“You, Foxfinder, must be clean in body and mind. Always remember that the smallest fault in you character could become a crack into which the beast may insinuate himself, like water awaiting the freeze that will smash the stone apart”.
‘England is in crisis. Fields are flooded, food is scarce and fear of the red beast grips the land.
William Bloor, a foxfinder, arrives at Judith and Samuel Covey’s farm to investigate a suspected fox infestation. The Covey’s harvest has failed to meet their target and the government wants to know why. Trained from childhood, William is fixated on the mission to unearth the animals that must be to blame for the Covey’s woes. But as the hunt progresses, William finds more questions than answers…’
Dawn King‘s “unsettling and darkly comic” thriller, ‘Foxfinder‘, returns to the stage for a strictly limited run – from 6th September 2018 to 5th January 2019 – at London’s Ambassadors Theatre, in what will be the play’s West End premier.
First performed at London’s Finborough Theatre in 2011, the play received rave reviews, the Guardian’s Michael Billington writing, “Dawn King’s play shines out like a beacon…it remains an arresting and individual work that haunts the mind long after you’ve seen it”.
‘Foxfinder’ won writer King such awards as the Royal National Theatre Foundation Playwright Award (2013), and the Off West End award for Most Promising Playwright (2012), amongst others, whilst the play was shortlisted for Best New Play at the Off West End awards (2012).
The play also won the Papatango New Writing Competition in 2011, and was named one of the Independent’s top plays of the year. King is currently working on a screen adaptation of the play, in association with Elation Pictures and the BFI.
The Royal National Theatre Foundation Judging panel said of the play,
“We chose a play about grief, about religious mania, about the ways in which women and men are forced to adapt to survive. Foxfinder is clever, beautifully crafted and a skilful blend of symbolism and realism. Atmospheric and brimful with heightened emotion, it is both a strong ensemble piece and has four strong individual roles. The writing is muscular and accomplished, and the words sing on the page”.
The West End revival of ‘Foxfinder’ will be directed by current Artistic Director of Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre, Rachel O’Riordan, who enjoyed recent success with her production of Killology at the Royal Court (which received an Olivier award for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre), and will star Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones’ Ramsay Bolton) and Heida Reed (Poldark’s Elizabeth Warleggan), with a creative team to include Gary McCann (designer), Paul Anderson (lighting design) and Simon Slater (composer and sound designer).
In her award-winning play, King exploits mankind’s ambivalence towards foxes, establishing them as catalysts for greater calamity.
Set in a deluded, dystopian society gripped by paranoia, it’s people victim to a predatory, beastly fear, these unwitting mammals – already viewed by many as sly and cunning, and therefore dangerous, causing us to keep our distance – become the unfortunate yet easy scapegoats onto which blame is projected, is thrust, including responsibility for the potential destruction of mankind.
These foxes become a symbol for the fears of mankind, a physical manifestation of their unknown fears which, in their desperation, they see fit to project onto these hapless creatures.
The play cleverly explores just how quickly fear grips people, and how damaging its consequences can be; how quickly seeds of doubt and of suspicion can be sown, our desire to visualise, in order that we may face, our fears, and our desperation to lay blame, to take, or to shift, responsibility.
This exciting and gripping new play, laying bare some very real truths, many of which concern the society we are living in today, realistically highlights just how far our beliefs, however distorted, can take us.
Beware, the red beast is coming…