Talley’s Folly in London

Talley’s Folly in London


Talley's Folly

Location: The Cockpit
Gateforth Street, London NW8 8EH

October 13 – 29, 2022


Talley_s Folly-Burning Coal Theatre Company_2
All Photos from the 2020 Burning Coal Theatre Production of Talley's Folly
Talley’s Folly by Lanford Wilson
Directed by John Gulley
October 13 – 29, 2022
Thursdays thru Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2 pm.  Saturday, October 29th also at 2 pm.
All tickets £15 Available at

“… truly moving … exquisitely written … delightful.” – Triangle A&E

“subtle, funny, poignant” – CVNC

“…a waltz of words that ebbs and flows gorgeously throughout the Burning Coal production.” – Beltline to Broadway
Contributors to this production include

Marty Finkel, Bruce Ackerman, Kathy Covert, Richard and Dona Falvo, Elaine Boelle, Christopher and John McLachlan, John and Meg Calcagni, Lois Champion, Connie and Robert Shertz, Carol McNeel, Sue and Dave Huff, Keith and Patricia Saling Burridge, Mark Filiaci, Dawn Enochs, Jacobi Daley, Kay Dickersin, Paul Leone, Marty & Phyllis Demko, Ron & Susan Aycock, Ralph & Francine Roberson, Sid Harrell, John Gulley, Natalie Enders, Richard Adelman, Jacqueline Weidner, Beth Berngartt, Madison Doss,  Elizabeth Cox, Edie Thompson, Joanna LaForgia, Elizabeth Strickland, Doug Hale, Martha Gerrity, Mark & Judy Thompson, Chris Brown, Dorothy Lichtwardt, Martha Keravuori, anonymous 

Jerome Davis talks about Talley’s Folly V1

Jerome Davis talks about Talley’s Folly V2

Travel with Burning Coal from Raleigh to London, U.K. to see the tour of Talley’s Folly in-person!

This whirlwind adventure includes 4 plays in 3 days, airfare, hotel room, and more!

Learn more by clicking here.

Help send Burning Coal Theatre across the pond!

We’re bringing our production of Talley’s Folly by Lanford Wilson to The Cockpit in London, U.K. All proceeds of this t-shirt go directly towards making this special production happen.

Price: $30

Sizes Available: XS – XXL

Click here to buy a t-shirt for the writer in your life!

So enchanting, its almost spiritual
“Beshert is a Yiddish word meaning preordained. It is often used to refer to finding one’s soul mate. According to an article written by Rabbi Julian Sinclair for The Jewish Chronicle in 2008, “Singles pray to ‘meet their beshert,’ their life partner, the other half of the broken eggshell with whom they will find love and fulfillment.”

It is hard to know if Lanford Wilson was aware of the concept of beshert when he wrote his Pulitzer Prize-winning play Talley’s Folly, or if the team at Burning Coal Theatre understood its cultural significance prior to mounting its current production, but there is something about this particular “no-holds-barred” love story that is so enchanting, it’s almost spiritual.” – Lauren van Hemmert, Beltline to Broadway

The chemistry … is almost palpable.
“Director John Gulley is fortunate to have two actors of this high quality to work with. The chemistry between the two is palpable, and only grows throughout the story.” – Martha Keravuori, Triangle Arts & Entertainment

Suble, funny, poignant and very, very real.
“But the real influence of the director here is the slow but sure unraveling of why Sally is being so circumspect. What could possibly be so terrible that it would keep her from accepting Matt’s proposal – something for which she would seem to wish? The answer is very real and very damaging for the time. And, as Aunt Charlotte so wisely pointed out, only Sally can tell us what it is.

This show drives home why it is that Lanford Wilson received a Pulitzer Prize for this work. It is subtle, funny, poignant, and very, very real. ” – Alan Hall, Classical Voice of North Carolina

John Gulley (Director).  For Burning Coal:  Skylight, Talley’s Folly.  John teaches in the School of Theatre at UNC Greensboro where he’s the coordinator of the MFA Directing Program. Before coming to UNCG, he was the Resident Director for the Asolo Theatre Company in Sarasota, Florida. He has directed Off-Broadway and for a number of regional theatres. John received his BA in Theatre from Wake Forest University and his MFA in Directing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jerome Davis (Matt Friedman).  For Burning Coal (Acting): Skylight, St. Nicholas, The Mound Builders, Loves Labours Lost, also Skylight in Orlando and King Lear (Lear) in Wilmington.    (Directing):  The Life of Galileo, Evita, Camelot, Ashe in Johannesburg, The Weir (twice), Rat in the Skull, Pentecost, Winding the Ball, Steward of Christendom, Night & Day, Company, Road to Mecca, Juno & the Paycock, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Taming of the Shrew, Inherit the Wind, Hamlet, Hysteria, Prisoner’s Dilemma, 1960, The Seafarer, Shape of the Table, Enron, Jude the Obscure Parts 1 & 2, Shining City, The Heretic, Iron Curtain Trilogy (Raleigh & London), Sunday in the Park with George, Spoonface Steinberg, Written on the Heart, Dark Vanilla Jungle (London), Iphigenia in Splott.  Other:  Grounded (Sonorous Road), Twelfth Night in Apex and Turn of the Screw for NC Opera.  Jerome has worked with or studied with Uta Hagen, Adrian Hall, Richard Jenkins, Hope Davis, Nikos Psacharapolous, Julie Bovasso, Ralph Waite, Oliver Platt, Ben Gazzarra and Ellen Burstyn.  This is his 23rd season as artistic director of Burning Coal which he and his wife Simmie Kastner founded in 1995.

