David Adkin in association
with Adam Roebuck and Panorama


An Attempt at Life

by Harley Granville Barker

Revised by Richard Nelson
Directed by Trevor Nunn
Designed by Robert Jones
Lighting by Paul Pyant
Sound by Fergus O’Hare
Music by Steven Edis
Casting by Ginny Schiller

Based on the original production at the Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal, Bath

Naomi Frederick (White Teeth, The Children Act), Matthew Flynn (War Horse, Pride), Sally Scott (Silent Witness, Coalition) & Cindy Jane Armbruster (Airswimming and Penthesilea) to return to the production following its acclaimed production at the Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath.  Harry Lister Smith ‏(Murder on the Orient Express/ God’s Own Country) joins the cast.

Three years after leaving her unfaithful husband and striking out as an artist, Agnes receives his letter ordering her home. But Agnes married young; her innocence has gone and her ambition is growing. Fleeing to France to find a new future, Agnes is pursued by the besotted Alec and worldly-wise Otho.  Beset on all sides, can Agnes seize the chance to shape her own life?

Hailed as a long-lost masterpiece, Harley Granville Barker’s witty and compelling exploration of love, sexual attraction and independence was written in 1900 and unearthed in the British Library a century later. Following an acclaimed run at the Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath, Trevor Nunn’s world premiere production arrives in London for five weeks only.

★★★★ A BONA FIDE REVELATION. Daily Telegraph



Harley Granville Barker is a giant of Edwardian theatre and the first modern British theatre director. His plays, including Waste and The Voysey Inheritance, are regularly revived.

Richard Nelson is a multi award-winning playwright and librettist. He is an honorary associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company and recipient of the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Trevor Nunn returns to Jermyn Street Theatre following Samuel Beckett’s All That Fall, which transferred to the West End and off-Broadway. He is a former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre.



Running time Around two hours, including an interval.

General management David Adkin Limited 
Production management Will Hermnan
Company Stage Manager Amy Spall
Assistant Stage Manager Amy Clement 
Props Supervisor Lisa Buckley
Costume Supervisor Emily Stuart
Hair stylist and wigs mistress Frances Stebbing

Show Times

Monday – Saturday 7.30pm  Matinees Tuesday & Saturday 3.30pm


Tickets £30.00 – Please note that after Saturday 23 February all tickets are full price.
Box Office 020 7287 2875 www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk