Not Quite Jerusalem at the Finborough Theatre

by Peter Kavanagh in London, England, United Kingdom

Not Quite Jerusalem at the Finborough Theatre
We did it
On 5th March 2020 we successfully raised £207 with 9 supporters in 21 days

Support the first production of Paul Kember's Not Quite Jerusalem in 40 years, performing at the Finborough Theatre from the 3-28 March!

by Peter Kavanagh in London, England, United Kingdom


What is the Project?

Cumulus Productions are bringing Paul Kember’s 1980 comedy-drama Not Quite Jerusalem to the Finborough Theatre, as part of the venue’s 40th birthday celebration. The production is programmed for a limited four-week season from 3rd-28th March 2020 and brings together an exciting mix of emerging and established creatives to deliver what we feel is a necessary story for our time. 

We need your help to ensure that we can reach our target audiences; we can encourage the future life of the play in regional and amateur redevelopment and that all of this delivered in an effective, engaging and mindful way.

About the Play
"In England the decisions are taken by another group of people. Where the schools are going to be, where the towns are going to be: shit heaps, built for us by people who know better"

Paul Kember’s comedy ‘Not Quite Jerusalem’ centres on four aimless, disillusioned twenty-somethings: Mike, Carrie, Peter and Dave, all keen to escape 1970’s divided Britain. The issues they’re fleeing eerily anticipate the problems facing young people in Britain today.

"These are the people who told us if we kept faith and worked hard things would get better- a new Jerusalem."

All four have come to experience kibbutz, which in the late 1970’s were a model of democracy in action: socialist, feminist, and highly idealistic.

But our Brits bring their troubles with them. And soon conflict erupts between their depressed, aimless, cynical outlook and their brusque but positive-thinking hosts.

Box-Office Smash Hit
First presented at the Royal Court Theatre in 1980 where it broke box office records, later revived there in 1982 (with casts including David Threlfall, Phil Davis, Kevin McNally, Selina Cadell and Bruce Alexander), Not Quite Jerusalem won first-time playwright Paul Kember the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Award.

For 2020, this is a very important - if not crucial - play. The success of the Royal Court Theatre’s original run came from the play’s depiction of the high-minded altruism of the early kibbutzim

Audiences were fascinated by this first-hand glimpse into a world they only knew from journalism. All of the events that happen in the play actually occurred, including the comically disruptive behaviour of the young volunteers.

A Laugh-Out-Loud Comedy
But while the drama documents notions of innate British racial superiority, this is a laugh-out-loud show, with many scenes of wildly entertaining humour.

What We Need
The Arts Council announced that there would be no grant-aid for the play. In this era of British unrest and division with the accompanying rise of prejudice and anti-Semitic feeling, we feel that this is the perfect time for a rediscovery of Kember’s brilliantly funny writing. The cast and team working on the project is representative of the demographic.

We urgently need to raise the difference between our financial commitment to putting on Not Quite Jerusalem in a way that meets our aims and the likely box office. We are expecting this to be upwards of £15,000 deficit at present, with a financial committment of £27,000, and a likely box-office taking from the 50-seat theatre at approximately £10,000 post deductions. 

We are seeking to raise at least £12,000 of this through Crowdfunding and donation. This is a big sum, and we certainly don’t expect any individual who visits this Crowdfunding page to donate our full goal!

Cumulus Productions have committed to paying a fair wage to Actors and Creatives involved in the project, with rates agreed with Equity on their Fringe Theatre Agreement. We also require substantial marketing to ensure that those who will benefit most from our production know about it!

Working Off-West-End provides an opportunity for our young actors, crew and designers. Anything you can give will help us to achieve our goal.

About the team
Director Peter Kavanagh, alongside our fantastic cast and team bring an entertaining and thought-provoking revival of Not Quite Jerusalem to the Finborough Theatre stage.

Paul Kember- Playwright Paul Kember won the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright for Not Quite Jerusalem, his first play. He spent five years as a journalist in Liverpool before training as an actor at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. As an actor, he was a founding member of the influential Joint Stock Theatre Company, for twenty years Britain’s leading experimental theatre company. He also appeared in over 75 television programmes including The Sweeney, Casualty, The Bill, Heartbeat, Pie in the Sky, Taggart, Newshounds, Common as Muck, and films including Agatha, The First Great Train Robbery, The Long Good Friday and An American Werewolf in London. His second play, Asylum, starred Sarah Miles at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, and his third play, High Flyers, starred Hugh Grant, Simon Cadell, Glynis Barber and James Hazeldine. He has three children and lives in London. 

