By Daniel Foxsmith
2 February - 27 February 2016
“The farm was there, wasn't going anywhere. It was solid, physical. Flagstones. Timber. Place housed the hopes and fears of hundreds of people, and I cast it to one side, just like that, because I was blindsided. All I needed to do was stand firm like the rest, take a breath and I'd've been fine. Break heart, drop blood, done. Always take a breath Jim. Always take a breath.”
The World Premiere
★★★★ The Times
★★★★ West End Frame
★★★★ West End Wilma
★★★★ London Theatre 1
★★★★ The LGBTQ Arts Review
★★★★ Carn’s Theatre Passion
★★★★ Paul in London
OffWestEnd nomination – Best Male Performance David Crellin
In association with the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, and supported by BBC Performing Arts Fund Legacy Grant, the world premiere of Weald by award-winning new playwright Daniel Foxsmith.
On a remote livery yard in rural England, Jim arrives ‘home’ after eight years away, in need of work. It didn’t end so well last time, but he’s sure that this time it’ll be different…
Sam, as old as the fixtures and fittings themselves, reluctantly agrees – there’s work to be done after all. As the men attempt to pick up from where they left off, fresh cracks appear beside old wounds. Things have changed. But the world can only be held at bay for so long before the two men will have to answer for their actions.
A terse and delicate dissection of male emotions from a rural perspective: fathers and sons, honour and legacy, molasses and mud.
Weald is Daniel Foxsmith’s third full length play. It is directed by Bryony Shanahan, director of critically acclaimed shows Operation Crucible and Bitch Boxer. Both, along with Charlotte Josephine, are co-Artistic Directors of multi-award winning Snuff Box Theatre.
FREE POST SHOW DISCUSSION ON FRIDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 2016
A Pursuit of Happiness podcast hosted by award-winning writers Luke Barnes and Brad Birch.
Along with fellow writer Charlotte Josephine and Weald writer Daniel Foxsmith, hosts Luke and Brad discuss our modern relationship with happiness. Each episode focuses on a different aspect of modern living – this episode looks at the relationship between masculinity today and happiness.
This event is free to ticketholders for the Friday, 12 February performance.
FREE POST SHOW DISCUSSION ON FRIDAY, 19 JANUARY 2016
With Dr. Robin Hadley, Dr. John Miles, Joseph Guthrie and writer Daniel Foxsmith
Dr. Robin Hadley has just completed PhD research that examines the lived experience of involuntarily childless older men
Dr. John Miles has been a community development worker with older people in London for over 35 years. He was awarded a masters in gerontology at King’s College and recently completed a PhD at Keele on the intergenerational initiatives of the city of Manchester.
Joseph Guthrie is a CALM ambassador and is a UK-based IT professional, musician, and writer. Originally from south London, most of his education was set in central Florida (United States).
This event is free to ticketholders for the Friday, 19 February performance.
About the Playwright Daniel Foxsmith
Playwright Daniel Foxsmith’s previous plays include The Observatory, winner of Scottish Daily Mail and Conference of Drama Schools Edinburgh Award and National Student Drama Festival and Methuen Drama Prize (The Underbelly, Edinburgh) and The Altitude Brothers (Ovalhouse, Redbridge Drama Centre and National Tour). Weald was shortlisted for the Yale Drama Prize 2015, and the inaugural Hodgkiss Award at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. Daniel trained as an actor at East 15 Acting School, and has toured nationally and internationally, as well as performing in the West End and winning several awards, including Best Performer at The Adelaide Fringe with Bound. Daniel is founder and co-Artistic Director of Snuff Box Theatre.
About the Director Byrony Shanahan
Director Bryony Shanahan returns to the Finborough Theatre where she directed the acclaimed Operation Crucible for which she was nominated for an OffWestEnd Award for Best Director in 2015. She trained on the National Theatre Studio Directors Course and East 15 Acting School and is co-artistic director of Snuff Box Theatre. In 2014, she won a BBC Performing Arts Award to work at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, where she assisted on Sarah Frankcom’s Hamlet with Maxine Peake. She returned in 2015 as Associate Director on The Skriker as part of the Manchester International Festival. Directing includes Bitch Boxer (Soho Theatre and National Tour), Chapel Street (National Tour), You and Me (Greenwich Theatre and National Tour), and The Altitude Brothers (Ovalhouse, Redbridge Drama Centre and National Tour). Other work includes Staff Director on Our Country’s Good (National Theatre), director for the National Theatre Connections Festival, teaching at East 15 Acting School, Assistant Director for Around the World in 80 Days (New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, and Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester) and Associate Director on The Gruffalo’s Child (Arts Depot North American Tour).
