Forward Theatre: Genesis

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Our brilliant Associate Company, Forward Theatre Project, are touring their new show GENESIS this autumn. Artistic Director, Charlotte Bennett, tells us what it’s all about…

In 2013, I met a brilliant, inspiring woman called Morag Siller.

Morag was an actress, had incurable breast cancer and was the patron of charity Prevent Breast Cancer. She told me about this small but radical organisation; the UK’s only charity to solely focus on breast cancer prevention, which had started with a vision of finding an alternative way to achieve a breast cancer free future – and I was blown away.

Morag wanted to create a play to raise awareness of prevention and asked if I would work with her. We wanted to look at how we could reach not only scientific minds but non-scientific ones by telling the human stories behind the science. And so myself and playwright Frazer Flintham, interviewed patients and scientists to create a new play: GENESIS, which tells a story about genetic testing for breast cancer.

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As part of ‘tooling up’ we spent hours ensuring we understood the science and the terms (the sort of stuff that if you are a non-science bod make you want to bolt). We know how to tell human stories, but understanding the science was the real challenge. It was hard but GLORIOUS. And the support from the brilliant staff at Prevent Breast Cancer empowered us to make a play that is now as scientifically informed as it is theatrically crafted.

Morag passed away in April. She was a woman who campaigned right to the end of her life to bring the science of this charity into the fore of the conversation about a breast cancer free future. And she was also a brilliant actress who recognised the ability of theatre to have conversations with audiences about difficult things like genetic testing by using humour, drama and story. And so we make this one for her.

And now here we are, rehearsing this important piece of theatre in Manchester. We premiere at The Lowry, Salford. We then tour to Soho Theatre, London, then to Cumbria, Preston and Doncaster.

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Booking details are here:

11th – 12th November The Lowry (8pm, 2.30pm and 8pm) Tickets £12 / £10 concessions

15th – 19th November Soho Theatre (7pm, Sat matinee 4pm) Tickets £16 / £14 concessions

22nd November Beggar’s Theatre Cumbria (7.30pm) Tickets £10 / £7 concessions

23rd November  Preston Continental  (8pm) Tickets £8 / £6 concessions

24th November Cast Doncaster (7.45pm) Tickets £10.50 / £9 concessions

GENESIS is supported by funding from Arts Council England, the Teale Charitable Trust, the Richard Carne Trust, Talbot Validus, the Granada Foundation, the Unity Theatre Trust, the Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, Morag Siller, other private donors, and our crowdfund backers.

Broken Biscuits: #nowplaying Scarborough

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This week BROKEN BISCUITS by Tom Wells is on the East coast at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough so we’ll be listening to bands who started life along the beautiful Yorkshire coastline.

Little Angels – Scarborough 

Prolific 80s rock band Little Angels formed in Scarborough back in 1984 (previously named both Zeus and Mr Thrud). They started life with their brilliantly titled debut album Too Posh To Mosh. During their prime they supported Van Halen and Bon Jovi.

Arthur Brown – Whitby

I AM THE GOD OF HELLFIRE AND I BRING YOU… Arthur Brown of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Who remembers ‘Fire’ which reached Number 1 back in 1968 (both here and in Canada)? The eccentric frontman was famed for his operatic singing style which he has sustained through a long career, continuing to record to this day. His followers refer to him as The God of Hellfire in reference to the opening lyrics to Fire.

Ben Parcell – Bridlington

Ben Parcell couldn’t be further from Arthur Brown in terms of style but only comes from down the road in Bridlington. Parcell describes his sound as Pop Folk – which is a similar sound to the BROKEN BISCUITS gang. Although we don’t think Ben has any songs about working on the checkout at Sainbury’s.

We’re at the Stephen Joseph from Tuesday until Saturday – come and rock out with us (in a gentle geeky way). Tickets here.

#BrokenBiscuits

Website maintenance

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Unfortunately we’re having some issues with our website. We’re blaming the cold weather but it’s probably something to do with words like ‘server’ and ‘hosting’. We’re working to have the website back up and running as soon as possible. Sorry for any inconvenience caused in the meantime.

The good news is our blog is still holding strong so we’ve tried to put as much information here as possible. Below we’ve got our tour dates until the end of the year and links to recent announcements. If there’s any PP information you need urgently you can ring the office on 020 7240 4533 and we’ll do our best to help you out.

