From 13 July to 7 August 2010, Lingua Franca, the first new play from Peter Nichols in ten years, receives its world premiere. Nichols, now aged 82, is the author of modern classics including A Day in The Death of Joe Egg, Passion Play, Forget Me Not Lane, The National Health and Privates on Parade.
Lingua Franca follows innocent abroad, Steven Flowers, as he travels from National Service in South-East Asia to 1950’s Florence. He soon finds himself working for a chaotically-run language school, together with a cosmopolitan muddle of seven foreign misfits killing their post-war nihilism in the cafés of Florence, the cradle of Renaissance high culture.
Based around a leading character in Nichols’ acclaimed Privates on Parade, and inspired by his own experiences, the play is billed as a “fast-paced, sexually-charged story, and both a damning indictment and a celebration of sexual freedom”.
It will play concurrently with the first London revival in fifty years of JM Barrie's 1908 comedy What Every Woman Knows, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Peter Pan author's birth.
The Nichols/Barrie productions are preceded, from 22 June until 11 July 2010, by the world premiere of Miss Lilly Gets Boned or The Loss of All Elephant Elders, a “wild exploration of love, courage, family, sex and religion” from the Finborough's playwright-in-residence Bekah Brunstetter.
The season culminates in August with two works from contemporary North American dramatists. The London premiere of The Drawer Boy by Canada’s Michael Healey plays from 10 August to 4 September 2010, and running concurrently on Sundays and Mondays (15-30 August) is the European premiere of the Pulitzer Prize nominated drama, In the Blood by Suzan-Lori Parks (TopDog/UnderDog), the first African-American woman ever to win a Pulitzer Prize.
The Finborough is currently staging its Vibrant 2010 Festival, premiering 30 works by writers the venue has nutured over the years including Naomi Wallace, Brian Logan, Nicholas de Jongh, Mark Ravenhill, Mike Bartlett and Laura Wade.