Finborough Theatre to get a streamed rehearsed reading of Playfight


The winner of the Finborough Theatre’s ETPEP Award 2020, Playfight by Julia Grogan, directed by acclaimed director Blanche McIntyre will receive a streamed rehearsed reading on the Finborough Theatre YouTube channel for one week from Thursday, 1 April 2021 at 6.00pm to Thursday, 8 April 2021 at midnight as part of #FinboroughForFree, starring Starring Robyn Cara (Trying, Ackley Bridge), Hannah Millward (Broadchurch, Bliss) and Helen Monks (Raised by Wolves, Upstart Crow).

Kiera, Zainab and Lucy are smart, outrageous and savvy. They’ve figured out that there are some things school sex ed lessons don’t cover. Now, as they grow from girls into women, they’re going to find the answers…

But nothing ever happens in their town, and they’re fifteen, so what do they know?

By turns funny and poignant, their experiences as they grow from girls into women shine a light on contemporary desire, the pain we feel and the lengths we go to…

Informed by the rise in violence in mainstream pornography and the ‘rough sex defence’, Playfight interrogates the dangerous reality of the hyper-sexualisation and exploitation of young people.

The streaming will also be available with subtitles on Scenesaver, and will also be free to view. |

Playwright Julia Grogan is 24, grew up in the Midlands and moved to London to train as an actor at Rose Bruford College, graduating in 2018. Shortly after graduating, she started working behind the bar at the Royal Court Theatre and was invited to join their Royal Court Intro Writers’ Group. As a result, she wrote Playfight, her first play. Julia co-wrote dark historical comedy Belly Up which premiered at the Vault Festival 2020 and will be performed at the Underbelly at the 2021 Edinburgh Festival. She is currently working on a new dark comedy Dark Side of June, commissioned by members of the Young Vic Genesis programme. Acting includes At Sea (BBC Radio 4), Belly Up (Vault Festival) and Island Town (Catalyst Festival).

Director Blanche McIntyre returns to the Finborough Theatre where she was the inaugural winner of the Leverhulme Bursary for Emerging Theatre Directors, and Director in Residence at the National Theatre Studio and the Finborough Theatre. Her productions at the Finborough Theatre include Foxfinder, Accolade and Moliere, or The League of Hypocrites. Other theatre includes Hymn, The Writer (Almeida Theatre), Botticelli In The Fire (Hampstead Theatre), Bartholomew Fair, The Winter’s Tale, As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare’s Globe), Titus Andronicus, The Two Noble Kinsmen (Royal Shakespeare Company), Tartuffe (National Theatre), Tosca, The Marriage of Figaro (English Touring Opera), The Norman Conquests (Chichester Festival Theatre), Women in Power, Tonight At 8.30, The Nutcracker (Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Southampton), Welcome Home Captain Fox! (Donmar Warehouse), The Oresteia (HOME, Manchester), The Seagull (Headlong Theatre), Noises Off (Nottingham Playhouse), Repentance/Behind The Lines (Bush Theatre), Ciphers (Out of Joint), The Birthday Party (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Liar Liar (Unicorn Theatre), The Only True History of Lizzie Finn, Open Heart Surgery (Southwark Playhouse), The Seven Year Itch (Salisbury Playhouse) and When Did You Last See My Mother? (Trafalgar Studios). Film includes co-writingThe Hippopotamus, based on the novel by Stephen Fry.

The ETPEP Award is a playwriting prize for new UK playwrights who work or have worked in the theatre industry, run by the Finborough Theatre in association with the Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust (ETPEP). The winner received a prize of £6,000, a development relationship with the Finborough Theatre including one-to-one dramaturgy with Finborough Theatre Artistic Director and playwright Neil McPherson; and an online rehearsed reading performance. Nine longlisted candidates also received a prize of £300.

The judges for the 2020 Award were playwright Winsome Pinnock; Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre and playwright Neil McPherson; Literary Manager of the Finborough Theatre and playwright Sue Healy; actor Oliver Ford Davies; actor, playwright and activist Athena Stevens; and Clive Webster of the Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust, which founded the award. For a full list of longlisted and shortlisted candidates for the ETPEP Award, please visit

The ETPEP Award 2021 is currently open for entries until April 30th 2021. The main prize will again be £6,000 with nine longlist prizes of £300 each. For 2021, the winning play will also be published by Salamander Street, independent publisher of theatre, performance and live art. The winner of last year’s ETPEP Award, Fence by Abigail Andjel, will also be produced at the Finborough Theatre in 2022.