About Snuff Box Theatre
Snuff Box Theatre is a multi-award winning, internationally touring collective of theatre makers who thrive on creating bold new work from a blank page. Founded in 2011, the company (Bryony Shanahan, Charlotte Josephine and Daniel Foxsmith) met whilst training together at East 15 Acting School on the Contemporary Theatre course, and have a rich and diverse background in performance and creative play, which drives the creation of the work. Creators of Bitch Boxer, Snuff Box have been part of The British Council Showcase and have toured the UK extensively, as well as performing in Australia, Norway and Ireland. Whether large scale or intimate, political or fantastical, Snuff Box have one singular aim: to tell great stories on stage.
The Press on Playwright Daniel Foxsmith's The Observatory
"A moving human drama that goes beyond the bald statistics about war." Scottish Daily Mail
"Daniel Foxsmith's script is mature and well-composed…a punchy thriller." The Scotsman
"With echoes of fringe hit Black Watch…this could become an important piece." WhatsOnStage
"Atmospheric, sad and thought provoking…masterfully acted throughout." Three Weeks
"A bold piece of new writing by Daniel Foxsmith… thought provoking in the best sense. Well written...slick and stimulating." Ed Fringe Review
The Press on Director Byrony Shanahan
★★★★ Four Stars in The Guardian, The Times, PlaysToSee, Time Out, The Gizzle Review, London City Nights, Exeunt Magazine, Stage Review and BritishTheatre.com on Operation Crucible at the Finborough Theatre
"Directed with exactitude and intensity by Bryony Shanahan." The New York Times on Operation Crucible
"Director Bryony Shanahan has Augustine claim the stage absolutely, filling it with her body and her voice as she leaps and tells us of her escapades to get into her locked house". The Guardian on Bitch Boxer
"Directed with vim by Bryony Shanahan." The Telegraph on Bitch Boxer
"Director Bryony Shanahan deserves kudos for choreographing a tight yet kinetic staging from her ensemble.” The Times on Chapel Street
"Bryony Shanahan’s production is a strikingly well-made example of this strand of British Theatre. "The Scotsman on Chapel Street
The Press on Snuff Box Theatre
"Fearless." The Guardian
"A young company to watch." The Telegraph
"Snuff Box isn't scared of asking thorny questions." WhatsOnStage
The Press on Weald
“Another new writing highlight for the fabulous Finborough Theatre.” A Younger Theatre
“The writing has a real power.” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
“This superbly staged two-hander.” Kate Bassett, The Times
“An extraordinary new play.” Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Network
“Incredibly powerful.. Gripping and emotional... Deserves to be seen.” Liz Dyer, The Blog of Theatre Things
“Insightful and funny.” Paul in London
“Excellent and is well worth going to see.” Karen Pond, London Theatre 1
“Weald bears witness to a way of life on the way out.” WhatsOnStage
“A play that tackles complex and painful issues.” Matt Breen, Time Out
“This play certainly holds a mirror up to humanity.” A Younger Theatre
“A gentle but powerful production of a fine new play...An earthy, unflashy 75-minute rumination on what we owe to the past, what we owe to the future, and what we owe to each other.” Fergus Morgan, West End Frame
“An interesting and engaging play.” Daniel Ramsden, The LGBTQ Arts Review
“A funny and intriguing piece about rural life in England and the bond between men.” Paul in London
“A beautiful play with fine performances.” Laura Kressly, The Play’s The Thing UK
“Intimate and atmospheric...hugely empathetic and yet resists sentimentality.” Annabel Mellor, West End Wilma
“Heartwarming and yet heartbreaking.” Rebecca Usher, The Bardette
“Fresh and endearing.” Francesca Mepham, Carn’s Theatre Passion
“An important play, beautifully written and performed.” Liz Dyer, The Blog of Theatre Things
