1980-1990

The Diary of David and Ruth, 1982

Finborough Theatre productions from 1980-1990. Please do get in touch with us if you have more information.

1980

BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE and JOE
The world premieres of a double bill.
Behind A Painted Smile by Roger Stennett
Directed by Colin Stepney.
Cast: June Abbott. David Purcell.
Joe, written and directed by Bill Gavin.
Cast: June Abbott. Edmund Dehn. David Purcell.
Designed by Reinhard Magiera.
Lighting by Tim Godfrey.
Assistant Direction by John Greco.
Presented by the Court Theatre Company.
24 June – 5 July 1980.

SNAKES AND LADDERS
The world premiere of four plays by Roger Stennett: Taxi, Going Down, You Never Said and A Vigarage Tea Party.
Directed by Michael Gaunt.
Designed by Reinhard Magiera.
Presented by the Court Theatre Company.
Cast: June Abbott. Joyce Cummings. David Purcell. Louis Haslar.
14 July – 2 August 1980
“An evening of undiluted aural pleasure” Jeremy Jehu, The Stage.

THE BOXER
The world premiere of a new play by Bryan Oliver.
Directed by David Purcell.
Presented by the Court Theatre Company.
Cast: John Adam Baker. Nic Jeune. Brian Shade. Ian Humphries. Anthony Woodruff.
4 August – 23 August 1980.

THE POLICE
by Sławomir Mrożek, translated by Nicholas Bluthal.
Directed by Carmen Jakobi.
Designed by Dominic Bailey.
Lighting and Sound Design by Adam Dryer and Monika Biskupek.
Costume Design by Monika Biskupek.
Presented by The Court Theatre Company.
Cast: Neil Appelt. Margaret Ashley. Edmund Dehn. Adam Dryer. Bill Gavin. Charles Kinross.
25 August – 13 September 1980.
Transferred to the Sherman Arena Theatre, Cardiff, for a performance on 17 October 1980.

A BED OF ROSES
The world premiere of a new play by Sheila Yeger.
Directed by Jill Brooke.
Designed by Jo Hendon.
Presented by the Court Theatre Company.
Cast: Sarah Nash. June Abbott. David Purcell. Marlene Sidaway. Lou Aberman.
15 September – 4 October 1980.

A DARK NIGHT IN THE AMERICAN DREAM
Three short plays by Richard Lord.
Directed by Morris Barry.
Designed by Mic Dunk.
Presented by the Court Theatre Company.
Cast: Robert Arden. Ray Charleson. Helen Horton. Sidney Kean. Ronald Fernee.
6 October – 25 October 1980.

THE ALTERNATIVE
by Rodney Hyde-Thompson.
Directed by David Purcell.
Designed by Bosco.
Presented by the Court Theatre Company.
Cast: Brian Abbott. June Abbott. Bonita Beach. Edmund Dehn. Jonathan Kydd. Gillian Lutyens.
3 November – 29 November 1980.

ONE, TWO, THREE and A DISTINGUISHED LITERARY FIGURE
by Roger Stennett.
Directed by Michael Gaunt.
Designed by Paul Sayers.
Presented by the Court Theatre Company.
Cast: Edmund Kente. Keith Alexander. Elizabeth Archer. Peter Miles.
1 December – 20 December 1980.
Subsequently filmed for HTV.

1981

Tickets in 1981 cost £1.75, with a reduced price of £1.25 for Equity Card holders, Students and OAPs, and a special deal of three shows for £3.50, or £2.50 for Equity Card holders, Students and OAPs. Membership of the Finborough Theatre Club cost 25p a year.

SORRY
A double bill of Audience and Private View (“Vanek” plays) by Vaclav Havel.
Translated by Vera Blackwell.
Directed by David Purcell.
Designed by John Bell.
Presented by the Court Theatre Company.
Cast included: Melville Jones. Anthony Woodruff. Penelope Reynolds.
Opened 19 January 1981.
“Anthony Woodruff gave a thoroughly convincing performance as the lager-swilling brewer.” Julia Maskens, The Stage.
“Penelope Reynolds’ superb portrayal of the awful Vera.” Julia Maskens, The Stage.

DON JUAN AND THE NON-DON JUAN
The UK premiere of a play by Marvin Cohen, adapted by James Milton from two of Cohen’s books, ‘Women and Tom Gervasi’ and ‘Inside the World: As Al Lehman’.
Directed by June Abbott.
Designed by John Bell.
Music by Chas Ambler.
Songs by James Milton, adapted by Chris Barton.
Presented by the Court Theatre Company.
Cast included: Chas Ambler. Chris Barton. Edmund Dehn. Virginia Lester. Peter O’Dwyer. David Purcell. Veronica Richards. Mela White.
9 February – 7 March 1981.
“The whole thing was stylishly managed, a pub operetta. The author sat at the end of my row, hugely delighted at the accomplishment of it all.” Jonathan Keates, The Guardian, 25 February 1981.
“June Abbott’s seamless direction, concentrating six actors around a fur-draped circular bed.” Jonathan Keates, The Guardian.
“A skilled and well-drilled cast.” Malcolm Hay, Time Out.

Don Juan and The Non -Don Juan, 1981.

OEDIPUS AT THE CROSSROADS and OEDIPUS MEETS THE SPHINX
by Jeremy Kingston.
Directed by Morris Barry.
Presented by the Court Theatre Company.
Cast: June Abbott. Jonathan Kydd. Terry Wright.
9 March – 4 April 1981.
“Both ingenious and amusing – the dialogue is of a quality that makes me hope the author will soon write another full length play.” John Barber, Daily Telegraph.
“A delicate clever rethink on the Oedipus myth. With some humorous exchanges and effects and a twist which is too good to reveal – recommended.” Steve Grant, Time Out.
“Did Oedipus really kill his father, Laius, at the crossroads?…Jeremy Kingston has taken a sceptical look at the fatal encounter – and the details work out differently from what we have been led to believe.” B.A. Young, Financial Times.
“Has a juvenile Oedipus in Jonathan Kydd, a Sphinx-Jocasta all seductive glamour in June Abbott, and a King Laius of singular dignity and authority in Terry Wright.” R.B. Marriott, The Stage.

THE HISTORY OF THE DEVIL
by Clive Barker.
Presented by The Dog Company.
6 – 11 April 1981.

