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Casting announced for classic refugee drama The Melting Pot at the Finborough Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

CASTING has been announced for Israel Zangwill’s classic refugee drama The Melting Pot, which runs at the Finborough Theatre on Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees from December 3 to December 19, 2017.

The line up includes Steffan Cennydd (as David Quixano), Alexander Gatehouse (Quincy Davenport), Peter Marinker (Mendel Quixano and Baron Revendal), Katrina McKeever (Kathleen O’Reilly), Hayward B Morse (Herr Pappelmeister), Ann Queensberry (Frau Quixano) and Whoopie van Raam (Vera Revendall).

Previously Posted: In a rediscovery commissioned by the Finborough Theatre, The Melting Pot by Israel Zangwill runs at the Finborough Theatre, playing Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees from December 3 to December 19, 2017.

God’s Crucible, the great Melting Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and reforming!

The Melting Pot is the classic story of a young Russian immigrant fighting to uphold his dream of a new life in a new country.

After his family are massacred in a pogrom, Jewish composer David Quixano escapes to New York City in search of a new life. There he falls in love with Vera, a beautiful Russian Christian.

Inspired by the multitude of ethnicities in his new home, David’s exuberance bursts forth in his composition – an “American Symphony”. But, as characters from his past begin to reappear, David is confronted with the terrifying realisation that his “melting pot” burns the good with the bad.

Can vicious divisions of race, religion and class ever really be left behind? Or is the idea of a cauldron of nations, free of ethnic divisions and hatred, an impossible dream?

Originally performed in Washington DC in 1908, The Melting Pot received its UK premiere at the Royal Court Theatre in 1914 and transferred to two West End theatres. Unseen in the UK since 1938, the play popularised the phrase “melting pot”, and remains a determined celebration of multiculturalism.

British novelist, essayist and playwright Israel Zangwill (1864-1926) was born in London into a family of Jewish immigrants from the Russian Empire. He spent his life championing cultural Zionism, territorialism, pacifism and women’s suffrage.

In 1892, Zangwill’s first novel, Children of the Ghetto was published, earning him the nickname ‘the Dickens of the Ghetto’. He followed this with four similarly themed novels over the turn of the century: Grandchildren of the Ghetto, Dreamers of the Ghetto, Ghetto Tragedies and Ghetto Comedies. He is also known for pioneering the ‘locked room’ mystery subgenre through his novel The Big Bow Mystery.

In 1899, Zangwill’s own dramatization of Children of the Ghetto appeared on Broadway. His other plays include The Serio-Comic Governess, Nurse Marjorie and Merely Mary Ann.

Presented by Bitter Pill Theatre in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre, The Melting Pot is directed by Max Elton, whose directing credits include The End of Hope (Orange Tree Theatre/Soho Theatre), Big Brother Blitzkrieg (King’s Head Theatre), Leftovers (Tristan Bates Theatre) and Trevor’s House (Tabard Theatre).

To book tickets, call the box office on 0844 847 1652 or visit

Also at the Finborough Theatre: American playwright Keith Bunin’s The Busy World is Hushed (until November 25); Roger Gellert’s Quaint Honour (until November 21); and Jerome K. Jerome’s The Passing of the Third Floor Back (November 28 to December 22, 2017).