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The Hospital At The Time Of The Revolution - Finborough Theatre

The Hospital At The Time Of The Revolution

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

UrgentTheatre in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre is presenting the world premiere of Caryl Churchill’s The Hospital At The Time Of The Revolution.

Directed by James Russell, the production runs on Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday afternoons from Sunday, March 31 to Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

The Hospital At The Time Of The Revolution is inspired by the life and work of Frantz Fanon (1925-1961), the Martinique-born psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary and writer whose best known works include Black Skin, White Masks and his masterpiece The Wretched of the Earth.

Algeria in 1956 is a country desperately fighting for independence from French colonial rule. Frantz Fanon is head of the psychiatric department of the Blida-Joinville hospital in Algiers, treating both oppressed and oppressor. But who are the real victims?

A civil servant presents his psychologically disturbed daughter to the hospital for assessment and insists on her admittance. An inspector demands treatment for his helpless violence against his own wife and child. Three in-patient revolutionaries are delusional and paranoid. These products of a broken society are beginning to show symptoms, how should they be treated?

The Hospital At The Time Of The Revolution is described as a forensic insight into the adjustment of morality for the sake of conscience.

Playwright Caryl Churchill has written for the stage, television and radio. Her plays include Owners (1971), Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (1976), Traps (1977), Cloud Nine (1979), Top Girls (1982), Fen (1983) which was presented in its first London revival at the Finborough Theatre in 2011, Softcops (1984), A Mouthful of Birds (1986), Serious Money (1987), Ice Cream (1989), Mad Forest (1990), Lives of the Great Poisoners (1991), The Skriker (1994), Blue Heart (1997), Far Away (2000), A Number (2002), Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? (2006), a translation of Olivier Choiniere’s Bliss (2008), Seven Jewish Children (2009) and Love and Information (2012).

Director James Russell founded UrgentTheatre in 2011 with the aim of producing short plays by established writers in world theatre. As Artistic Director, he has directed Five Short Plays by Al Smith (Theatre 503, Arcola Theatre, and Southwark Playhouse) and Five Short Plays by Bekah Brunstetter (Theatre 503 and Southwark Playhouse).

As an actor, his theatre credits include The Country Wife (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Perchance to Dream, Quality Street and Miss Lily Gets Boned, for which he was nominated for Best Actor at the OffWestEnd Awards (Finborough Theatre), All Mouth (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Snow Queen (Sherman Cymru), Happy Savages (Underbelly, Edinburgh), Myrmidons (Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin), Fanshen (Theatre Delicatessen), Bitesize (Theatre 503), Bloody Poetry (White Bear Theatre), Days of Hope (King’s Head Theatre) and The Importance of Being Earnest (Antic Disposition).

On television, he has appeared in Lewis.

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.

Running Time: Approximately one hour (no interval).