OUT AT SEA and ENCHANTED NIGHT
A double billl of plays by Sławomir Mrożek.
Directed by June Abbott.
Designed by Lee Dean.
Presented by the Court Theatre Company.
Cast: Anthony Woodruff. Ken Cotigan. David Purcell. Corinne Schnabel. Christopher Preston. Ian Humphries.
13 April – 9 May 1981.
“The evening is well worth while, and is negotiated with remarkable sense and sensibility by a company which, directed by June Abbott, includes David Purcell, Ken Costigan, Christopher Preston and Corinne Schnabel.” R.B. Marriott, The Stage

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Lyall Watson
Designed by Jo Hendon
Presented by the Court Theatre Company
Cast: David Janson. David Purcell. Ken Cotigan. Gavin Harding. Michael McCormack. Christopher Barnden. Martin Coveney. Tony Trackman. June Abbott. Patricia Napier. Jonathan Robinson. Deborah Keys.
13 May – 6 June 1981
Subsequently transferred to the Intimate Theatre, Palmers Green, for a fortnight run from 22 September 1981.
“In modern dress and with a minimal set, this inspired company plays the full version – which includes the pub drunk duped into playing a lord who, in turn, plays Petruchio – with boundless verve and geniality.” Jeremy Jehu, The Stage.
“Under Lyall Watson’s direction, the cast uses it to create simultaneously, a sense of intimacy and scope.” Jeremy Jehu, The Stage.

AFTER ALL THESE YEARS
by Sheila Yeger.
Directed by Chris James.
Designed by Jo Hendon.
Presented by the Court Theatre Company.
Cast: June Abbott. Veronica Clifford. Elaine Cook. Juliette Kaplan. Maggie McCourt. Diana Mull.
13 July – 8 August 1981.

PLEASE DON’T FALL OFF THE BRIDE
by R. O’Connor Kendall.
From Canada.
As a curtain raiser to the main show and to celebrate the Royal Wedding.
Opened July 27 1981.

NEVERMORE and FRAGMENTS
Written and Directed by Vanessa Drucker.
Designed by Ralph Freeman.
Lighting by Ron Hollis.
Presented by Sloane Street Theatre.
Cast: Anthony Sargeant. David Bauckham. Janet Crawford. Pauline Dare.
11 August – 22 August 1981.

RENT
The world premiere of a new play by Julian Sands.
Directed by Gordon Mackintosh.
Cast: John Altman. Katherine Gibb. Tracie Hart. Julian Preston. Ali Jones.
Opened 21 August 1981 for a two week run.

The Court Theatre Company left the Finborough in November 1981 after a residency of 18 months.

1982

1982
“I cannot recommend strongly enough a visit to the Finborough” Michael Coveney, Financial Times.

DRACULA IS UNDEAD AND WELL AND LIVING IN PURFLEET
by Charles McKeown
Directed by Gavin Harding
Presented by The Good Company
Cast: Jill Barry. Roy Sampson. Tony Taylor.
January 1982
“The Good Company’s opening production at their new Earl’s Court venue, the Finborough Theatre Club…Look out for some more ambitious projects from this talented company in the near future”. Barbara Schulman, The Stage.

DOWN and BECAUSE OF MR DARROW
The world premieres of Down by Clive Paton and Because of Mr Darrow by Miles Tredinnick.
Directed by Miles Tredinnick.
Produced by Jacqueline Ryan and Christine Coaker for Harlequinade Productions.
Cast included: Simon Feilder. Jill Frudd. Richard Marsella. Christine Coaker.
From 10 February – 19 February 1982.
Transferred to the Grove Theatre in Hammersmith.

THERESE RAQUIN
by Emile Zola.
Translated by Kathleen Boutall.
Directed by Mike McCormack.
Designed by Lyall Watson and Judy Ling Wong.
Presented by The Good Company.
Cast: Chris Barnden. Gavin Harding. Seymour Green. Bill Hepper. Judith Fellows. Pamela Blackwood. Rebecca Mawson-Harris.
Opened 24 February 1982.
“In addition to fair attempts to interest us in new plays, the Finborough company is doing a service in staging classics such as this Zola so ably”. R.B. Marriott, The Stage.

“Since the Finborough Arms Theatre was set up 18 months ago by the Court Theatre it has built up a solid reputation for presenting high quality work and become a regular haunt of major theatre critics. The Court company ran the venue on a shoestring, and through uncomfortable it achieved high box office figures and several past productions are now touring. The Good Company took over the venue intent on maintaining high standards of productions and design and employed highly talented directors and designers as well as a pool of established actors and new writers. The theatre has also been refurbished with raked seats replacing the old “begged and borrowed” seating.” Steve Absalom, The Stage (18 March, 1982)

RUT and TAKING A RIDE
A double bill by Simon Thomsett.
Directed by Chris Jagger.
Cast: John Baxter. Martin Kennedy-Troakes. Mark Ellis. Amanda Paul. Eileen Roberts.
5 April – 17 April 1982 (Lunchtime).
“Two short plays combined in a lunchtime production at the Finborough Arms to show a young writer capable both of drawing a realistic picture of social decline, and lightening the gloom with effective snatches of humour.” Ann Nugent, The Stage.

STAIRCASE
by Charles Dyer.
Directed by Ian Lowe.
Designed by Polly Miller.
Lighting by Neil Burrows.
Cast: Andrew McLachlan. Roy Heather.
8 April (?) – 17 April 1982.

THREE WEIRD SISTERS
Directed by Alan Dunnett.
Cast: Heather Ram. Carinne Ransom. Fiona Black.
Opened at Pentameters Theatre, then played at the Finborough and Theatre Space (Lunchtime).
After 17 May 1982.

LANDSCAPE and SILENCE
by Harold Pinter.
Presented by Performance Exchange.
Cast: Annie Hayes. David Newlyn. Janine Pegley. Matthew Solon. Malcolm Tulip.
21 May – 5 June 1982.

