Watch Now: Finborough offers another classic revival – with a few intriguing twists!

Yet again the brilliant Finborough Theatre comes up with another online offering to enjoy through August. This time it’s another in their ever-fascinating line of theatrical rediscoveries which are always worth seeing. Another intriguing facet to this production is the appearance in the cast of two people best known as theatre critics not actors- Michael Billington and Fiona Mountford. Intrigued? Me too!

Presented as part of the Kensington and Chelsea Festival, this play is – intriguingly- actually located in the borough, in the streets in and around the Finborough itself. The play is available now until 25 August.

MASKS AND FACES OR, BEFORE AND BEHIND THE CURTAIN by Charles Reade and Tom Taylor was written and first performed in 1852

“We are actors. The most unfortunate of all artists. Nobody regards our feelings…”

Country gentleman Ernest Vane comes to London and is seduced into the celebrity lifestyle of a group of players – soon discarding his new wife for the more obvious charms of the great stage actress Peg Woffington.

In the tradition of The School for Scandal and The Rivals, Masks and Faces is both a 18th century period caper and a tribute to the backstage world of the theatre, complete with the hapless failed playwright, Triplet, and his hungry family, to real-life writer Colley Cibber, and the ghastly critics Soaper and Snarl……

Set in the 18th century, written in the 19th century, filmed in the 20th century (with an all-star cast), and now presented for the first time online, MASKS AND FACES is a celebration of making theatre.

First performed in 1852, the history of MASKS AND FACES is rooted in Kensington and Chelsea and the local area around the Finborough Theatre. It provided Ellen Terry – a former resident of Finborough Road, and a long term resident of Earl’s Court – with one of her first and most acclaimed leading roles. The production is supported by the Friends of Brompton Cemetery, next to the Finborough Theatre, where the co-author Tom Taylor, and actors Ben Webster and Sir Squire and Lady Bancroft – all known for their roles in Masks and Faces – lie buried.

Presented by Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre as part of The Kensington + Chelsea Festival 2021 which runs from 21 June–31 August. The Kensington + Chelsea Festival will bring people together to inspire and be inspired, offering a season of arts experiences in venues and unusual spaces, putting culture at the heart of pandemic recovery. The multi-disciplinary will celebrate creativity and culture for everyone. The Festival mix spans visual art, public art, design, theatre, circus, opera, dance, music, outdoor arts, comedy, spoken word, young people’s take-over stages, family shows, talks, micro-commissions, with creative experiments enabling audiences to see artists bringing new ideas to life.

MASKS AND FACES will be available to watch online from Wednesday, 28 July at 6.00pm to Wednesday, 25 August 2021 at midnight. The show will be available with subtitles on Screensaver here.

WATCH THE SHOW HERE

Find the theatre’s information about the show here


Amazon Prime now brings you National Theatre Live shows

Fans of great British theatre with an Amazon Prime account now have even more reasons to tune into the streaming monolith.

Amazon Prime have made available four shows from National Theatre Live in a package entitled Great British Theatre, which is available free to Prime members.

You can enjoy these shows right now:

Ian McKellen On Stage – Filmed in the West End, at the culmination of a country-wide year-long tour, Sir Ian McKellen delights us with his recollections, stories and recreations of some of his favourite works.

Fleabag – Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s one-woman show from 2019 is now available in all its scatty glory

Hamlet – Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance was praised in this 2015 production recorded at the Barbican Theatre.

Frankenstein – Danny Boyle’s big National Theatre hit of 2011 is available to watch in both versions – with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternating as the Doctor and the Creation.

All of these are currently available. If you have Amazon Prime, you can watch them anytime without further cost. If you’re not an Amazon Prime customer, you could always sign up for a free trial (I think they still do these, although the time length may have shortened), watch these shows, and cancel after the free trial ends. Did I say that? Surely not! You’ll know the right thing to do, dear readers!

Happy Viewing!


Watch Now: Finborough stages controversial LGBT drama for online audiences

Here’s an interesting and controversial first-time revival which comes appropriately during LGBTQ Pride month, available free online, as a benefit for an LGBTQ charity.

The Finborough brings us the first opportunity in over thirty years to see a staged reading of the play LEATHER by Peter-Scott Presland. It will be livestreamed, and then available on demand.

“I loathe violence. I don’t understand how people can inflict it on each other voluntarily.”
“Nobody knows what they’re truly capable of. Isn’t it better to use it in play-acting than keep it under some hatch which is bound to blow anyway one day?”

Phil befriends Gordon, a rape survivor, and they become lovers.

But Gordon finds himself drawn to Phil’s best friend, Terry, who is into heavy sadomasochism…

Following its hugely controversial run at the Finborough Theatre in 1990, Homo Promos presents this Zoom staged reading of Peter-Scott Presland’s LEATHER.

The reading was live streamed on Tuesday, 15 June at 7.00pm, and will then be available from Tuesday, 22 June to Tuesday, 20 July 2021 on the Finborough Theatre’s YouTube channel, and concurrently with subtitles on Scenesaver.

