Lee Harvey Oswald - Finborough Theatre
Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle
COMMEMORATING the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Michael Hastings’ Lee Harvey Oswald – A Far Mean Streak of Independence Brought on by Negleck opens at the Finborough Theatre for a limited season on Sunday, November 3, 2013.
The production, the first in London in over 40 years, will then be performed on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, November 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19, with a special additional performance on Friday, November 22 at 12.30pm, the exact time of the assassination.
If Lee Harvey Oswald did it, he could not have done it alone. If he did not, he must be the hit of the century. If he was involved and somehow double-crossed, alive today must be persons with the guilt of awful silence.
Dallas, Texas. 12.30pm. Friday, November 22, 1963. President John F. Kennedy is assassinated. Approximately 70 minutes later, assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested. 48 hours later, Lee Harvey Oswald himself was murdered.
Told through the eyes of Oswald’s wife and mother, coupled with extracts from the Warren Commission’s report, we follow the unsettled drifting life of Lee Harvey Oswald – his loveless marriage to his Russian wife, his challenging relationship with his mother and his pathological hatred of Kennedy’s life and achievements.
Oswald had the means, motive and opportunity, but did he even do it? Could a man who never did anything on his own murder a President? Based on Oswald’s own diary notes and interviews (the subtitle comes from Oswald’s diary in his own spelling), Lee Harvey Oswald has been performed from Tokyo to Mexico City to Prague, but never in the United States.
Originally commissioned and performed at Hampstead Theatre in 1966 as The Silence of Lee Harvey Oswald, part of their Living Theatre series of documentary drama, this will also be the first UK production since its original premiere.
Alex Thorpe, who was recently Assistant Director on Shakespeare’s Globe’s production of Henry VI, Parts 1, 2 and 3, directs a cast that includes Adam Gillen (as Lee), Gemma Lawrence (Marina), Patrick Poletti (Commission) and Hilary Tones (Marguerite).
Playwright Michael Hastings (1938 – 2011) was the winner of two Emmy Awards, two BAFTAs and the Somerset Maugham Award. He was also nominated for an Oscar. His first play – Don’t Destroy Me – was produced when he was just 18 years old at the New Lindsey Theatre Club, Notting Hill, and he went on to become part of the first wave of new playwrights at George Devine’s Royal Court Theatre.
In 1979, he won the Evening Standard Award for Gloo Joo, but remains best known for Tom and Viv, his 1984 play about the poet T.S. Eliot and his wife Vivienne Haigh-Wood. Recently revived at the Almeida, it was first seen at the Royal Court Theatre, before being adapted into a film in 1994.
He also wrote extensively for television and film including The American, starring Diana Rigg, and The Nightcomers, starring Marlon Brando. He also wrote novels, biographies, and collaborated with the composer Michael Nyman on the libretti for the operas Man and Boy and Love Counts.
Presented by Rosie Clark in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre, Lee Harvey Oswald will be designed by Katie Lias, with ighting by Tom Cooper, music by Angus MacRae, fight direction by Richard Hay, music supervision by Alex Baranowski and voice consultation by Richard Ryder.
Tickets: £14, £10 concessions – available from the box office on 0844 847 1652 or online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk/.
Times: Sunday and Monday evenings at 7.30pm; Tuesday matinees at 2pm; Friday matinee on November 22 at 12.30pm.
Performance Length: Approximately two hours (including one interval).
Also at the Finborough Theatre: Black Jesus, a new play on Zimbabwe by Finborough Theatre Playwright-in-Residence Anders Lustgarten, and Vibrant 2013 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, the venue’s annual ‘explosion’ of new writing.