THE AUDITION
by Sean Patrick Vincent.
Directed by Nicholas Lumley.
Music by Andrew Lawson Johnston.
Musical Direction by Martin Waddington.
Presented by Lunchpack Theatre Company in association with The Good Company.
Cast: Alexandra Denman. Francis Lloyd. Nicholas Lumley. Judith Porter. Martin Waddington.
From 27 May – 5 June 1982 (Lunchtime).
Transferred to the King’s Head Theatre for lunchtime performances from 29 July – 7 August 1982.
“A most diverting piece, inventive, witty and touched with lively irony.” R.B. Marriott, The Stage.
“There is a lot of excellent and accurate observation as well as a sense of the absurd. The show is all good fun, but something more.” R.B. Marriott, The Stage.

THE DUMB WAITER
by Harold Pinter.
Directed by Mark Scrimshaw.
Presented by Lunchpack Theatre Company.
Cast: Nicholas Lumley. Graham Fawcett.
24 June – 10 July 1982 (Lunchtime).

PLASTIC ZION
by Chris Ward.
Directed by Julia Schofield.
Presented by Wet Paint Theatre Company with Good Company Touring Theatre.
Cast: Beki Bondage. Ros Hopkinson. Gianna Cassetta. Lee Lobb. Guy Picot.
Planned run : 25 July – 7 August 1982.
The run was terminated after two performances due to “complaints from the landlord that friends and supporters of Wet Paint were being offensive to customers and smoking pot”.

The theatre was closed during the summer.

LUV
by Murray Scisgal.
Directed by Timothy Turnbull.
Music by Rick Friend.
Presented by Triffic Shows Inc in association with The Good Company Limited.
Cast: Russel Keith-Grant. Lillian Silverstone. Guy Dartnell.
8 September – 26 September 1982.
“Highly physical direction by Timothy Turnbull, vaudeville routines, Rick Friend’s parodic, crooning love songs and three sharp performances combine to farcical, perhaps cynical effect, somewhere between Woody Allen and the “Rocky Horror Show”. An interesting evening.” Mike Gilmore, The Stage.

DULCIMA
by H.E. Bates
Adapted by Nica Burns and Colin Watkeys
Directed by Colin Watkeys
Cast: Nica Burns
1982
“Dulcima is, quite simply, excellent!” Radio Forth
“At once poignant and highly erotic…A sensitive adaptation of H.E. Bates’ melodramatic, mood-laden tale of sexual harassment in the workplace.” Time Out
“Memorable…A characteristic piece of directorial inspiration from Colin Watkeys.” Radio Forth
“Glorious…A powerful production, full of intensity, pathos and fine acting.” The Scotsman
“[Nica Burns] An extremely talented actress.” Time Out
“[Nica Burns] keeps the audience spellbound.” Radio Forth
“Nica Burns’ performance can’t be faulted and neither can this production.” Radio Forth

LATE NIGHT COMEDY AND CABARET
From the autumn of 1982 to 1988, Colin Watkeys and Nica Burns also presented late-night comedy and cabaret on Fridays and Saturdays with performers such as Jeremy Hardy, Paul Merton and the first public appearances of a 21 year old Rory Bremner, and Julian Clary.

REVENGE
by Howard Brenton.
Directed by Andrew Tourell.
Produced by Syd Golder.
Cast included: Richard Braine. Brian Carroll. Christina Greatrex. Paul Haley. Sharon Heare. Mike McCormack. Benjamin Whitrow.
Transfer from the Spice of Life Theatre Club, Cambridge Circus, London W1
Playing 8 November – 10 November 1982.

SMOKING IS BAD FOR YOU and THE PROPOSAL
by Anton Chekhov.
Directed by Bardy Thomas.
Cast: James Griffiths. Patrick Connor. Peta Masters.
9 November – 21 November 1982.
“Bardy Thomas directs with assurance and sensitivity.” Mike Gilmore, The Stage.
“The two plays together provide a diverting evening.” Mike Gilmore, The Stage.

THE DIARY OF DAVID AND RUTH
The UK premiere of a new play by Rory Kilalea.
Directed by Jane Kilalea.
Stage Management by Patrick Holmes.
Presented by Delta Theatre Company.
Cast: Anne Gillmaster. Barry Park.
24 November – 19 December 1982.
“The Delta Theatre Company make modest history at the Finborough as the first company from Zimbabwe to appear in London.” Mike Gilmore, The Stage.
“The Diary of David and Ruth is…an interesting insight for those of us in England who see Zimbabwe as nothing more than a newspaper headline.” Mike Gilmore, The Stage.
“It manages both to be eloquent about white Rhodesians and the roots they feel towards their country – and at times a moving portrayal of ordinary people caught up in turbulent events.” Carole Woddis, City Limits.
“Jane Kilalea’s direction moves events through from birth to death with deft economy.” Carole Woddis, City Limits.
“A captivating, lyrical piece tracing the growth from child to adult of two whites in a painfully emerging Zimbabwe.” Time Out.
“The beautifully understated versatility of Barry Park and Anne Gillmaster maintain a seemingly effortless pace in a play that mixes the dramatic poem with a harsher political theme.” Time Out.
“Analysis of racism is the pivot of the play. Whites enjoying economic and social privileges vehemently denied their black counterparts.” Brian Moy[?], London Reviews.
“Blending humour with the bitter facts of a racist society.” Brian Moy[?], London Reviews.
Tuesday to Sunday evenings at 8.00pm.
Friday and Saturday evenings at 6.00pm.
Tickets £2, £1.50 concessions.

The Diary of David and Ruth, 1982

CABARET – SATURDAY 4 DECEMBER
Ian Puleston-Davies, Mark Steel & ‘Look What The Cat Dragged In’.
10pm.
Tickets £1.50, £1 concessions.

HOME FREE
Directed by Kathy Burke.
Cast included: James Clyde.
???

1983

The theatre was completely reconstructed in 1983 with a grant from the Manpower Services Commission.

THE ARCATA PROMISE
by David Mercer.
Directed by Alan Dunnett.
Presented by the Wooden Indian Theatre Company.
Cast: Mark York. Francesca Hall. Yonnie Howgill. Terence Brown.
Presented the week after 24 February 1983.

THE LAST JUDGEMENT
The world premiere of a new play by Alfredo Cordal.
Directed by Mike McCormack.
Designed by Hector Morales.
Costume Design by Clary Salandy.
Lighting by Nina Grahame.
Cast: Owen Brenman. Nic d’Avirro. Ana Luisa de Cavilla. Gordon Warnecke.
27 July – 6 August 1983.
Subsequently transferred to the Old Red Lion Theatre for three weeks.
“Brilliant performances…excellent design.” The Stage.
“Chilling authenticity.” Evening Standard.
“High poetic style.” The Times.
“It was brave of Mike McCormack to attempt to dabble with myths in a tiny pub space but his production succeeds where other more ambitious productions might have failed.” Michael Darvell, The Stage.