“Weald provides a tense and absorbing piece of theatre that should not be missed.” Melissa Hoban, The Upcoming
“A very satisfying play, a compelling examination of the impact that changing circumstances may have on our sense of self.” Matthew Lunn, BritishTheatre.com
“A playwright whose future work will be highly anticipated.” Francesca Mepham, Carn’s Theatre Passion
“Foxsmith’s writing captures the rhythm of rural Northern dialect well. His dialogue ebbs and flows, sometimes terse and sullen, sometimes expressive and – in Crellin and Parr’s broad, flat accents – almost melodic.” Fergus Morgan, West End Frame
“Foxsmith’s play can be appreciated – relished in fact – for its delectable mix of rough banter, authentic vernacular and brief moments of raw emotion.” Fergus Morgan, West End Frame
“Well written and observant, thought provoking and emotional.” Karen Pond, London Theatre 1
“Weald is both complex psychologically and philosophically complex.” Stewart Pringle, London City Nights
“Foxsmith’s writing is meticulous indeed.” Ian Foster, There Ought To Be Clowns
“Charming humour in Foxsmith’s script.” Rebecca Usher, The Bardette
“Foxsmith’s excellent script is aided by two terrific performances.” Matthew Lunn, BritishTheatre.com
“The rhythms of conversation are beautifully drawn.” WhatsOnStage
“Daniel Foxsmith's two-hander is a quiet testimonial to a way of life that's under threat.” WhatsOnStage
“Foxsmith is a highly empathetic writer.” Matthew Lunn, BritishTheatre.com
“Weald is a work that radiates expert craftsmanship.” Francesca Mepham, Carn’s Theatre Passion
“A charmingly cragged and eventually quite imposing performance by David Crellin.” Stewart Pringle, The Stage
“David Crellin as Sam captures the cragginess and humour of a man who has seen it all.” Paul in London
“Superbly delivered by David Crellin.” Karen Pond, London Theatre 1
“David Crellin is fantastic as Sam’s troubles mount up.” Ian Foster, There Ought To Be Clowns
“David Crellin is superb as Sam: all surface smiles and a stiff upper lip, but there's a depth of sadness beneath.” WhatsOnStage
“Dan Parr... Definitely a star in the making, the flame-haired Parr is impishly teasing, with comic timing capturing the manic skittishness of youth. His capacity to seem at once untamed and delicate is riveting.” Kate Bassett, The Times
“Parr’s energy and imagination fills the stage with horses and fields and he is a delight to watch.” A Younger Theatre
“Dan Parr is mesmerising as Jim.” Matt Breen, Time Out
“Dan Parr...A sweetly cheeky performance.” Matthew Lunn, BritishTheatre.com
“David Crellin and Dan Parr attack the two character studies with terrific energy.” Ben Monks, Exeunt Magazine
“Parr and Crellin both make those passages sing like a curlew on the moor.” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
“Stand out performances from David Crellin and Dan Parr.” Francesca Mepham, Carn’s Theatre Passion
“Skilful characterisation from Crellin and Parr.” Francesca Mepham, Carn’s Theatre Passion
“The two men bond well together and give this play its strength.” Paul in London
“Parr and Crellin adapt fluidly to their roles. Their partnership surpasses the boundaries of the stage.” Melissa Hoban, The Upcoming
“Crellin and Parr expertly deliver the characters with fire and soul that the emotions are palpable and deeply affecting. There is a real authenticity in their chemistry.” Rebecca Usher, The Bardette
“The two performances complement each other perfectly and the chemistry between them is tangible.” Fergus Morgan, West End Frame
“One of the biggest strengths of Weald is its casting of two actors who have genuine chemistry.” Liz Dyer, The Blog of Theatre Things
“Two superb performances.” Stephen Bates, The Reviews Hub
“The acting is terrific.” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
“The actors give magnetic performances.” Daniel Ramsden, The LGBTQ Arts Review
