate front-room set, build a past world without caricature and with understanding.” Libby Purves, Theatre Cat

“Designer Alex Marker, whose meticulous set is a quiet joy.” Aleks Sierz, The Arts Desk

“There is, as so often at the Finborough, a superb set designed by Alex Marker.” William Russell, ReviewsGate

“The great critic of the 20th century Kenneth Tynan said of one of Philip King's playscripts that he had written "great suburban poetry". The Finborough is especially adroit at mining diamond plays which haven't been seen for decades. The perfectly pitched productions this pub theatre gives their discoveries will have excellent performances and direction, and the plays will resonate.” Lizzie Loveridge, Curtain Up

The Press on Philip King

“Authentic suburban poetry” Kenneth Tynan in The Observer on Sailor Beware!

“The essence of theatre” Michael Billington in The Guardian on See How They Run

The Press on Director Tricia Thorns

“Unearthing John Van Druten’s forgotten London Wall would have been enough, but helmer Tricia Thorns’ goes one better. Her beautifully judged, immaculately acted revival isn’t just theatrical archaeology, it’s a treat.” Variety on London Wall

“Thorns's production manoeuvres a cast of 10 with great skill around the tiny Finborough stage.” The Guardian on Red Night

“Tightly and fluidly directed by Tricia Thorns.” Time Out on What The Women Did

“A production so exact you can smell it. The thrill is in the documentary detail, marvellously realised in Tricia Thorns’ terrific production.” The Observer on The Cutting of the Cloth

“Tricia Thorns’s sensitive production.” Sunday Express on A Day By The Sea

“This production directed by Tricia Thorns could not be bettered” Reviewsgate on Bodies

6 August - 31 August 2019

Tickets and Times

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

Approximately two hours and forty minutes including two intervals of ten minutes.