CRUSADES
by Jeremy Brock.
Directed by Jason Wright.
Cast: Kate Coleman. Susanna Page. Jamie Ripman. Vivian Munn.
August 1983.
“I liked Jeremy Brock’s play a lot. He tempers a very serious theme with good humour.” Michael Darvell, The Stage.
“Splendid performances from Kate Coleman as the heroine Sarah and Susanna Page as both her mother and Lisa the hapless travel agent’s assistant.” Michael Darvell, The Stage.
“Best of all, is Vivian Munn, hilarious as the anarchist crook Kevin, a drunken tramp, Groucho Marx and the victim of a stroke.” Michael Darvell, The Stage.
“Good, firm direction by Jason Wright.” Michael Darvell, The Stage.

THREE WOMEN
A triple bill of one act plays by Hossein Karimbeik.
Presented by Theatre in Exile.
26 September – 8 October 1983.

HUGHIE
by Eugene O’Neill.
Directed by Richard Mangan and Nicholas Goldwyn.
Cast: Nicholas Goldwyn. Chuck Julian. Noel Slattery.
Closed 27 September 1983.

JOHN DOWIE
Stand Up Comedy.
Presented by Rhombus Productions.
5 December – 17 December 1983.

1984

In 1984, the Finborough Theatre was the first London fringe theatre to be awarded a grant from the late GLC (Greater London Council) for its work with Theatre in Education and arts workshops with the community.

CABARET
Open spots included Rory Bremner and Jessica Martin who said “I could say I started my career there. I did an cabaret open spot there in 1984. Rory Bremner was also there. He then got me onto the News Revue radio show.”

RUTH ERECT
Written and Directed by Tony Dunham.
Presented by Confederacy of Dunces.
Cast: Annabel Mednick. Robert Sian. Janet Behan.
17 January – 20 January 1984.

I AM TALIESIN
Perfomed by Patrick Horne.
25 January – 28 January 1984.

KLEINZEIT
Written and Directed by Peta Barker.
Based on the novel by Russell Hoban.
Presented by Jackson’s Lane Theatre Company.
Cast includes: Larry Jones. Alan Hart. David Shannon. Jim Newberry. Sally Holley. Miles Hoare. Jackie Nash. Peter Jordan. Angus Macaulay.
Closed 25 February 1984.
“Peta Berker’s inventive direction clarifies the cunning stylistic quirks of Russell Hoban’s novel.” John O’Leary, The Stage.

AMERICAN BUFFALO
by David Mamet.
Cast: Ronnie Destro. Keith Kole. Jared Seide.
13 March – 24 March 1984.
“The cast put their audience at ease by capturing this distinctively American vocal violence with natural aplomb.” Martin Portus, The Stage.
“The play fits well into a cluttered upper room of the Finborough Arms, a space which, with its elevated seating makes an interesting and cosy theatre.” Martin Portus, The Stage.

THE INHERITANCE and THE BROTHER
A double bill.
THE INHERITANCE
by Mick Jackson.
Directed by Alan Bisset.
Cast: Ben Davies.
and
THE BROTHER
Written and Directed by Ben Davies.
Cast: Mike Jackson. Alan Bisset.
30 April – 12 May 1984.

PROGENY
Written and Directed by Declan Sweeney.
Presented by Irish Film and Theatre Company.
Cast: Eve Carroll. Chris Dunne. Seamus Fox. Erica Grant. Phil Beckwith.
Closed 2 June 1984.
“Neatly told by Sweeney, whose characterisation is simple and direct.” R.B. Marriott, The Stage.

A LUNCHTIME SEASON OF NEW PLAYS
KAF
by Michael Sharp.
Directed by Martin Kramer.
Cast: Martin Laird. Susi Rowson.
28 May – 9 June 1984 (Monday-Saturdays at 1.00pm).
GRAB BAG
by Don Thompson.
11 – 23 June 1984 (Monday-Saturdays at 1.00pm).
DOLE DRUM
by The Company.
25 June – 7 July 1984 (Monday-Saturdays at 1.00pm).
Presented by Pepper’s Ghost Theatre Company.
Tickets £2.00 (£1.00 concessions). Membership 30p.

OUT OF ORDER
A revue by Christopher Middleton and Jonathan Kydd.
Presented by I Zingari Theatre Company.
Cast: Juliet Prague. Jonathan Kydd. Maria McErlane. Phil Nice. Chris Middleton. Carole Ruggier.
5 – 16 June 1984.
Transferred from the New End Theatre, Hampstead. Later transferred to ‘Buster Brown’s’ at the Edinburgh Festival.
This production caused controversy as songs such as ‘Beat the Beast’ were seen by some as advocating cruelty to animals.
“Amusing and lively satirical look at the pretensions of fringe theatre.” Time Out.

WE TWO BOYS
Presented by Grapple and Graft Theatre Company.
Transferred from the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton, and subsequently played at the New End Theatre, Hampstead.
The play won the George Orwell Memorial Award in 1984.
June 1984.

JOHN DOWIE
and Cliffhanger Theatre Company.
Playing on 12 July – 21 July 1984.

CHICANE’S LAW
One Man Show by Dave Robinson.
June or July 1984.
“A remarkable piece of writing, bursting with funny and cunning ideas.” Belinda Shaw, The Stage.

THE CURE
by John Cooper.
Directed by Graham Padden.
Presented by Pepper’s Ghost.
Cast includes: Penny Stehli. Nick Kemp. Gerard J. Ward. John Davitt. Paul Jeary.
31 July – 10 August 1984.
Run subsequently extended to 2 September 1984.
“An impressive drama of personal predicament, and always of considerable interest.” R.B. Marriott, The Stage.

