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Summer Day's Dream - Finborough Theatre

Summer Day's Dream

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE first London production in over 60 years of J. B. Priestley’s Summer Day’s Dream will be performed at Finborough Theatre on Sunday and Monday evening and Tuesday afternoons from September 8 to September 24, 2013.

I spent more than half my life, when I ought to have been enjoying myself, arguing and planning and running around like a maniac, all to sell a lot of things to people I didn’t know, so that I could buy a lot of things that I didn’t have time to use. Sheer lunacy. And it took nothing less than an atom bomb to blow me out of it.

First performed in 1949, Summer Day’s Dream is set in the post apocalyptic future – 1975.

Following a devastating nuclear war which has seen Britain bombed back into the pre-industrial past, Stephen Dawlish and his family live a quiet rural life. Until, that is, their quiet, agrarian existence is disrupted by the appearance of three representatives of the New World Order – an American, a Russian and an Indian – who have devastating plans that will end their new peaceful way of life forever…

Summer Day’s Dream is another Finborough Theatre rediscovery from J.B. Priestley, following the huge critical acclaim for the sell-out production and New York transfer of Cornelius and the recent sell-out production of Laburnum Grove.

Alex Marker directs a cast led by Tony Award nominee Kevin Colson as Stephen Dawlish. He will be joined by Lisa Armytage, Tom Grace, Helen Keeley, Keith Parry, Patrick Poletti and Eleanor Yates.

Playwright J.B. Priestley was born in 1894 in Bradford, Yorkshire. His plays dominated the London stage from the 1930s to the 1950s with such classics as Dangerous Corner, Eden End, Laburnum Grove, Cornelius, I Have Been Here Before, Time and the Conways, When We Are Married, Johnson Over Jordan, They Came to a City, An Inspector Calls, The Linden Tree and The Glass Cage.

His many novels include The Good Companions, Angel Pavement, Bright Day and Lost Empires. During the Second World War, he also gained a new reputation as a broadcaster and social commentator. He died in 1984.

Summer Day’s Dream will be designed by Philip Lindley, with costume design by Josie Thomas and lighting by Simeon Miller.

This production marks Summer’s Day Dream‘s first London outing since the original. It was also filmed for BBC TV in 1994 starring John Gielgud as Stephen Dawlish.

Tickets: £16, £14 concessions – available from the box office on 0844 847 1652 or online at

Dates: Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, September 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 2013.

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

Summer Day’s Dream and Fishskin Trousers are part of Finborough’s Autumn 2013 season, which also includes Anders Lustgarten’s Black Jesus (October 1 to October 26); the fifth annual festival of new writing, Vibrant 2013 – A Festival Of Finborough Playwrights (October 6 to October 25), featuring 18 plays by Finborough playwrights; a special one night fundraising event, An Evening Dame Diana Rigg (Sunday, October 20); the winning play of the fifth Papatango New Writing Prize in partnership with the Finborough Theatre, Unscorched by first time playwright Luke Owen (October 29 to November 23); and the first London production in over 40 years of Michael Hastings’ Lee Harvey Oswald, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy (November 3 to November 19).

A fully staged workshop production of Colleen Murphy’s Armstrong’s War continues on Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday afternoons until August 27, 2013.