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Finborough to stage musical by Half a Sixpence composer

The new season for the London fringe theatre has been announced

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Finborough Theatre
© Magnus D / Flickr

West London's Finborough Theatre is to stage a production of a musical from the composer of Half a Sixpence. David Heneker and Warner Brown's The Biograph Girl will see its first professional UK production since its 1980 premiere.

The musical tells the story of real-life Hollywood stars Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish and directors DW Griffith and Mack Sennett during the silent movie era. The piece originally opened at the Phoenix Theatre in the West End and will run from 22 May to 9 June as part of the Finborough's 150 season, which marks 150 years of the Finborough building.

Elsewhere the theatre, known for restaging forgotten classics, will run Sarah Daniels' feminist play Masterpieces which follows Rowena's journey through a world of sexual exploitation, abuse and female subjugation. The piece was listed by the National Theatre as one of their 100 most significant plays of the 20th century. It runs at the Finborough between 24 April and 19 May and plays alongside Gracie, by Joan MacLeod. Gracie is the European premiere of a one-woman play about growing up in a religious cult which won Canada's prestigious Governor General's Award.

Opening the 150 season is the European premiere of Bruce Graham's White Guy on the Bus, which looks at the racial issues of Trump's America and opens in March. The UK premiere of Rolf Hochhuth's Death of a Hunter will run on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays over 1 to 17 April, with a performance in German on 10 April.

In May the London premiere of Break of Noon (Partage de Midi) by Paul Claudel will run alongside The Biograph Girl.

Neil McPherson, artistic director of the Finborough said: "Our new season features another eclectic season of work with writers from the UK, United States, Canada, France and Germany including hard-hitting new writing, musical theatre, and unique rediscoveries including another play celebrating our 150th birthday. "

"Our work was also recognised in the recently announced shortlist of The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the prestigious award given annually to women who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre. Of ten finalists, three made their UK debut at the Finborough Theatre (Colleen Murphy, Fiona Doyle and Anusree Roy)."

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