THE STONEMASON
The world premiere of a first play by Michael Haruni.
Directed by Vivienne Cottrell.
Designed by Sarah Mitchell.
Presented by Head Line Theatre Company.
Cast: Rachel Wright. Christopher Bridgman. Lino Omoboni. Beverley Rayson. Gerard Brown. Guy Callan. Patrick Neville.
11 September – 20 September 1984.
Subsequently transferred to the Sir Richard Steele pub theatre, Chalk Farm.
“Michael Haruni is a distinctive writer, in the sense that he speaks in his own voice with an authentic creative tone.” R.B. Marriott, The Stage.
“This is his first production play…and in it there is much promise.” R.B. Marriott, The Stage.
“Played with sensitive responsiveness.” R.B. Marriott, The Stage.

LINDSAY HOLIDAY
2 October – 21 October 1984.

BEFORE THE DUST SETTLED
Book and Lyrics by Eoin West.
Music by Ben Brierley and Glen Matlock.
Directed by Gabriel Connaughton and Billy Jones.
Designed by Billy Jones.
Lighting by Zee.
Musical Direction by Ben Brierley.
Choreography by Irene Bradshaw.
Video by Derek Jarman.
Presented by Transatlantic Theatre Company.
Cast: Gabriel Connaughton. John English. Guy Ford. Steve Hyams. Chris Kolb.
25 October (?) – 10 November 1984.

DOCTOR ON THE BEAR
by Chris Stagg.
Directed by Paul Hodson.
Designed by Chris Field.
Presented by Laughing Stock.
Cast: Trisha Golding. Joanne Howarth. Neil Salvage. Janet Sate. Chris Stagg.
November 13 – November 25 1984.

JOHN DOWIE
Playing December 1984.
“Like many of the finest comics Dowie is able to wring savage laughter from the contemplation of waste.” Charles Spencer, The Stage.
“Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Dowie’s show is that after a 90 minute wallow in the mire of another man’s misery, one leaves the theatre feeling thoroughly elated.” Charles Spencer, The Stage.

1985

SPECIAL MINERS FAMILY BENEFIT
Supporting the Miners Strike.
Friday, 18 January 1985.

THE OPEN COUPLE
The UK premiere of the play by Dario Fo and Franca Rame.
Directed by Simon Usher.
Designed by David Van Oss for Praxis.
Presented by The Fo-Rame Theatre Project.
Cast: Chris Adamson. Anna Ziman.
29 January – 9 February 1985.
Opened at the Sir Richard Steele pub theatre, Chalk Farm, from 23 January – 26 Janaury 1985.

REGRESSIONS
Written and Directed by David Graham-Young.
Cast: William Haden.
12 February – 15 February 1985 (Evenings).
Opened for a lunchtime run at the Donmar Warehouse from 30 January – 9 February 1985.
Subsequently seen at the Royal Shakespeare Company Festival at The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, in Autumn 1985 and the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough,
in 1987.

DIONYSUS RE-MEMBERED (sic)
Written and Performed by Max Hafler.
Directed by Tony Hegarty.
12 February – 24 February 1985.
“Hafler’s writing is vigorous and colourful, his performance striking in its controlled fervour and theatrical forcefulness. He stirs the imagination with his own fertile imaginings.” R.B. Marriott, The Stage.

STILL DANCING
Three short plays by Paul Chown and Roddy Williams.
Directed by Richard Shannon.
Designed by Philippa Nash.
Music by Isobel Ward.
Cast: Robert Bond. Rebecca Harbord. Chris Samsworth. Siabhra Woods.
Presented by Common Stock.
Opened 26 March 1985, followed by a tour.

CANARY
The world premiere of a new play by Barb Jungr.
Directed by Mike McCormack.
Cast: Barb Jungr. Michael Parker. Wayne Jackman.
3 April – 20 April 1985.

FRIENDS LIKE YOU
The world premiere of a first play by Tam Hoskyns.
Directed by Brian Stirner.
Designed by Henk Schut.
Cast: Tam Hoskyns. Melinda McGraw.
16 April – 3 May 1985.

BOOK DEPOSITORY BLUES
by Ron Hart.
Directed by Sydnee Blake.
Designed by Suzanne Glenister.
Presented by Cakes and Ale Theatre Company.
Cast: Kieron Jecchinis. Anne Purcell. Leo Wringer. Nick Simons. Diana Brooks. Andre Thornton Grimes. James Bryce.
8 May – 25 May 1985.
“He does display an inventive mind, some natty wit, and an imaginative taking-in of a mass of social and political notions and events.” R.B. Marriott, The Stage.

AVON A’CALLIN’ and SELLOUT
The world premiere of a double bill of new plays.
AVON A’CALLIN’ by Rosalind Scanlon.
Cast: Emily Momoh.
SELLOUT by Philip Hawthorne.
Directed by Philip Hawthorne.
Cast included: Gordon Warren. Colin Heywood. Michael Hammond. Charlotte Kasner. Anthony Stragger. Norma Dixit.
Opened week of 23 May 1985 – 8 June 1985.
“Very well played, with sense and sensibility, by Emily Momoh, a person of charm and graceful movement.” R.B. Marriott, The Stage

THE CATFORD CAPER
by Chris Stagg.
Directed by Paul Hodson.
Designed by Chris Field.
Presented by Laughing Stock.
Cast: Trisha Golding. John Hazlett. Joanne Howarth. Janet Sate. Chris Stagg.
18 June – 6 July 1985.
Transferred from the Nightingale Theatre, Brighton, where it opened on 21 May 1985, and a tour.

SUMMER PROJECT
5 September 1985.

THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF M. VALDEMAR, THE TELL-TALE HEART and THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO
by Edgar Allan Poe.
Directed by Mike McCormack.
Presented by The Good Company.
Cast: Mike McCormack. David Plaut.
17 September – 12 October 1985.

CALAMITY AT CLIFTONVILLE
Presented by Inner City Theatre Company.
Playing the week following 24 October 1985.

ANACONDA
by Wendy Foot.
Presented by Humakind Kolektiv Theatre.
Cast: John Tramper. Wendy Foot. Guy Manning.
Ran at the Pentameters Theatre, Hampstead, from 5 November – 17 November 1985, followed by a transfer to the Finborough Theatre.

THE FEAST
“An improvised fantasy”
Directed by Susan Kodicek and Vernon Gudgeon.
Designed by Delia Mount.
Presented by Robin Gardiner and Richard Lassalle for Sica Theatre.
Cast: Jon Armes. Jane Loukes. William Petrie. Lucianne Lasalle. Stephanie Syfreg. Ruth Truman. Peter Kodicek. Vernon Gudgeon. Christopher Neil. Ridwan Speller.
12 November – 16 November 1985, and 26 November – 30 November 1985.

