View single post by Paddy
 Posted: Wed Sep 7th, 2011 03:34 pm
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Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Kitchener, Ontario Canada
Posts: 2347
inborough Theatre Co, London - ongoing

Finborough Theatre Co


Literary Manager - *Van Badham*
Senior Reader - *Ola Ince*

Our email is


The Finborough Theatre is a fifty-seat Off-West End theatre in Central West
London. Working in the text-based tradition, the unique energy of the
Finborough Theatre is the paradox sustained by staging ambitious and epic
work within the confines of an intimate space.
We seek to develop new work that is:
Thematically expansive – In the words of our Artistic Director, the
Finborough Theatre is interested in “plays that matter on subjects that
matter, regardless of fashion”. We are interested in playwrights and plays
that present unique challenges to ideological assumptions about community,
nation and world.
Ideologically Brave – The Finborough Theatre has developed an enviable
reputation as an intellectual hot-house of ideas and confrontation. We are a
theatre that programmes politically engaged plays to challenge the vanities,
hypocrisies and oppressions of our times. We actively bring fresh voices
into social and political debates about the world into a 50-seat theatre in
Earl’s Court.
Artistically Ambitious – We actively seek playwrights who have moving and
unusual insights into the nature of our social world, and whose theatrical
voice and vision are unique. We welcome and encourage big, ambitious plays
with large casts.

The Finborough Theatre Literary Department receives scripts from both
unrepresented and represented writers. We programme productions in
accordance with the theatre’s artistic policy and additionally we maintain
an extensive, pro-writer development process consisting of one-to-one
dramaturgy and workshops. As a matter of policy, we do not believe in
“development” for the sake of it, and are always actively searching for
playwrights and plays that we can actually produce.

We are not interested in just finding the “flavour of the month”, but
building a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with a playwright
and working closely with them over a long period. For example, we have
produced plays by writer James Graham every year since 2005 and by Anders
Lustgarten every year since 2007.

We encourage script submissions on all subjects and themes, but we are
particularly interested in the following:

• Politically and socially engaged plays.
• Works for music theatre (please provide a CD and allow longer for us to
review it).
• Plays about the Kensington and Chelsea area, local history and
• Plays in Celtic languages or on Celtic themes.
• Adaptations of obscure books written after 1850.
• New writing by writers of all ages.
• Plays that are artistically ambitious and thematically expansive.
• We welcome work with large casts.
• We welcome scripts from international writers, but can only accept plays
written in English, Scots or Gaidhlig.

There are plays on subjects or in styles that do not fit our artistic
policy. These are some of the subjects that are better serviced by other
producing theatres in London:

• We do not produce plays about urban, middle-class
“twenty/thirtysomethings” preoccupied with relationships or emotional
• We are not programming plays about paedophilia or paedophiles for the
foreseeable future.
• We unfortunately do not have an audience for children’s plays.
• We do not programme any work that has been produced in London in the last
25 years.
• We only programme plays written post-1800, and likewise we don’t often
programme historical or biographical plays set pre-1850. In particular, we
are not interested in biographical plays about Shakespeare, Christopher
Marlowe, Oscar Wilde, John Clare or Dr Johnson.
• We do not read film, TV or radio scripts.
• We do not programme adaptations or versions of texts written before 1850 -
i.e. Shakespeare, Homer, Buchner etc
Please note that may send a play if it is on one of these subjects if it all
you have and you would like us to see an example of your writing, but it is
helpful to make that clear in your cover letter.

We accept scripts by both post and email.

- Please don’t send us your very first draft. Please give your script time
to settle, read it again, seek feedback from your peers and incorporate some
rewrites. The fourth draft is usually when a play is ready for us to
- It is very helpful, but not essential, to format your script in 11pt Arial
font, spaced at 1.5 lines, as this is useful when determining an approximate
“running length” for performance.
- In accordance with standard professional practice, all pages of the script
must be numbered, preferably in the top right hand corner, and it is
essential to include the play title, your name and your contact details in
small print on every page (this can be done with the “Insert > Footer”
option in Microsoft Word). For example:
“Hamlet by William Shakespeare. 07967 654382 william@stratford,com"
- A one-page synopsis of the plot.
- A one-page CV of your writing experience to date including any readings /
productions you may have had. This will not affect how your script is
considered. It is just helpful to know.
- A cover letter that includes all your contact details, and, specifically,
your email address.
- Please only submit *one* play at a time. Unless we *specifically *request
you to send further examples of your work, please wait at least 12 months
before submitting any more plays to us. Please be considerate of other
writers – we have limited resources and are anxious to see the work of as
many writers as possible