Kelly Pekar (Sally Talley) – Burning Coal debut! A NYC based member of AEA, favorite credits include the Off-Broadway, Drama Desk nominated The Threepenny Opera (Lucy Brown), Phoenix Theatre Company’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Judy), Halina/Manke/Dorothee + dance captain in Indecent music directed by Lisa Gutkin, Dike (New York Theatre Workshop development and Urbanite Theatre), Cinderella in Into the Woods and Molly in Peter and the Starcatcher (freeFall Theatre), Kyra in David Hare’s Skylight, Amadeus at TheatreZone (Constanze), the World Premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation of Three Sisters (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, directed by John Doyle), and many of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s leading ladies. Audiobook narrator of Rust, by Eliese Colette Goldbach, with Macmillan Audio. www.kellypekar.com

Matthew E. Adelson (Lighting Designer) Previously for Burning Coal: ArtThe Life of Galileo, The Container, Churchill’s Shorts, Ashe In Johannesburg, Iphigenia in Splott, Darkside, Greek Trilogy, Written On The Heart, Dark Vanilla Jungle (London/Cockpit), 2016 2nd Stage, Spoonface Steinberg, Iron Curtain Trilogy (Raleigh and London/Cockpit), The Diary of Anne Frank, Ruined, Shining City, The Shape of the Table, The Seafarer, The Prisoner’s Dilemma, Inherit The Wind, Pentecost, Einstein’s Dreams (1998 and 2006 productions), Miss Julie, James Joyce’s The Dead, The Man Who Tried To Save The World, Travesties, The Doll’s House, and Romeo and Juliet. Recent credits include: The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? and Shrek, The Musical (Berkshire Theatre Group), The Three Musketeers (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey) and Curve of Departure (Chester Theatre). Matthew is the Production Manager for the Five College Dance Department (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith and UMass Amherst) and is a graduate of Yale Drama School.

Joel Soren (Scenery Design), a former Brooklynite and recent raleigh transplant, is a theatrical director, designer, and technician. Joel has been designing work in NYC since 2013 and is thrilled to start his North Carolinian theatrical work with the Burning Coal Theater Co. Recently, Joel was the Technical Director for the Lee Strasberg Theater&Film Institute, a production manager for Taylor 2 (Paul Taylor Modern American Dance) and Joel directed and designed work in NYC with the Flea Theater, Meisner Studio, The P.I.T., Playwrights Downtown, The Pearl Theater Co, The Tank, The Brick, Dixon Place, Walkerspace, SubletSeries@HERE Co-Op, The Pearl Theater Co, Crashbox Theater, & Fresh Ground Pepper NYC. NYU-Tisch, BFA double major in Drama & Politics, class of ’13.

The Cockpit, Gateforth Street, Marylebone, London NW8 8EH
Book online at thecockpit.org.uk or on 020 7258 2925 (10.30am-6pm Mon to Fri, 12noon-6pm Sat)

Nearest stations: Edgware Road (Hammersmith & City, District, Circle, Bakerloo), Marylebone (Bakerloo, main line). Both are about a 7 minute walk.

Lanford Wilson was an American playwright born and raised in Lebanon, Missouri.  He moved to New York City in the late 1950s.  Within a decade, he had established himself as one of the seminal figures of the 1960s New York City Off-Broadway movement.  He helped found the legendary Circle Repertory Company in the west Village, a company that would produce such extraordinary actors as Christopher Reeve, Jeff Daniels, William Hurt, Swoozie Kurtz, Cynthia Nixon and Richard Thomas.  Among the many playwrights that got their start or found solid footing in the New York theatre were Jon Robin Baitz, Marsha Norman and Craig Lucas. 

Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winner, Talley’s Folly is part of a trilogy of plays that include Fifth of July, set 31 years later on the same Missouri estate as Talley’s Folly and Talley & Son.  Wilson had planned to write as many as nine plays about the Talley’s of Lebanon, Missouri prior to his untimely death in 2011 at the age of 74.  The original production of Talley’s Folly played on Broadway and starred Judd Hirsh and Trish Hawkins.  Its only other London production, in 1983, was presented at the Lyric Hammersmith and starred Haley Mills and Jonathan Pryce.

The Cockpit, Gateforth Street, Marylebone, London NW8 8EH
Book online at thecockpit.org.uk or on 020 7258 2925 (10.30am-6pm Mon to Fri, 12noon-6pm Sat).

Nearest stations: Edgware Road (Hammersmith & City, District, Circle, Bakerloo), Marylebone (Bakerloo, main line). Both are about a 7 minute walk.

The Cockpit is the only purpose built theatre-in-the-round in Central London. As well as performances, the theatre hosts classes and professional development courses. Both the auditorium and studios are available to hire, for shows, rehearsals, photo or film shoots, auditions, workshops, and seminars. The Cockpit is owned and supported by United Colleges Group. thecockpit.org.uk