THE PROMISE
by Aleksei Arbuzov, translated by Ariadne Nicolaeff.
Directed by Georgina Lock.
Directorial Assistance by Anton Horowitz (later known as Anton Blake).
Lighting and Sound Design by Eleanor Aitken.
Costume Design by Heather Fairbairn.
Music by Sonia Vick.
Presented by Rosebud Productions.
Cast: Mark Dewison. Anton Horowitz (later known as Anton Blake). Harriett St Johnston.
17 December – 22 December 1985, and 30 December 1985 – 4 January 1986.

1986

In 1986, a regular series of ‘Performance Evenings’ began, “devoted to innovation in music, dance, theatre, cabaret and performance art”.

THE JACKPOT
Written and Directed by Kevin Clarke.
Designed by Paul Bonomini.
Cast: Pat Connell. Brian Croucher. Shirley Greenwood. Gina Landor.
28 January – 8 February 1986.

LADIES IN WAITING
by Ellen Fox.
Directed by Simon Usher.
Designed by Lucy Weller.
Lighting by Ben Ormerod.
Presented by Bill Grantham for Canadian Mosaic.
Cast: Andrea Ainsworth. Barbara Barnes. Jeni Konko. Michael Richmond. Christopher Vaughan. Roxanna Ziolkowska.
11 February – 1 March 1986.

THE BALD PRIMA DONNA and OUR MAN
A double bill of The Bald Prima Donna by Eugene Ionesco and Our Man by Clucas.
Directed by Anita Harmon.
Presented by Empty Handed Theatre.
Cast: Helen Alexander. Sheila Bryans. Michael Huxley. Patrick Lambe. Noni Magdanz. John Vernon.
Opened 11 March 1986.

VASCO
by Georges Schehade.
Translated by Robert Baldick.
Directed by Wendy Leston.
Presented by Backdoor Theatre Company.
Designed by John Bell.
Lighting by Steve Elliot.
Music by Eric Watson.
Cast: Daniel Foley. Bill Homewood. Simon Turner. Roz Buck. Tim Diggle. Corinne Emerson. Gary Owston.
8 April – 19 April 1986.

THE WASPS
by Aristophanes.
Adapted by Mike Coleman.
Directed by Dennis Douglas.
Presented by Shoestring.
Cast: Felicity Brooks. Dennis Douglas. Robert Wynford Evans. Gavin Ferris. Meg Kincaid. Mike Morris.
22 April – 26 April 1986.

LOST RITES
Presented by Goff and Steel and Amorous Piranha.
29 April – 3 May 1986.

BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE
by Roger Stennett.
Directed by Jan Ryans.
Designed by Ana Jebens.
Choreography by Mick Wall.
Cast: Adrian Monahan. Mary Blatchford. Sarah Ball. Harry Hague.
Opened 6 May 1986.

CHICKEN
A jazz play, written and directed by Gregory Motton.
Music by Roland Perrin.
Cast includes: Carol Bayford. Eva Carroll. Raymond Carty. Tim Holloway. Neil Packham. Bernard Pellegrinetti. Richard Self.
The Band: Gerry Blanc (Trumpet). Laura Conelly (Alto Sax). Dave Floyd (Drums). Maria Kalnars (Keyboards). Grahame Smith (Keyboards). Philip Watson (Tenor Sax). Steve Youngs (Drums). Ian Robinson (Bass).
Previously performed at Portlands, Portland Place, and subsequently performed at Riverside Studios.
24 June – 5 July 1986.

BACK TO BACK
by Al Brown.
Presented by Greyhound Theatre Company.
12 August – 23 August 1986.

NIGHT BIRDS
by Gerald Killingworth.
Directed by William Howe.
Designed by Dave Baker.
Music by James McConnell.
Cast included: Jeremy Clay. Helen Keen. Peter Meathey. Nicola Slade.
16 September – 4 October 1986.
Tickets £3.50, £2.50 concessions. 50p membership.

THE EDGES OF VENGEANCE
by Elliott Stein.
Directed by Guy Callan.
Cast: James Hollidge. Adrian Bull. Maxine O’Reilly. Miranda Jokel.
14 October – 1 November 1986.

LAUNDRY AND BOURBON
by James McLure.
Directed by Pat Browning.
Presented by Original Eight.
Cast: Kristin Lowman. Deborah Manship. Sue Woodley.
4 November – 15 November 1986.

ON THE ROCKS / CLIMBING OUT
A double bill of On the Rocks by Nasser Memarzia and Climbing Out by Kay Mellor.
Presented by the Yorkshire Theatre Company.
18 November – 29 November 1986.

1987

The Finborough is awarded its first grant from Greater London Arts, and also received some help and financial support to Whitbread PLC, Sinclair Research Ltd., Nashua Copycat Ltd., The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, The Manpower Services Commission, Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, Jeremy Irons, Hayley Mills and Bob Monkhouse.
“The best experimental performance space in London.” John Connor, City Limits.
“Visionary theatrical experiences.” Time Out.

HAMLET
by William Shakespeare.
Directed by Mike Pearce.
Produced by Rachel Tackley.
Associate Producer – Mike Allaway.
Music by Stephen Hope-Wyne.
Fights by Terry McCormack.
Lighting by Graham Hales.
Presented by forTforA (sic).
Cast: Steven Wickham. Elizabeth Graham. Adrian Ball. Steophen Fortune. Terrence Orr. Stephen Hope-Wyne. Natasha McQueen. Michael Hucks. Malcolm Sympson.
27 January – 14 February 1987.

THE GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT
by Joe Orton.
Directed by Joel Fisher.
Designed by Paul Smith and Fiona Dunbar.
Presented by Elementary Theatre.
Cast: Vincent Worth. Angela Rooks. Gillian Vickers. Catherine McQueen. Mark Chiappi. Dennis Handby. Jane Horrocks.
3 March – 28 March 1987.

BENT
by Martin Sherman.
Directed by Peter R Taylor.
Presented by Twilight Productions.
Cast: Paul Fuller. Andrew Kent. Marc Lincoln.
2 April – 18 April 1987.