Details at

As part of the Finborough Theatre’s #FinboroughForFree programme, the theatre will be releasing a new work every month during our closure to watch online for free. Following our successful release of archive recordings during 2020, we are now concentrating on original online content for 2021. For more information about this and other Finborough Theatre productions currently available to stream online, visit the Finborough Theatre website at

Follow the Finborough Theatre on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and subscribe to the ourTube channel for more updates about future #FinboroughForFree releases.

The cast is:

Robyn Cara | Zainab

Theatre includes The Be All and End All (Theatre Royal York), Oliver Twist (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park), The Importance of Being Earnest (Clwyd Theatr Cymru), Much Ado About Nothing (Mercury Theatre, Colchester), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Latitude Festival), The Street of Crocodiles (Odry Theatre, Budapest) and The Flood (National Youth Theatre).

Film includes We Die Young.

Television includes Trying, Ackley Bridge, Life and Hounslow Diaries.

Hannah Millward | Lucy

Theatre includes Peter Pan Reimagined and Rebel Music (Birmingham Rep), The Beautiful Future (The Yard), All’s Well That Ends Well (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), Blue and One Man, Two Guvnors (Richard Burton Company).

Television includes Bliss and Broadchurch.

Helen Monks | Keira

Theatre includes Upstart Crow (Gielgud Theatre), The Noises (Old Red Lion Theatre), No One Will Tell Me How To Start A Revolution (Hampstead Theatre), Dolly Wants To Die (Underbelly, Edinburgh), E15 (FYSA Theatre), Denmark Hill and Unknown Male (Birmingham Rep), PussyFooting (Edinburgh Festival), Hamlet (The Television Workshop) and Henceforward (Swan Theatre, Worcester).

Film includes Bridget Jones’ Baby.

Television includes Maxxx, Hold the Sunset, Upstart Crow, Inside No. 9, Election Day, Maxx Blap, Genius, Taboo, Count Arthur Strong, Raised by Wolves, Holby City and The Last Kingdom.

Radio includes China Towns, Thin Ice, Falco, The Silver Pigs, Jefferson 37, Upside Down and Back to Front, The Archers and Relocation.

Short film includes The Compulsive Gambling Housewife and Red Sky at Night.

The press on director Blanche McIntyre at the Finborough Theatre

On Moliere, or The League of Hypocrites

“McIntyre’s production conveys admirably Bulgakov’s mix of satire and seriousness.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Blanche McIntyre’s richly inhabited production…wonderful theatrical surprises.” Mark Shenton, The Stage

On Accolade

“Blanche McIntyre’s superbly acted production.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“McIntyre’s up-close staging enthralls.” Kate Bassett, The Independent on Sunday

“One of the defining rediscoveries of this theatrical year,” Matt Wolf, The New York Times

On Foxfinder

“This gripping, haunting production is something of a home-grown project for the miraculously fertile Finborough Theatre, nurturing the talent of both new Playwright in Residence King and previous Leverhulme Bursary beneficiary McIntyre.” Catherine Love, Exeunt

“Director Blanche McIntyre follows last year’s dazzling Finborough revival of Accolade with another first-rate production.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Blanche McIntyre’s fabulous production.” Dominic Maxwell, The Times

The press on director Blanche McIntyre’s production of Hymn at the Almeida Theatre

“A production that feels about as good as it can get…Blanche McIntyre’s direction is supremely sensitive.” Sarah Crompton, WhatsOnStage

“Blanche McIntyre’s warm, tenderly intense production.” Sam Marlowe, iNews

“It’s credit to the creative team, led by director Blanche McIntyre (The Writer, A Winter’s Tale) that the production has been so successfully reimagined for screen and virtual audience.” Holly O’Mahony, Culture Whisper

Available FREE TO VIEW on the Finborough Theatre YouTube channel #FinboroughForFree.

Thursday, 1 April 2021 at 6.00pm to Thursday, 8 April 2021 at midnight

It will also be available free with subtitles on Scenesaver

16+ The play contains strong language, and themes of violence, including sexual violence, and sexual abuse.

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