Peter Kavanagh- Director Peter Kavanagh is an award-winning director for theatre, film, television and radio. Theatre includes The Labyrinth (Players Theatre, Dublin, Dublin Theatre Festival and Royal Court Theatre), A Door Must Be Either Open or Shut, and The Boor in his own translations from Chekhov (Chichester Theatre Festival), Love and the Art of War (King’s Head Theatre), the musical The Good Companions (Watford Colosseum), A Selfish Boy and After Prospero(INK Festival at the Tristan Bates Theatre), Vox Humana (Cockpit Theatre), Endgame (Players Theatre, Dublin), Mrs Warren’s Profession(Project Theatre, Dublin), The Exception and the Rule (Focus Theatre, Dublin), This Property is Condemned and Other Tennessee Williams Plays (Gate Theatre, Dublin) and Victims (Abbey Theatre, Dublin). Film and Television includes Sightings of Bono, starring Bono, I Was the Cigarette Girl with Andrew Scott, which won an award at the Colombia Film Festival and a nomination at the Chicago Film Festival, and Sisters with Lisa Faulkner (BBC2). Radio includes many award-winning productions for Drama on 3, from Sophocles through Shakespeare and Strindberg to Harold Pinter, James Graham and Howard Barker. Recent Ibsen productions include The Wild Duck in a version by Christopher Hampton with Samuel West and David Threlfall, Brand, Rosmersholmtranslated by Frank McGuinness with Helen Baxendale, and The Lady from the Sea with Cheryl Campbell. Shakespeare productions include Romeo and Juliet, All’s Well That Ends Well, and Measure for Measure featuring Simon Russell Beale, Emma Fielding, Siân Phillips, Saskia Reeves and Bill Nighy. Other notable casts include Benedict Cumberbatch and Lia Williams in Tom and Viv, Sorcha Cusack in Juno and the Paycock, Ian MacDiarmid in Volpone, Fiona Shaw in Playing with Fire, and Stephen Rea and Sinead Cusack in Ulysses. Prix Italia and many other drama awards include a Special Commendation for Landscape starring Harold Pinter and Penelope Wilton. He was nominated for Best Director by the BBC Audio Awards in 2017. He has also written and translated for stage and BBC Television drama.

Russell Bentley - Ami

Miranda Braun - Carrie

Ailsa Joy - Gila

Ryan Whittle - Mike

Joe McArdle - Dave

Ronnie Yorke - Pete

Ceci Calf | Designer
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include The Wind of Heaven.
Designs include Five Green Bottles, Tithonus (Sherman Theatre, Cardiff) Cheer, Mydidae (The Other Room, Cardiff), The Cut (LAMDA and the Lion and Unicorn Theatre) Yellow Moon (LAMDA) and One
Million Tiny Plays About Britain (Jermyn Street Theatre and the Watermill Theatre, Newbury).

Ryan Joseph Stafford | Lighting Designer
Trained at Rose Bruford College.
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include The Wind of Heaven.
Recent designs include CODI (National Dance Company Wales), Cyrano de Bergerac (Watermill Theatre, Newbury), Together, Not the Same (Sadler’s Wells Theatre), Left from Write (Norwegian National Ballet II and Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House), Crave (The Other Room and Royal Welsh College of Musical and Drama), Hauntings and Pork Pies (Theatr Clwyd and National Trust), Becoming (Stratford Circus), Pippin (University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Cardiff), Robin Hood, Easy Virtue (The Watermill), The Island (Fio and National Tour), Cardiff Boy (Red Oak Theatre and The Other Room), The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives (Elufowoju, Jr. Ensemble at Arcola Theatre), Dames (Siberian Lights at Pleasance London), Finding Mr Hart (Blackburn Cotton Exchange), The River (Red Oak Theatre) and Landmines (Ovalhouse).

Isobel Pellow | Costume Designer
Trained at London College of Fashion.
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include The Wind of Heaven.
Theatre Costume Design includes Lysistrata (Cockpit Theatre), Heather and Harry (Camden People’s Theatre), King Lear (Pleasure Dome Theatre Company), ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore (Tristan Bates Theatre), Three Brothers (Theatre N16), The Xmas Carol (Old Red Lion Theatre), Sense and Sensibility, Mary Stuart and A Streetcar Named Desire (Oxford Playhouse), Blue Stockings, Hay Fever (Old Fire Station Theatre, Oxford) and The Accrington Pals (Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon). Opera Costume Design includes Tales of Offenbach (Opera Della Luna at Wilton’s Music Hall).
Film Costume Design includes Deos Novos (Audiomotion) and The Wait for Midnight Thirteen (DeCantillon Films).
Theatre Costume Supervision includes The Sweet Science of Bruising (Wilton’s Music Hall), Five Plays (The Young Vic), Britten in Brooklyn (Wilton’s Music Hall), Four Play and Clickbait (Theatre503). Opera Costume Supervision includes The Crowning of Poppea (Hampstead Garden Opera at Jackson’s Lane Theatre).
Costume Assistant work includes East Wall (Hofesh Shechter Company at the Tower of London), Ottone and Life on the Moon (English Touring Opera) and The Little Witch (The Place).  

If you require further information or would like to invest in the development of the project, please email notquitejerusalemproduction@gmail.comAny support you can give would be greatly appreciated

Thank you!

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