A Paines Plough and Live Theatre production
BROKEN BISCUITS
by Tom Wells

08-12 November
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
01723 370541
sjt.uk.com

15-19 November
Crucible Studio, Sheffield Theatres
0114 249 6000
sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

25-26 November
Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol
0117 902 0344
tobaccofactorytheatres.com

29 November – 03 December
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
0121 236 4455
birmingham-rep.co.uk

 

A Paines Plough, Sherman Theatre and Theatr Clywd production
LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY
by Alan Harris

2-12 November
Theatr Clwyd, Mold
01352 701521
www.theatrclywd.com

15-19 November
Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
029 2064 6900
www.shermantheatre.co.uk

 

Recent announcements:

Every Brilliant Thing will tour internationally in 2017
Zia Ahmed will be on attachment at PP in 2017 as part of Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme

We’ll be posting updates on Twitter and Facebook.

We’re off to… Mold

Roundabout may be flat packed into the back of a lorry, but LOVE LIES & TAXIDERMY continues forth into Wales this evening for its opening night at co-producers Theatr Clwyd in Mold for the start of its Welsh tour. 

A second collaboration between ourselves, Theatr Clwyd and Sherman Theatre, we were last down in Mold back in 2014 with Sam Burns’ NOT THE WORST PLACE, and we’re absolutely thrilled to be back this year with Alan Harris’ heart-warming and hilarious play.

If you’re in Wales and in search of a lesson in taxidermy, then Dave Roberts at The Morbitorium is your man. However, if you’d rather leave the stuffing of animals to Valentyn’s father Jacub then come on down to Theatr Clwyd where LOVE, LIES & TAXIDERMY will be running till 12 November.

For those of you who’d like to hear more about Dave…read on.

#LoveLiesTaxidermy

Broken Biscuits: #nowplaying Hull

With Plymouth still tapping its feet, we’re brushing off the sand and getting back on the road. This evening BROKEN BISCUITS lands in Kingston upon Hull at Hull Truck Theatre, ready to shred those skins.

 

The Housemartins

An unlikely collision of Marxist politics and Christianity, The Housemartins are an alternative backing track to the 80s. Originally buskers on the streets of Hull, their single ‘Happy Hour’ landed them at the top of the UKs music scene. Whilst members Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway went on to form The Beautiful South, did you know that Fat Boy Slim and Beats International’s Norman Cook used to be their bass player?

 

The Beautiful South

Former members of the Housemartins, Paul and Dave formed The Beautiful South in 1988, joined by former roadies and guest vocalists Briana Corrigan and Jaqui Abbott. Their hilariously frank lyrics and soft melodies, mean there’s always one line of ‘Don’t Marry Her’ that always has to be yelled at the top of your lungs.

 

Fatboy Slim

After he moved to Hull to join The Housemartins, the group split in 1988 and Norman Cook created the musical sensation that is Fatboy Slim. Technically a DJ and not a band, we’re going to give this one to Norman because Christopher Walken moves are truly something else.

 

The Paddingtons

With a similar sound to bands like The Cribs, The Libertines and Alex Turner’s The Last Shadow Puppets, indie rock band The Paddingtons are one of the 00’s grungers out there. Messy hair, eye liner, ‘cool’ hats and tattered jeans… some of us have all been there.

DID YOU KNOW… back in 2012 Paines Plough presented Paul Heaton’s soul opera THE 8TH in a co-production with Manchester International Festival and on tour across the UK.

#BrokenBiscuits

TheatreCraft and General Management Workshop

We’re thrilled to announce not one, not two, but THREE upcoming workshops aimed at sharing our processes and demystifying the way we make new plays.

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We are delighted to be returning to TheatreCraft – this year being held on our very own doorstep at The Waldorf Hotel on Monday 14 November. You’ll be able to find us at our stand in the Marketplace, where you can chat to members of the PP team about our work, and on top of this we will also be holding two workshops:

ROLES TO REACH GOALS – PAINES PLOUGH ON HOW TO PUT ON NEW WORK

11:45am-12:30pm

Theatre Royal Drury Lane

In this workshop aimed at people interested in pursuing a career in the theatre industry, we will be exploring the ins and outs of how you go about putting on a play, from first commission through to press night, and how the different people in a company work together to make it all happen.

