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Finborough Lets Blood Run Full, Stages R&H 'Flop'

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Pulitzer Prize-winning African American playwright Suzan-Lori Park’s 1999 play In the Blood will receive its European premiere next week at the 50-seat Finborough Theatre in Earl’s Court, west London.

Originally the production was due to have a limited stint playing Sundays and Mondays only, in repertory with a full-scale run of Michael Healey’s play The Drawer Boy on other nights of the week. But with the cancellation of The Drawer Boy, due to the “sudden indisposition” of actor Kenneth Bryans, In the Blood will now run the full six nights a week, Tuesdays to Sundays, from 19 August to 4 September 2010 (previews from 17 August).

Suzan-Lori Park is best known, and won the Pulitzer Prize, for her 2001 play about fraternal battle, Topdog/Underdog, which had its UK premiere at the Royal Court with a cast including rapper Mos Def.

In the Blood, also Pulitzer shortlisted, is an urban American ‘riff’ on Nathanial Hawthorne’s classic novel The Scarlet Letter. Hester La Negrita, mother of five children by five different fathers and living beneath a bridge in New York City, gambles on a better future for her family.

The cast are: Frances Ashman, Natasha Bain, Eleanor Fanyinka, Vita Morgan, Richard Pepple and Clifford Samuel. The production is directed by Daniel Burgess and presented by Lambert Maher Productions.

After In the Blood, the theatre’s 30th anniversary season will continue this autumn with: Love on the Dole (7 September-2 October), Walter Greenwood and Ronald Gow’s play, unseen professionally in London since the 1930s; and the long-overdue UK premiere of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1953 meta-fiction musical Me and Juliet (5-30 October), one of the pair’s few Broadway flops; and Saturn Returns (2-27 November), marking the UK debut of American playwright Noah Haidle. The Finborough says it hopes to reschedule The Drawer Boy for 2011.


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