Home Death, a new play by Olivier Award winner Nell Dunn, will play for six performances only on Sunday and Monday evenings from Sunday, 10 July 2011 (Press Night: Monday, 11 July 2011 at 7.30pm) at the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre.
In our materialist culture obsessed with youth, death has become the ultimate taboo. Inspired by real life stories, Home Death is an unflinching yet ultimately uplifting dissection of how our society deals with the reality of dying.
64% of us want to die at home, but in reality only a quarter of us do. A lingering death in a nursing home is one of the biggest fears of the elderly, and yet research from the UK thinktank Demos predicts that by 2013, 90% of us will die in the soulless setting of a hospital ward.
Home Death is a courageous and profoundly compassionate new play that raises essential and urgent questions about palliative care in the UK, and celebrates the strength of friendship and love.
Playwright Nell Dunn is best known for the 1963 publication of Up the Junction, a series of short stories set in South London. The book became a controversial success because of its vibrant, realistic and nonjudgmental portrait of the working classes. It was filmed for television and film and was awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. In 1967, she published her first novel Poor Cow which was made into a film starring Carol White and Terence Stamp, directed by Ken Loach. Her more recent adult books are Grandmothers (1991) and My Silver Shoes (1996). Dunn's acclaimed play Steaming was produced in 1981, won the Society of West End Theatre Award, now known as the Olivier Award, for Best Comedy, and was subsequently filmed by Joseph Losey with Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, and Diana Dors. Her first television film Every Breath You Take was shown in 1987. She has also written Sisters, a film script commissioned by the BBC. She won the 1982 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her 2003 play Cancer Tales has toured internationally and been greatly supported the medical profession.
Director Fiona Morrell has recently completed eighteen months as a Staff Director at The National Theatre. Productions included Nation, adapted from Terry Pratchett's novel by Mark Ravenhill, The White Guard by Bulgakov, adapted by Andrew Upton, Moira Buffini's Welcome to Thebes and Bryony Lavery's Six Seeds. She has directed The Water's Edge by Theresa Rebeck (Arcola Theatre), Acquaintances and National Amnesty by Dominic Mitchell (Pleasance London) and The Alice Project (Camden People's Theatre, BAC and the Lakeside Colchester). Fiona has also directed short plays/readings at RADA, Arcola Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Oval House, Theatre 503 and The National Theatre Studio. She has assisted at Arcola Theatre, Almeida Theatre and Second Stage New York. She is a Creative Associate of Strawberry Vale Productions.
Home Death is produced by Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre, and Strawberry Vale Productions . Strawberry Vale Productions is an award-winning theatre and film Production Company, run by Lilli and Hana Geissendorfer since 2007. It works with writers and directors to realise their creative ambitions and make work that speaks to the world we live in. Recent credits include Caryl Churchill's Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (Arcola Theatre) and Penelope Skinner's Eigengrau (Bush Theatre), both directed by Polly Findlay; Niklas Radstrom's Monsters (Arcola Theatre), directed by Chris Haydon, and Hana's third short film Hermann, which won the Jury Prize at the Palm Springs International Short Film Fest 2010. Lilli recently won the inaugural Off West End Award for Best Producer. www.strawberryvaleproductions.com