Trying is a surprising, yet touching, play about a profound friendship between two strangers – at dramatically different points in their lives – who unexpectedly find they have more in common than they thought.

Internationally famous, cantankerous and in failing health, the 81-year-old Judge Francis Biddle awaits the new secretary that his wife has forced upon him. Sarah is very young and inexperienced and, even worse, from Canada. Francis doesn’t trust her. Francis doesn’t trust anyone – his last assistant managed to burn half his books. Despite undergoing her own marital pressures and impending motherhood, Sarah is determined to get the Judge’s life in order, without crying in the bathroom. 

Trying, which premiered in New York in 2004, is inspired by the playwright’s own experience as personal secretary to the real Judge Biddle, US Attorney General under President Franklin D Roosevelt and Chief American Judge at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. 

This Finborough theatre production of Trying stars stage and screen veteran Michael Craig as Biddle. Among his extensive stage credits are The War Of The Roses, An Inspector Calls and the original London production of Funny Girl.


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