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Early Days - Finborough Theatre

Early Days

Theatre preview

TO CELEBRATE the 80th birthday of playwright and novelist David Storey, the first London production in over 30 years – and the first production in London since the original National Theatre production – of Early Days will be performed at the Finborough Theatre from June 16 to July 2, 2013 (Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees only).

It’s like living on an alien planet. I speak the language but no one listens. I make the signs but nobody sees.

Originally written for Sir Ralph Richardson, Early Days is an intrinsically poignant lament on loneliness and abandonment. Desolate yet full of gentle humour, the play is an astute study on the realizations of old age by David Storey, one of England’s greatest contemporary writers.

Kitchen, a retired politician, is placed in the care of his daughter and son-in-law for his own safety. Paranoia and fear set in as his isolation forces him to reflect on his life, the passing of time, loss and remembered love. All the while his family and the people around him lose patience and faith in his ability to speak truth.

Tim Newns directs a cast that includes Abigail Bond (as Mathilda), Andrew Glen (Doctor), Max Gold (Bristol), Toby Manley (Steven), Andrew McDonald (Benson), Simon Molloy (Kitchen) and Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominee Hannah Taylor Gordon (Gloria).

Tim Newns is a former Resident Assistant Director at the Finborough Theatre. His directing credits include The Northerners (Finborough Theatre), As You Like It (International tour for Off The Ground), Angeldust (Etcetera Theatre) and The Importance of Being Earnest (Morlan Centre, Abersytwyth). As Assistant Director, his work includes And I And Silence, Country Magic, I Was A Beautiful Day and The Druid’s Rest (Finborough Theatre), MUCH (Cock Tavern Theatre) and Julius Caesar (Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Youth Theatre).

David Storey was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, in 1933. A former professional rugby league player, he studied at the Slade School of Fine Art.

His plays include The Restoration of Arnold Middleton (1967), which won the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright; The Contractor (1969), Home (1970) and The Changing Room (1972), all of which won the New York Critics Best Play of the Year Award; In Celebration (1969), which was adapted as a film in 1974 starring Alan Bates; Life Class (1975); and The Farm (1973). All of these plays were first performed at the Royal Court Theatre.

Early Days (1980), The March on Russia (1989) and Stages (1992) all premiered at the National Theatre.

Storey also wrote the screenplay for the classic film This Sporting Life, directed by Lindsay Anderson, adapted from Storey’s first novel of the same name. His other novels include Flight into Camden which won the 1963 Somerset Maugham Award and the 1961 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize; Pasmore which won the 1973 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and Saville which won the 1976 Booker Prize.

Produced by Steph Lodge and presented by Five Wits in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre, Early Days has lighting by William Ingham, sound by Chris Barlow and costume design by Clare Amos.

Tickets: £14, £10 concessions – available from the box office on 0844 847 1652 or online at

Times: Sunday and Monday evenings at 7.30pm, Tuesday matinees at 2pm.

Also on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays (May 26, 27 and 28 and June 2, 3 and 4): David Hutchison’s new play The Blood Is Strong.