Earls Court Life

Theatre: John Ferguson

Posted by Caroline Lofts

“A fragment of life, fully expounded and without conventionality or confusion…the best play you have done”  W.B. Yeats about John Ferguson

The first UK production in nearly 100 years of St John Ervine’s timeless tragedy John Ferguson opens at the Finborough Theatre for a four week run from Tuesday, 20 May 2014.

Rediscovered and commissioned by the Finborough Theatre, John Ferguson is an urgent and powerful tale of faith and fear in a time of crisis. It is another of the Finborough Theatre’s acclaimed series of rediscovered Irish dramas, following the huge success of another play by St John Ervine – Mixed Marriage in 2011.

Ulster in the 1880s. John Ferguson lives by the word of God, and believes there is a reason for everything. His wife, Sarah, lives by the earthly reality around her. The Ferguson family are on the brink of eviction from their farm when a local man makes a proposal that could be the answer to their prayers. But as a series of devastating events unfold, the Fergusons find themselves tested to their limits…

Set in a rundown farmhouse in County Down, John Ferguson was first performed at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin in 1915, establishing Ervine as one of Ireland’s greatest writers. The play was subsequently performed in 1919 at The Theatre Guild in New York where it was originally scheduled for just five performances – it eventually ran for more than 130, putting the Guild on the Broadway map and saving it from bankruptcy. It was last produced in England by Nigel Playfair at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith in 1920.

Playwright St John Ervine (1883-1971) was a dramatist, novelist, biographer and critic. A protestant, born in East Belfast, he was for a time an unlikely choice as Literary Manager at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under W.B. Yeats, where John Ferguson was first produced in 1915. His many other plays include Mixed Marriage (1911), Anthony and Anna (1926), The First Mrs. Fraser (1926) and Boyd’s Shop (1939). In later life, Ervine turned his back on Ireland and its politics, and moved to England where he became a noted drama critic for The Observer and The Morning Star, as well as a novelist and a biographer of both Oscar Wilde and Bernard Shaw.

Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Box Office 0844 847 1652 Book online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk

Tuesday, 20 May – Saturday, 14 June 2014
Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm. Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm. Saturday matinees at 3.00pm (from 31 May 2014).
Prices for Weeks One and Two (20 May–1 June 2014) – Tickets £14, £10 concessions, except Tuesday
Evenings £10 all seats, and Saturday evenings £14 all seats. Previews (20 and 21 May) £9 all seats.
£6 tickets for Under 30’s for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only.
£10 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on Saturday, 24 May 2014 when booked online
Prices for Weeks Three and Four (3–14 June 2014) – Tickets £16, £12 concessions, except Tuesday
Evenings £12 all seats, and Saturday evenings £16 all seats.
Performance Length: Approximately two hours with one interval of fifteen minutes.

 

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Theatre: John Ferguson
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