FATHER’S DAY
by Oliver Hailey.
Directed by Nigel P. Draycott.
Presented by Four Corners Theatre.
Designed by David Casey.
Lighting by Perryn Leech.
Cast included: Ron Chartier. Beverley Foster. Anna Gilbert. Leonard Grendel. Rojer Weightman. Yvonne Worth.
23 April – 9 May 1987.

LUNCH and QUARTER
A double bill of.
LUNCH
by Steven Berkoff.
Directed by Alison Hume.
Designed by Alison Hume, Tim Batten and Gerald Lidstone.
Lighting by Sally Woodward and Steve Greatorex.
Sound Design by Steven Byrne and Annie Broadley.
Costume Design by Catherine Cottenden.
Cast: Steven Dykes. Sally Griffin.
with
QUARTET
by Heiner Muller. Translated by Carl Weber.
Directed by Nesta Jones.
Presented by NXT (New Cross Theatre).
Designed by Gerald Lidstone.
Lighting by Steve Greatorex.
Sound Design by Annie Broadley.
Costume Design by Catherine Cottenden.
Cast: Steven Dykes. Hollie Garrett.
2 – 13 June 1987.

BOOTLICKING SNARLING WEASELS
Cast: Ray Hanna. Doug Nunn. Tracy Burns. Brian Lohmann.
Opened 30 July 1987.
Subsequently transferred to the Comedy Boom, Edinburgh.

THE INSECT PLAY
by The Brothers Capek.
Directed by Simon Goldie.
Presented by Bare Facts Theatre Company.
18 August – 5 September 1987.

DREAMING TO DEATH
Playing the week following 24 September 1987.

THE FACE
A mime show.
Devised by Desmond Jones.
Presented and Performed by The Mimanics.
Premiered before 8 October 1987.

THE HOUR
A physical theatre performance.
Presented by Ralf Ralf.
10 October 1987.
Part of a tour including Midland Group Arts Centre, Nottingham, and Latchmere Theatre, London.

COLLUSION
A triple bill of.
A FALLING DREAM by Phillipa O’Connor.
STRANGER IN PARADISE (Dancer: Wendy Houston).
MOVE THE RABBIT by Richard Layzell?
November 1987.

ADULT CHILD/DEAD CHILD
The world premiere of a new play.
Written and performed by Claire Dowie.
Winner of the 1988 Time Out Theatre Award.
Playing the week following 3 December 1987.
“A powerful, dramatic monologue…Brace yourself, but see it.” Georgina Brown.

1988

SEASCAPE – WITH SHARKS AND DANCER
The European premiere of the play by Don Nigro.
Directed and Designed by Gerard Murphy and Michael Vale.
Lighting by Mike Blackman.
Presented by TISA.
Cast: Holly de Jong. Christopher Milburn.
3 February – 27 February 1988.
“Gerard Murphy’s direction tempers sensitively to this small theatre-in-the-round…Both young players are obviously talented; the play is never less than sleekly tailored and professional.” Martin Hoyle, Financial Times.
“Don Nigro’s two-hander fits perfectly into the Finborough’s space which appears to great advantage on this occasion as theatre in the round.” Paul Chand, The Stage.
“Excitingly nerve-tingling theatre.” Paul Chand, The Stage.
“Holly de Jong plays this wild creature splendidly.” Paul Chand, The Stage.

THE DOOR
Directed by Chris Rowbury.
Presented by Dust Weblings.
1 March – 26 March 1988.

SHARON LANDAU
Playing the week following 14 April 1988.

RATTLE
Playing the weeks following 5 May 1988 and 19 May 1988.

LONG DONE DAZY
Written and Performed by Richard Layzell.
Lighting by Colin Watkeys.
21 June – 9 July 1988.

DONE IN THREE WAYS IT’S DELICIOUS
Written and Performed by Bronwen Geddes.
Lighting and Sound by Irene Lifke.
5 August – 6 August 1988.

THE TRIUMPH OF TEARS
Devised by Caroline Gardiner, Mary Chater and Margaret Metcalf.
Directed by Caroline Gardiner.
Presented by Astra Theatre Company.
Cast: Mary Chater. Margaret Metcalf.
4 October – 29 October 1988.
Subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio.

STONE
by Edward Bond.
Directed by Fabian Worsfield.
Music by Ian Gardiner.
Presented by Dolmen.
1 December(?) – 16 December 1988.

1989

The theatre and bars were redecorated and reopened with:

CAGE
Written and Directed by Lyall Watson.
Performed by Mike McCormack.
12 April – 7 May 1989 (Playing Wednesday to Sundays).
Prices £3.50, £2.50 concessions.

DAYS OF CAFAVY
by Gerald Killingsworth.
Directed by Alison Skilbeck.
Designed by Rachel Lawson.
Lighting by Richard Rafter.
Cast: Tim Hardy. Mark Frankel. Rodney Matthew. Marina McConnell. William Relton. Ashley Russell. Ben Wheatley. James Woolley.
18 May – 11 June 1989.
Transferred to the King’s Head Theatre from 21 June – 8 July 1989.

HAMLET
by William Shakespeare.
Directed by Ian Embleton.
Presented by Footsquare Theatre Company.
Cast: Nick Carpenter. Neil Birih. Tim Calver. Miranda French. Natasha Langridge. Kevin Marlowe. Bernadette Moyley. Jerome Ripp. Clive Room.
29 June – 6 July 1989.

In the summer

BRITISH THEATRE ASSOCIATION DIRECTING COURSE
Summer 1988.

NIGHTBIRDS
by Gerald Killingsworth.
???

CRYING CELIBATE TEARS
by John Roman Baker.
Directed by Geoffrey Colman.
Lighting by Andy Hyde.
Music by Alyson Taylor.
Presented by AIDS Positive Underground Theatre Company.
Cast: Andrew St John. Nigel Greenhalgh. Tom Sharpstone. Graham White.
Playing on 31 August – 17 September 1989.

THE GROTESQUE
A reading by Patrick McGrath from his novel.
6 October – 7 October 1989.

PHILIP K. DICK
Directed and Adapted by John Dowie, from the work of Philip K. Dick.
Presented by The Red Blue and Yellow Magic Hammer Consortium and the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool.
Cast: John Joyce.
Opened 25 October 1989.
“A sympathetic, touching performance and Joyce’s engaging performance fleshes it out skilfully.” Sarah Hemming, The Independent.
“A compelling piece of work.” John Connor, The Guardian.