Please note that the play is suitable for adults only.

A brave and groundbreaking play about gay domestic abuse, redolent of pain and violence in all its forms, consensual and non-consensual, as physical abuse is paralleled by mental control, and the erosion of any sense of worth.

Two members of the original cast, Matthew Hodson and Keith Bursnall, will be appearing in the Zoom reading, with the author, Peter Scott-Presland, present. The Zoom reading will be followed by a chance to discuss the issues involved with the cast and author.

The most controversial play Homo Promos ever produced, and the one which people keep asking to see again. It played to packed houses at the Finborough Theatre, despite an attempt by Whitbread, the brewery that owned the Finborough Arms building at the time, to close it. Section 28, preventing the ‘promotion of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship’ was also waved at the company.

Male rape was first highlighted by newspaper Capital Gay in two 4-page centre spreads after Heaven nightclub used a rape scene as its Halloween ‘entertainment’ in 1981. Author of LEATHER, Peter-Scott Presland was one of the journalists who worked on that exposé, and the experience fed into the writing of the play which was completed in 1987, although it took three years to get a company together to stage it. When it was performed it was the first play to deal with the subject within the gay community. Many objected violently to any suggestion that it was a common occurrence. Nowadays male rape and domestic abuse is acknowledged as a major stain on LGBTQ+ life: the latest statistics suggest 18% of gay men have suffered it at some time.

There are now several charities which work to support male survivors of abuse and violence. This Zoom reading is a benefit for Stay Brave, a volunteer-led charity providing support and advice to survivors.

To donate, please go Stay Brave website here

Watch LEATHER here


Watch MR THEATRE COMES HOME DIFFERENT this weekend on paus


 'Mr Theatre Comes Home Different' exclusive Bank Holiday screening event image

This weekend you have a 48-hour chance to watch MR THEATRE COMES HOME DIFFERENT by Pulitzer-nominated playwright, Will Eno. This film has been made to raise money for the Theatre Artists Fund. Only available on paus.

‘Give yourselves a big hand. You were lovely.’

Filmed over two days on the main stage of the Lyric Hammersmith London in May 2021, Mr Theatre is a mercurial, bitter-sweet rhapsody on the nature of performance. A funny and moving glimpse behind the safety curtain. Witness the love scene, the storm scene, the inevitable death scene and remember, it’s all only pretend.

Mr Theatre Comes Home Different celebrates all those who work in the theatre – who have been unable to work since March 2020 – and has been made in support of the Theatre Artists Fund.

Will Eno, a Pulitzer-nominated playwright, has adapted his original monologue for twelve actors.

The cast features actors from all across the industry including, Samantha Womack (Eastenders, Kingsman, Silent Witness), Shelley King (Coronation Street), Milo Twomey (A Discovery of Witches), Jonathan Livingstone (Pls Like, The Witches, Chewing Gum), Saffron Coomber (Small Axe, Strike), Charlotte Arrowsmith (Royal Shakespeare Company) and Jenna Boyd (Come From Away).

The streaming will be available from Sat, 29 May at 7.00pm – Mon, 31 May at 10.00pm BST

The film is free to attend and stream, but if you like what you watch, you can show your appreciation for the project by leaving a tip. 100% of tips received by the filmmaker will be given straight to the Theatre Artists Fund, supporting freelancers in theatre who have been unable to work due to the pandemic. Thanks in advance for all your support.

To register for the event, click here

More information about paus here:


 'Mr Theatre Comes Home Different' exclusive Bank Holiday screening event image

In order to watch and support thisfilm, you have to sign up to paus on either the desktop platform or download our iOS / Android app.

To check out more amazing films on our platform visit watch.paus.tv

Download our iOS app here

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 'Mr Theatre Comes Home Different' exclusive Bank Holiday screening event image

Watch Now: Enjoy a new play reading from the Finborough Theatre

Available on the Finborough Theatre YouTube channel from today- Monday, 24 May – at 6.00pm to Sunday, 20 June 2021 at midnight, as part of #FinboroughForFree, is a rehearsed reading of Jacob Rice Marx’s A BRIEF LIST OF EVERYONE WHO DIED

After the scarring loss of her beloved dog Buster at the age of five, Graciela decides that no one she loves will ever die. But stopping death is easier said than done…

Wickedly funny and deeply humane, A BRIEF LIST OF EVERYONE WHO DIED tells the story of all the deaths that make up a life.

This online world premiere rehearsed reading reunites American playwright Jacob Marx Rice and British director Alex Howarth, the team behind the Finborough Theatre’s acclaimed 2019 production Chemistry, and features American actors Vivia Font and Paco Lozano, and Gemma Barnett, winner of Best Female Performance in a Play at 2020 Off West End Awards.

Simultaneously available with subtitles on Scenesaver.

Watch A BRIEF LIST OF EVERYONE WHO DIES (from 6pm BST today) here