Time Out says
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London's leading pub theatre takes drama very seriously indeed
The Finborough is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The shows ‘Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad’ and ‘Women Without Men’ have been rescheduled. It is due to reopen with ‘Bliss’, on May 26.
With artistic director Neil McPherson at the helm, the tiny Finborough has won an outsize reputation for unearthing lost theatre gems - as well as the odd curio that would be better off left in the drawer. It's a ship-shaped pub theatre that's just round the corner from West Brompton cemetery, but regularly gets audiences from across London making a beeline for its 50-seater space.
McPherson guides the venue according to some very specific artistic criteria. Revivals much have been written after 1800, but not seen in London for 25 years, while new work must avoid numerous cliches, including 'paedophilia', 'Oscar Wilde', and 'plays about urban, middle-class “twenty/thirtysomethings” preoccupied with relationships or emotional problems'.
The programme takes in three-week-runs, with a 'main' play running Tuesday to Saturday nights, and a 'secondary' play running Sunday and Monday. Inevitably there are as many misses as hits, but the calibre of actors and creatives is way beyond what you'd normally expect from the fringe, and theatre's periodic stagings of lost musicals are a rare treat.
You won't get much change out of £20 for a ticket, though that's kind of par for course across the fringe these days.
Though an archetypal pub theatre, the Finborough have outlasted any number of businesses in its downstairs, from pubs to a wine bar. Currently it's the Finborough Arms, a welcoming pub with a decent range of beers and a line-up of open mic and live music nights.
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