by Hazel Ellis
28 April - 23 May 2020
“ Look at us. A small group of women all cooped up together with no release from each other save in the privacy of our bedrooms. Women brought together not by liking, but by the necessity of earning our living. ”
The UK premiere after more than 80 years
Ireland in the 1930s.
When enthusiastic young teacher Jean Wade arrives at Malyn Park Private School, she thinks she’s landed on her feet: lively pupils, cosy staffroom, and a room of her own. But her high ideals and friendly manner bring her into conflict with the sharp-tongued staff, whose cloistered existences are consumed by jealousy, bickering and petty feuds.
When a colleague’s precious manuscript is destroyed, Jean’s future comes under threat, but she soon realises the truth isn’t always black and white.
A stunning early play by a pioneer female playwright featuring a cast of eleven women and an all-female production team, Women Without Men is a frank, affecting picture of working women in a man’s world. Laced with biting wit, it asks just what women must sacrifice to preserve their independence.
Women Without Men was originally produced at the Gate Theatre, Dublin in 1938, and was first rediscovered by Mint Theatre Company in New York City in 2016 where it was nominated for the Lucille Lortel Award and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play. This production marks the play’s first UK production, and the first European production for more than eighty years.
This production is part of an ongoing informal sharing partnership between the Finborough Theatre and the Mint Theatre Company, New York City (Artistic Director Jonathan Bank), which, like the Finborough Theatre, specialises in bringing forgotten plays to a new audience. Previous productions include the Mint Theatre’s 2014 revival of John Van Druten’s London Wall, following its rediscovery at the Finborough Theatre in 2013.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT HAZEL ELLIS
Playwright Hazel Ellis (1909-1986) was born in Dublin. She attended the French School of Bray, a Protestant girls’ boarding school, which provided the inspiration for Women Without Men. She studied at Trinity College Dublin, then trained as an actress at the Abbey Theatre, before joining the acting ensemble at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, in 1929. She wrote her first play at the age of twenty five, Portrait in Marble, inspired by the life of Lord Byron, which opened at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, in 1936. Women Without Men, her second play, premiered at the Gate in 1938, directed by the Gate’s co-founder Hilton Edwards, with a cast including Mary Maloney, May Carey and Peggy Cummins. At the age of thirty, Ellis gave up acting and writing to get married and have children. She died in 1986.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR LAURA JAYNE BATEMAN
Director Laura Jayne Bateman makes her Finborough Theatre debut, following her successful production of Mark Starling’s new play Target Man at King’s Head Theatre. Direction includes Madison High (Arcola Theatre), ROGER (Southwark Playhouse), Monster Munch (White Bear Theatre), Jane Eyre (Above the Arts), To See Ourselves (LAMDA) and a sell-out new adaptation of The Great Gatsby (Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Nottingham Lakeside Arts). Assistant Direction includes We’re Staying Right Here (Park Theatre), Oedipus the King and Hubbub: A Musical Adventure (Nottingham Lakeside Arts). Laura trained on the MA Directing programme at LAMDA.
THE PRESS ON WOMEN WITHOUT MEN IN DUBLIN
“Clever characterisation, witty dialogue and a serious vein go to make Women Without Men one of the outstanding successes of the present season.” The Evening Herald
“One of the finest pieces of true realism we have seen in Dublin.” The Irish Tatler and Sketch
“Dublin is able to welcome a good play by a new Irish author—a sufficiently rare occurrence, and one which suggests that Irish drama is about to take a turn for the better.” The Irish Times
“Characters drawn with remarkable skill.” The Irish Independent
THE PRESS ON WOMEN WITHOUT MEN IN NEW YORK
“Ellis’ voice is as tart as her wit…a real find.” Variety
“Ellis…is expert in depicting the minutiae of relations among the women, the use of pet names without pet feelings, the flimsy loyalties and simmering jealousies.” The New York Times
“Sharp and clever dialogue.” Broadway World
“Compassionate, detailed writing.” Cultural Weekly
“Both fascinating and involving… engrossing, riveting theatre.” Theater Scene
“Richly characterised and surprising play by a pioneering Irish woman playwright… a fine and compelling play.” Let’s Talk Off Broadway
THE PRESS ON DIRECTOR LAURA JAYNE BATEMAN
On Target Man at King’s Head Theatre:
“Unpredictable and often affecting… a brutally honest piece of theatre.” BritishTheatre.com
“Director Laura Jayne Bateman really knows how to generate tension, and pulls on it throughout the show like a thin rubber band.” Queerguru
“Entertaining and thought-provoking.” Sports Media LGBT+
On The Great Gatsby:
“Fine and voguish production of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s luminous novel… terrific production full of intelligent and mature performances.” The Reviews Hub
“Director Laura Jayne Bateman made this modern classic come to life… truly astounding.” Impact Magazine
“Glitz, glamour and a whole lotta’ guts.” HerCampus
28 April - 23 May 2020
Prices until 10 May 2020
Tickets £18, £16 Concessions
except Tuesday Evenings £16 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £18 all seats.
Previews (28 and 29 April) £14 all seats.
£10 tickets for Under 30's for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only.
£14 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on Saturday, 2 May 2020 when booked online only.
Prices from 12 May 2020
Tickets £20, £18 Concessions
except Tuesday Evenings £18 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £20 all seats.
For details of our Returns Policy for sold out performances, please click here
PLEASE NOTE THAT LATECOMERS CANNOT BE ADMITTED AND TICKETS CANNOT BE EXCHANGED OR REFUNDED.
Tickets and Times
2hrs and 30mins with an interval of 15 mins