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New season announced as the 40th year of the Finborough Theatre approaches


Season preview

THE multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre celebrates its 40th anniversary year in 2020 and to mark the occasion, it will shortly be unveiling a whole new look for its publicity, including a new logo, and a brand new website.

The upcoming winter season features a European premiere from the United States, a world premiere by the theatre’s own Playwright in Residence Athena Stevens, and another classic Finborough rediscovery – unseen in London since 1945 – from Welsh playwright Emlyn Williams.

Alongside the season, the Finborough Forum discussion group is being relaunched, while two major playwriting competitions will return to the Finborough Theatre in 2020.

The Finborough Theatre also thanks Bill Kenwright for his very generous donation, which made this year’s work possible.

The season opens with the European premiere of Chemistry, the acclaimed multi award-winning American play by Jacob Marx Rice, which runs from October 29 to November 23, 2019.

Steph struggles with chronic depression. Jamie just over-achieved himself off the deep end. When they meet in their psychiatrist’s office, sparks fly and they stumble unexpectedly into a beautiful relationship. But how do you trust someone else when you are already in a battle with your own brain?

An intimate, frank and uncompromising examination of the chemicals we take and how they impact our ability to love.

This Christmas, comes the first London production in nearly 75 years of Welsh playwright Emlyn Williams’ The Wind of Heaven, which plays from November 26 to December 21, 2019.

In the immediate aftermath of the Crimean War, the mountain village of Blestin in rural Wales has no children and worships no god since a disaster snatched away all its youth. Until a miracle allows one small community to rediscover its lost faith, with startling consequences for the village, and the world beyond…

The first production of the Finborough Theatre’s 40th anniversary year is the world premiere of Finborough Theatre Playwright in Residence and Olivier Award nominee Athena Stevens’s new play Scrounger, which runs from January 7 to February 1, 2020.

Scrounger is a successful online personality. Educated, ballsy, and with a huge network of online allies, Scrounger is a woman who knows how to make change happen. That is, until an airline destroys her wheelchair. Inspired by real events, Scrounger drives towards the realities of how Britain is failing its most vulnerable and the extreme cost paid by those seeking justice.

After two very successful years, the Finborough is also relaunching its invitation-only group for playwrights, directors, designers and other creatives connected with the Finborough Theatre, the Finborough Forum, with the generous support of The George Goetchius and Donald Howarth Society of Friend’s Awards.

Two major playwriting competitions also return to the Finborough Theatre in 2020: The RADIUS Playwriting Competition opens for entries on February 3 and closes on March 30, 2020, with a prize of £500 and a staged reading at the Finborough Theatre in June 2020.

The ETPEP Award 2020 is a playwriting prize for new UK playwrights who work in the theatre industry, run by the Finborough Theatre in association with the Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust (ETPEP). Entries are now open, and close on March 31, 2020. The prize is £8000, a staged reading at the Finborough Theatre in September 2020 and ongoing dramaturgy and support from the Finborough Theatre.

Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson said:

“Our winter season – which includes the very first production of our 40th anniversary year – features a European premiere from a stunning new American playwright, a world premiere by our own Playwright in Residence Athena Stevens, and another classic Finborough rediscovery from Welsh playwright Emlyn Williams, unseen in London for 75 years.

“In celebration of our 40th anniversary year in 2020, we will also be unveiling a whole new look with a new logo, new designs for all our print, and a brand new website; relaunching our Finborough Forum discussion group, and offering the opportunity to enter two major playwriting competitions.

“We would like to thank Bill Kenwright for his very generous donation to the Finborough Theatre. His support has made this year’s work possible.

“Do please consider celebrating our 40th birthday with us by becoming a Friend of the Finborough Theatre. We are a registered charity, receiving no public funding of any kind, and your membership plays a vital role in supporting one of London’s most acclaimed Off West End theatres. There are four categories of Friends, each named after a theatrical figure resident in nearby Brompton Cemetery, and each offering you a wide range of benefits in return for your support.

“I look forward to welcoming you.”

Also at the Finborough Theatre: the European premiere of Emma Kinane’s multi-award-winning new play Anahera (until September 28) and The Niceties, a two-hander play by American playwright Eleanor Burgess (October 1 to October 26, 2019).

For more information or to book tickets, visit