COVENANT – Tales of Betrayal, Tales of Trust
by John Gibbens.
Directed by Paul Milican.
Movement Direction by Rosemary Lee.
Designed by Emma Withers.
Presented by Third Eye.
Cast: John Gibbens. Francesca Howell.
November 21 – December 10 1989.

HOME FREE and WRITTEN IN SICKNESS
A double bill of Home Free by Lanford Wilson and Written in Sickness by Damon Runyon, adapted by Giles Croft.
Directed by Kathy Burke and Tony Allen.
Presented by The Bunch and Handbag Productions.
Cast: Jay Benedict. James Clyde. David Gilliam. Deirdre Strath.
13 December – 23 December 1989.

THE FURTIVE NUDIST
Written and Performed by Ken Campbell
???

1990

THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
Based on the novel by Oscar Wilde.
Cast: Susan Franklyn. Judith Scott.
11 – 21 January 1990.

TRISTRAM SHANDY
Adapted from Lawrence Sterne’s nine-volume work, ‘The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy’.
Directed by Brian Croucher.
Adapted and Performed by Stephen Oxley.
Lighting by Philip Rutter.
23 January – 10 February 1990.
“An evening of varied company, affectionately observed.” Martin Hoyle, The Times.

BE-BOP THE RULER
by Paul Herzberg.
Directed by Michael John Pallotti and Sam Williams.
Designed by Sheridan Stymest.
Lighting by Jane Harns.
Presented by Tim Fulstow for Quazar Productions Ltd.
Cast: Toby Aspin. John Cassady. Rhian Grice. Paul Herzberg. Michael Irwin. Barry Jacobs. Vicky Jeffrey. Peter Leeper. Richard Palmer-Romero. Sam Williams. Kerryanne White.
15 February – 11 March 1990.

MISS MAGGIE
by Roberto Atheyde.
Directed by Erico Carneiro.
Presented by Plexus.
Cast included: Sally Templer.
March 1990.

ANSWERS
by Thomas Marty.
Directed by Ian McLaren.
Designed by Ian McLaren.
Lighting by Kevin Wood.
Presented by Fat Rat Theatre Company.
Cast: Stephen Amadio. Kenneth Clayton. Graham Machell. Thomas Marty.
10 – 29 April 1990.
A transfer.

DEATHWATCH
by Jean Genet, translated by B. Frechtman.
Directed and Designed by Graeme Messer.
Presented by The Attraction.
Cast: Mark Debernig. Jamie Sewell. Nick Sutton.
April 1990.

PVT WARS
by James McLure.
Directed by Justin Gregson.
Presented by Gary Burley for Design Art Company.
15 May – 3 June 1990.

WHEN SHE WAS BAD
Devised and Presented by Transfer Theatre.
Designed by Kendra Ullyart.
6 June – 24 June 1990.

LUNCHTIME CONCERT
by Olwen Wymark.
Directed by Mark Thomason.
Designed by Vikie le Sache.
Presented by Definite Productions.
July 1990.

MEASURE FOR MEASURE
by William Shakespeare.
Directed by Richard Syms.
Presented by Regeneration Theatre Company.
Cast: Rob Swinton. Sarah-Jayne Wareham. Hugo Ellis. Robin Brunskill. David Watley. Daniel Hunt. Colin Heber-Percy. Vivienne Glance. Brett O’Brien.
7 August – 20 August 1990.

BROKEN PROMISE
by Tim Knapman.
Directed by Christopher Hynes.
Designed by Andrew Hall.
Lighting by Sam Moon.
Presented by Tormentor Theatre Company.
Cast: Frank Stirling. Kathryn Grey. Frank Kovacs. Greer Gaffney.
5 September – 29 September 1990.

LEATHER
by Eric Presland.
Lighting by Richard Desmond.
Presented by Homo Promos.
Cast: Keith Bursnall. Joshua Matthews. Eric Presland.
2 – 27 October 1990.
“During the course of the run, the brewery which owns the Finborough Arms tried to ban the play, but we had the support of the Theatre organisers there, and completed the four-week run.” Homo Promos website.

HEAD IN THE MACHINE
by Ted Dawson.
Directed by Jonquil Panting.
Designed by Sarah Nelson.
Lighting by John Rudin.
Sound by Edwin Dootson.
Presented by Mechanics Theatre.
Cast: James Low. Colin Sampson. Gordon Truefitt. Lee Warner.
30 October – 25 November 1990.

TORCHED
The world premiere of a new play by Elaine Acworth.
Directed by Riel Karmy Jones.
Cast: Melina Day. Angela Ekaette. Mark McKenna. Philippa Williams.
29 November – 16 December 1990.

MORNINGS AFTER
A new play by Lucinda Coxon.
Presented by Placebo Productions.
Cast: Kath Burlinson and Alison Steward a.k.a. ‘The Wild Girls’. Paul Anthony.
3 – 14 December 1990?
Performances were preceded by rehearsed readings from SMOKE AND OTHER STORIES by Djuna Barnes.

COVER GIRLS
Presented by The Millies.
Cast: Caroline Leddy. Donna McPhail. Jo Unwin.
December 11 – 22 1990?
“Zestfully played and sleekly choreographed – this tight cabaret bubbled with charm.” The Guardian.
“A pleasingly different style of revue – it stands up well in strength and satirical comment.” The Stage.

ROMEO AND JULIET – THE PANTOMIME
Directed by Graham Callan.
Designed by Fran Cooper.
Music by Harvey Eagles.
Lighting by Adam Rustin.
Presented by The New Heritage Theatre Company.
Cast: Sally Dunbar. Karla Goodman. Mary Harvey. Colin Heber-Percy. Samantha Spiro. Mark Leadbetter. Timothy Andrews.
19 December 1990 – 13 January 1991.
“A thoroughly ludicrous romp that takes gleeful sideswipes not only at West Side Story but Take The High Road and (almost inevitably) Twin Peaks. The astonishing thing is that somehow it all works.” Ian Shuttleworth, City Limits.
“If you want to go to an adult Chrimbo show, make it this one – it’ll smack you in the chops for your pomposity, and you’ll thank it.” Ian Shuttleworth, City Limits.

Romeo and Juliet, The Pantomime