The world premiere of Sally Woodcock's new play Fanta Orange opens at the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre from Tuesday, 1 November 2011 (Press Night: Thursday, 3 November 2011 at 7.30pm) for a limited four-week season, the opening play in the New Writing at the Finborough Theatre Season, playing November 2011 to January 2012.
Inspired by a real-life Amnesty International report, Fanta Orange is a playful and unexpected tale that gets under the skin of modern Africa.
Regina is a Kenyan house servant. Roger is her white farmer boss. The two share a curious bond. Enter Ronnie, a privileged young English girl whom Roger discovers holed up in the bush, studying the bizarre practice of dirt-eating among local tribes. Soon both women are pregnant by Roger and a saga unfolds which turns every racial and sexual preconception on its head.
Playwright Sally Woodcock was raised in Kenya and educated at Cambridge University, RADA and Kings College London. Woodcock has worked as a journalist, teacher and theatre practitioner, writing and producing comedies (Wedding Belles and The Trouser Department ) on the fringes of Edinburgh (The Gilded Balloon, Hill Street Theatre), London (Jermyn Street Theatre, Bridewell Theatre) and New York (78th St Theatre Lab). Woodcock also co-founded the Horseshoe Theatre Company which produced play texts for public exam students at theatres in Cambridge. Fanta Orange is Woodcock's first full-length play and has been developed at RADA and The National Theatre Studio.
Director Gareth Machin is Studio Associate at The National Theatre where he has directed Caryl Churchill's Three More Sleepless Nights in the Lyttelton Theatre. He has just been appointed Artistic Director of Salisbury Playhouse. He was previously Artistic Director of Southwark Playhouse where his productions included Chris Chibnall's Gaffer and Arthur Miller's The Archbishop's Ceiling. As Associate Director at Bristol Old Vic, his productions included major revivals of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with Clare Higgins and Gerard Murphy, Look Back in Anger with Nick Moran, many new plays in the New Vic Studio and establishing the Basement Theatre as a regular lunchtime and late night producing venue. He also co-directed the site-specific epic Up The Feeder Down the Mouth and Back Again in Bristol Docks.
Designer Alex Marker has been Resident Designer of the Finborough Theatre since 2002 where his designs have included Charlie's Wake, The Women's War, How I Got That Story, Soldiers, Happy Family, Trelawny of the ‘Wells', Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams, Albert's Boy, Lark Rise To Candleford, Red Night, The Representative, Eden's Empire, Love Child, Little Madam, Plague Over England, and its West End transfer to the Duchess Theatre, Hangover Square, Sons of York, Untitled , Painting A Wall, Death of Long Pig, Molière or The League of Hypocrites and Dream of the Dog and its West End transfer to the Trafalgar Studios. His work has been extensively featured in exhibitions, most recently as part of the Collaborators: UK Design for Performance in Nottingham.
The cast includes:
Jessica Ellerby. At the Finborough Theatre, Jessica appeared in Oohrah! (2009). Trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Theatre includes Dreamboats and Petticoats (Playhouse Theatre), Curvature, Word:Play 2 (Theatre503), Captain of the School Football Team (Latitude Festival and Theatre503), Dick Whittington (Theatre Chipping Norton), Triptych (Southwark Playhouse), Push Up (Rosemary Branch Theatre) and My Name Is Alice (Edinburgh Festival). Film includes Magpie, Hollow, Get Him To The Greek and The Sad Case. Television includes EastEnders and The Bill.
Kehinde Fadipe. At the Finborough Theatre, Kehinde appeared in Hurried Steps (2009) and And I And Silence as part of Vibrant - An Anniversary Festival of Finborough Playwrights (2010). Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Theatre includes Ruined (Almeida Theatre) and Auricular (Theatre503). Workshops include Houseboy (Tiata Fahodzi), Mephisto (MJE Productions) and Eclipsed (National Theatre Studio). Television includes Misfits and The Body FarM. Short Film includes Of Mary.