- Please don’t send your only copy of a play or recording of your score.
Although every care is taken with your work, we cannot be held responsible
if it is lost.
- Please do not send your script via registered post or any method that
involves signing for a package.
- Please include a stamped addressed envelope for the return of your script.
If you do not include one, we will recycle your script.
- Please also ensure that you have affixed correct postage for your script.
- For submissions from overseas, please note that we do not accept
International Reply Coupons. Please submit your script by email.
- Please do not deliver your script by hand.

Please post to:
Van Badham
Literary Department
Finborough Theatre
118 Finborough Rd
SW10 9ED

We now accept scripts via email. Please follow all the guidelines as above.
For email submissions, it is helpful to format the script as a PDF before
sending – you can do this free online at such sites as
Send to:

We aim to return the script within 2 to 3 months if it is not suitable for
us. Please be patient. If the process takes longer than 3 months, it is
usually because we are seriously considering your script.

Please do not call or email us to check the progress of your script.
We prefer to reply to playwrights via e-mail as this system is both more
efficient and eco-friendly. *If you do not include an email address or a
SAE, we will not reply to you.*

The department serves the artistic policy and programming of the Finborough
Theatre’s Artistic Director, Neil McPherson.

What will happen from this point:

• Your script will be read by the Senior Reader, who reads all plays, or the
Literary Manager (who listens to all CD’s and reads the librettos of all
music theatre works submitted). The script may be passed on to either the
Literary Assistant or one of the Finborough Theatre’s Resident Assistant
Directors for evaluation. As a matter of policy, we deliberately do not
retain a large team of unqualified “scriptreaders”.
• If your script does not fit our remit, it will be returned to you as soon
as possible. Unfortunately, we are not a publicly funded venue and do not
have the resources to give personalized feedback.
• We do encourage all writers to invite us to viewings and showcases of
their work. You may do so by emailing us at the link above.
• If your script is something that the Finborough Theatre may wish to stage
or develop, it will be passed to the Literary Manager who will then decide
if the script is suitable for passing on to the Artistic Director. The
Artistic Director will then make the final decision on whether the script is
suitable for production or further development.
• If a script is considered immediately ready for production, the Artistic
Director will contact the writer personally and arrange a meeting.
• If a script is considered more suitable for development, the Literary
Manager will contact the writer personally and arrange a meeting, initiating
discussion on redrafts and workshops.

The Finborough Theatre runs its writers’ development programme through
selecting plays for further dramaturgy. After an initial meeting, redrafts
are encouraged through a closed feedback process with the Literary Manager
and/or Artistic Director.

The Finborough Theatre runs writer-based dramaturgy. Our resources are
devoted to helping writers train their stagecraft and enhance their unique
theatrical voice. We are not interested in conforming writers into writing
for a house style. After a process of discussions and redrafts, we organize
a stage workshop for the text where an ensemble of development actors work
with the writer, Literary Manager and other members of the Finborough
Theatre’s artistic team to provide dramaturgical insight and space for
experimentation with the text.

As a matter of policy, we do not believe in “development for the sake of
it”. Our process of closed private workshops has been developed over the
last five years after consultation with many writers on the most genuinely
helpful way to develop and improve their work.

With the exception of our annual Vibrant – A Festival of Finborough
Playwrights season, we do not offer rehearsed or staged readings, or ask our
writers to write short plays or put a time-limit on their creative process.
Our focus is always on presenting full length plays.

We are a theatre that develops writers, as well as plays. In line with our
new literary policy, we offer our writers-in-development the opportunity to
participate within the activities of the theatre.

In addition, we foster artistic collaborations amongst writers and other
artistic professionals, as well as providing formal and informal activities
for the group of writers working out of the Finborough to meet and build
peer networks through get-togethers, masterclasses, skills exchanges and
other activities.