Among the homegrown talent featured will be Simon Vinnicombe whose play Year 10 was a Time Out Critics' Choice, transferring to Battersea Arts Centre and Festival Premières in France. His new piece, Wisdom (7 Oct), explores the lives of a group of fifty-somethings who must accept their lot in life or find the courage to reach out before it is too late.
From abroad comes Green (10 Oct), a darkly comic look at the mind of an American solider in Iraq by New Yorker Bekah Brunstetter; Quebec-born Colleen Murphy's The December Man / L’homme de decembre (13 Oct) about the aftermath of a Canadian school-massacre; and Awhi Tapu (14 Oct), the UK debut of one of New Zealand’s most exciting Maori playwrights, Albert Belz.
Vibrant is curated by artistic director Neil McPherson and the Finborough Theatre Literary Department, which was established in 2005 to seek out exciting new voices for the theatre to produce. Regarded as one of London’s finest new writing venues, the Finborough is the only UK theatre without public funding to be awarded the Pearson Playwriting Award bursary - five times no less - as well as twice winning Pearson’s Catherine Johnson Award for Best Play written by a bursary holder.
Other plays to feature in the festival will include Mirror Teeth by Nick Gill (8 Oct), Driven by Colleen Muldoon-Taylor (15 Oct) and Face Up/Face Down by Michael Lesslie (16 Oct). Notably, the programme includes first plays of several new writers in their 30s, 40s and 50s, a demographic often overlooked by new writing organisations. These include Three Sacks Full of Hats (9 Oct), a hard-hitting piece about family shame and secrets written by former bouncer Geoff Thompson.
Vibrant! will open on 6 October with Death and the Kit-Kat (A Torture Comedy) by Anders Lustgarten, currently Pearson playwright-in-residence, and close on 17 October with an offering from fellow resident James Graham, entitled simply A New Play. In 2003, a then unknown Graham sent an unsolicited script to the Finborough, since when the theatre has premiered five of his plays, including the Pearson Award-winning Albert’s Boy and Eden’s Empire. Proof, if it were needed, that the Finborough model bears fruit.
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