“Crellin and Parr’s performances are exemplary, with emotional journeys that are the kind actors dream of. They both relish Foxsmith’s rich language and have a wonderfully watchable presence.” Laura Kressly, The Play’s The Thing UK
“David Crellin and Dan Parr give nuanced and powerful performances, with Crellin’s gruffness providing the perfect counterpoint to Parr’s vulnerability. Their easy, natural chemistry is a pleasure to watch.” Annabel Mellor, West End Wilma
“Coupled with David Crellin and Dan Parr’s excellent performances and the production’s immersive design, Weald made for an enriching theatrical experience.” Matthew Lunn, BritishTheatre.com
“There are some excellent pieces of staging from director Bryony Shanahan.” Stewart Pringle, The Stage
“This script was brilliantly brought to life through direction by Bryony Shanahan.” Daniel Ramsden, The LGBTQ Arts Review
“Bryony Shanahan’s direction taps into the poetic and powerful heart of the script.” Laura Kressly, The Play’s The Thing UK
“Bryony Shanahan’s skilled direction.” Annabel Mellor, West End Wilma
“Exquisitely drawn out by director Bryony Shanahan.” Rebecca Usher, The Bardette
“Bryony Shanahan’s direction allows these two fine performances to take centre stage.” Liz Dyer, The Blog of Theatre Things
“Directed by Bryony Shanahan, the play is seamless and gracefully artistic.” A Younger Theatre
“Shanahan builds up an invisible world on the stage.” A Younger Theatre
“Bryony Shanahan's production is just as good with its two-legged creatures.” WhatsOnStage
“The rural setting is also evocative from both the writing and clever staging by Director Bryony Shanahan. It is beautifully realised in the space of the Finborough.” Paul in London
“Bryony Shanahan’s staging is pacey, detailed and well-drilled, amplifying Foxsmith’s impassioned call to arms.” Ben Monks, Exeunt Magazine
“With an inspired design team on board, Shanahan’s production is beautifully paced and thrillingly close-up....Catch this.” Kate Bassett, The Times
“The production is lit beautifully by Seth Rook Williams.” Stephen Bates, The Reviews Hub
“The Finborough Theatre’s intimate stage is impressively utilised.” Matthew Lunn, BritishTheatre.com
“Judicious use of sound and light, from Peter Rice and Seth Rook Williams respectively, seems to bring horses into the tiny upstairs space.” WhatsOnStage
Theatre includes The Hoard Festival (New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme), Hunger for Trade, Saturday Night, Sunday Morning (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), The Seagull, Hard Times, Rock 'n' Roll, Audience, Much Ado About Nothing, Measure for Measure, The Winter's Tale, Beyond Belief, Schweyk In the Second World War, A Christmas Carol, Time of My Life, Aladdin (Library Theatre, Manchester), Absent Friends (Coliseum Theatre, Oldham, and Harrogate Theatre) Kes (Liverpool Playhouse and Tour), Spring and Port Wine (Octagon Theatre, Bolton), Get Ken Barlow (Watford Palace), The Trackers of Oxyrhincus (National Theatre), The Merry Wives (Tour for Northern Broadsides), The Revenger's Tragedy and Three Girls In Blue (West Yorkshire Playhouse).
Television includes Happy Valley, Home Fires, The Cops, Waterloo Road, Paradox, Accused, Doctors, North and South, Dalziel and Pascoe, Holby City, Strumpet, Vacuuming Completely Nude In Paradise, Emmerdale, Coronation Street, HeartBeat, Fat Friends, Mysterious Creatures, The Girls Who Came To Stay, What We Did On Our Holidays, The Bill, Blood Strangers, Bob and Rose and Shameless.
Radio includes Craven.
Theatre includes Hamlet (Barbican Theatre), Britannia Waves The Rules, Scuttlers, Pages From my Songbook (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Wanted! Robin Hood (Library Theatre, Manchester), and DNA (The Lowry, Salford).
Film includes The Rise of the Krays, The Fall of the Krays and Halcyon Heights.
Television includes The Musketeers, Rocket’s Island, Casualty, The Crimson Field and The Village.
2 February - 27 February 2016
Tickets and Times
Approximately 80 minutes with no interval.