The season will feature new writing by playwrights from South Africa, Canada and the United States, all making their U.K. stage debuts; as well as rare revivals of plays by John Antrobus and Tennessee William, and a residency by Live Canon – an ensemble performing British poetry – including a celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns.
The season begins Jan. 7, 2009, with the first full professional revival of John Antrobus' bitter, anarchic comedy Captain Oates' Left Sock. Presented by Green for Go and directed by Russell Bolam, the production will open Jan. 9 and run through Jan. 31.
Left Sock will be followed by Untitled, the U.K. premiere of a new play by Lena Farugia about the love story between King Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson. Nichola McAuliffe (seen at the Finborough earlier this year as Dame Sybil Thorndike in Nicholas de Jongh's Plague Over England) and Patrick Ryecart will star in Peter Cregeen's production. It begins performances Feb. 3, prior to an official opening Feb. 5, for a run to March 14.
Veteran actor and writer Michael Craig (who was Oscar-nominated in 1961 for the screenplay he jointly wrote for the film "The Angry Silence") will return to the London stage in Joanna McClelland Glass' Trying, described in publicity materials as "a surprising yet touching play about profound friendship between two strangers, at dramatically different points in their lives." Presented by Allan McKeown (producer husband of Tracey Ullman, who previously co-produced the London run of Jerry Springer – the Opera) and Sarah Gregson, it is directed by Derek Bond. Trying begins performances March 17, prior to an official opening March 19, for a run to April 11.
In the Sunday and Monday productions slot, there will be performances of Live Canon: Committed — an evening of poetry featuring the work of John Clare, Robert Frost, Siegfried Sassoon, Charlotte Mew, Ezra Pound and others – that Helen Eastman will direct on Jan. 11-12 and 18-19; The Immortal Memory – the 200th Burns Night that the Live Canon ensemble will present on Jan. 25; Blue Heaven, a bill of three rarely performed short Tennessee Williams plays about hope and despair, Moony's Kid Don't Cry, This Property Is Condemned and Auto-Da-Fe, that Abigail Graham will direct on Feb. 8-9, 15-16 and 22-23; and the European premiere and London debut of American playwright Bekar Brunstetter's Oohrah!, that Georgina Guy will direct on March 22-23, 29-30 and April 5-6. Presented by Grey Light Productions and supported by Old Vic New Voices, it is set in Fayetteville, North Carolina, one of the South's largest military bases, where practically everybody's somebody is at war. To book tickets contact the box office at 0844 847 1652 or visit www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk.