Plays and Players, March 1959, Tomorrow's Lead

Born In Wellington*, India, Gained scholarship to London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, 1948.  Joined Birmingham Repertory, 1950 for two years.  Later with Bristol Old Vic. First West End appearance in the original cast for Salad Days for two-and-a-half years. Now in the Moliere season at the Old Vic.

“My earliest theatrical achievement” said Christine Finn, “was being adopted as mascot of the Gaiety Theatre, Simla.” She was there with her father, an Indian army man, and did not live in this country until 1946.
    A versatile, intelligent player, she received much of her professional schooling in the tough companies of the Birmingham Repertory and the Bristol Old Vic. “The people who have influenced me most, “she says” are Douglas Seale and Dennis Carey. Seale was producer at Birmingham. He taught me to consider the value of the play as a whole and the value of stillness on a stage. Through him I learnt never to act but to be the character. Yes, it’s “Method' I suppose, but this was before the current fashion and we just called it the Stanislavksy technique.”
  “No, I don’t think there are any differences in production methods at Birmingham and Bristol. I felt I was absorbing something new all the time, at Bristol I had sufficient experience to begin to apply that knowledge. Dennis Carey was the producer and seems to have a knack with me that brings out my best work."
  It was at Bristol that Christine Finn's first big break came. "A special non-singing juvenile girl part was written specially for me in Salad Days.” She came to London with the original cast and stayed with it for two and a half years.
   For the last two years, she has been working in Radio and TV (Hermia in the recent TV Midsummer Night’s Dream, for example) culminating with a leading part in the serial, Quatermass and The Pit. She tells of the local postman who said “Oh no. We never look at Quatermass; we're not Catholics, you know."
    It was while Quatermass was still running that her old mentor, Douglas Seale, now at the London Old Vic, engaged her for its present Moliere double-bill. She plays in both Tartuffe and Sganarelle with good, strongly contrasting parts.
   Her Ambition? “I’d like to play Nina in The Seagull - I want to tackle that last scene.” From modern plays, the part she covets most is that of Frankie in Member of the Wedding.

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