Have you got your tickets yet to the Finborough Theatre’s latest rediscovery, the first London production in 60 years of James Bridie’s Mr Gillie? Check out these new production photos and then get booking…
In a new production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre and continuing their rediscovery of James Bridie, one of the West End’s most successful dramatists of the 1930s and 1940s, the first London production since its 1950 premiere of Mr Gillie runs at the Finborough Theatre, from 25 June to 11 July 2017, playing Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees only.
Village headmaster William Gillie is killed by the furniture van coming to take away his possessions, as he is being evicted from his home when his school is closed down. He has spent his entire teaching career fighting the Education Board’s narrow idea of schooling, trying to inspire his pupils to strive for great creative lives. Having lost his school and his home and with none of his pupils quite finding the wings to fly free, his life is examined by a heavenly Procurator and Judge. For all his efforts to inspire great artistic freedom, did he actually achieve anything in his life? Or is the very act of trying and hoping enough?
Combining lovingly drawn characters with James Bridie’s trademark dry wit, this wry comedy explores the impact one individual human life can have.
Mr Gillie was first produced at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow, in 1950, starring Bridie’s regular collaborator Alistair Sim; transferred to the Garrick Theatre in London for a successful West End run and was subsequently filmed by Tyrone Guthrie for the BBC
This new production, presented by Mercurius Theatre in association with the Finborough, is directed by Jenny Eastop. The cast are: Andy Secombe (as Mr Gillie), David Bannerman, Andrew Cazanave Pin, Emma D’Inverno, Ross Dunsmore, Caitlin Fielding, Drew Paterson and Malcolm Rennie.
About James Bridie
Playwright James Bridie (the pseudonym of Dr Osborne Henry Mavor) was born in Glasgow in 1888. He studied medicine at Glasgow University. His best known works include Dr Angelus (1947), recently a huge success when rediscovered by the Finborough Theatre; Tobias and the Angel (1930); The Anatomist (1931), Tyrone Guthrie’s first London production; A Sleeping Clergyman (1933), featuring a tour de force performance by Robert Donat; The King of Nowhere (1938), starring Laurence Olivier; Mr Bolfry (1943); and Daphne Laureola (1949), a huge hit for Edith Evans and Peter Finch which ran for a year at the Wyndham’s Theatre. He also wrote memoirs, adapted Ibsen, Molière and Chekhov and collaborated on three screenplays for Alfred Hitchcock: The Paradine Case (1947), Under Capricorn (1949) and Stage Fright (1950). His commitment to Scottish theatre included co-founding both the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, and the first school of drama in Scotland (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). He was also instrumental in the creation of the Edinburgh Festival, and a tireless campaigner for a National Theatre for Scotland. He died in Edinburgh in 1951.