THE ONLY STORY YOU’VE EVER HEARD – NEW WRITING

2:15pm-3:00pm

Novello Theatre

Hosted by our Playwright Fellow, Sam Steiner

Simon Stephens once told me that there has only ever been one story and we’re just retelling it over and over again. Let’s spend an hour trying to figure out whether he’s right.

Sound exciting? If you want to secure your place on these workshops, or find out more about this year’s TheatreCraft event, visit their website here.

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Trainee Director Anna Himali Howard in rehearsals for GROWTH earlier this year.

As if two workshops aren’t enough, we will be hosting the next in our series of General Management Workshops on Monday 12 December, 6:30pm-8:30pm (with attendee registration from 6pm), in the Paines Plough Rehearsal Room. We are located on 4th Floor, 43 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4DN.

This workshop is a chance for anyone interested in working in the theatre industry as a General Manager, or in Finance and Administration, to find out more about the profession. The evening will consist of a panel discussion followed by a Q&A; there will also be a chance to get to know everyone before and after the workshop.

We already have some brilliant panellists confirmed with more to come:

Natalie Adams, General Manager at Coney.

Fiona Gregory, General Manager at Frantic Assembly.

Catherine McKinney, General Manager at Almeida Theatre.

Sue Storr, freelance Arts Consultant and former General Manager at Paines Plough.

If you would like to register for a place just email Charlotte at charlotte@painesplough.com with the following information by 10am on Monday 21 November:

– Your name.
– Current role and where you work. (If you don’t have a job at the moment, don’t worry about this part – if you’re a student, please put what, and where, you are studying)
– A few sentences on why you’d like to attend this workshop.

So there we have it. A workshop for future playwrights, a workshop for future General Managers and a workshop for everyone in between. We hope to see you there!

A New Brilliant Thing: James Rowland

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We’re excited to announce a new face of EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe. Actor and comedian James Rowland will play the part of the narrator for international dates in Australia and New Zealand in 2017 (and maybe a few dates closer to home too, stay tuned).The original brilliant thing Jonny Donahoe will continue in the role he has now performed a staggering 229 times in three different continents. Jonny will be taking the show to North America while James is the other side of the planet in the Antipodes.

So there will be two brilliant things. Brilliant!

We’ll announce full worldwide tour dates for EVERY BRILLIANT THING with our full Programme 2017 in the New Year, and my word have we got some treats in store for you.

But for now we can reveal James and EVERY BRILLIANT THING will appear at Adelaide Festival which was announced today.

If you follow us on Twitter @painesplough we’ll let slip some more international tour dates in the next few weeks.

We’re thrilled to welcome James to Team PP. His one man show in Edinburgh this year TEAM VIKING was our favouritest thing, and we’re honoured to be working with an actor of James’ calibre.

Biography:

James has performed in Theatre, Radio and Television. Recently he has done lots of immersive theatre including The Crystal Maze, Heist and You Once Said Yes. He has also performed musical comedy under the stage name ‘James Rowland’ and is a member of the cabaret band The Idiot Circus. He performed his debut storytelling show Team Viking in London and Edinburgh and won The Origins Award (Vault Festival, 2016).

#EveryBrilliantThing

Broken Biscuits: #nowplaying Plymouth

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Broken Biscuits at Live Theatre (cred. Richard Kenworthy)

This week BROKEN BISCUITS by Tom Wells is in Devon at Theatre Royal Plymouth (in an aptly named space – The Drum) so we’ve decided this week we’ll be listening to bands and artists who started out in Devon. Here’s our list:

MUSE – Teignmouth

The Grammy Award winning stadium rockers started out life at Teignmouth Community College where they all played in different bands. Much like our gang in BROKEN BISCUITS they struggled to settle on a name going through the following: Carnage Mayhem, Gothic Plague, Fixed Penalty and Rocket Baby Dolls before settling on MUSE. Twenty million album sales later and we’d say they’ve done pretty well.

Chris Martin from Coldplay – Whitestone

That’s right. Not only is Devon home to MUSE but also Chris Martin who with Coldplay has sold over 80 million records world-wide. This makes them one of the biggest selling artists of all time. All that thanks to a boy from Whitestone.

Ben Howard – Bantham

The Brit Award winning boy from Bantham started writing songs when he was eleven and things are going pretty well for him. In addition to international fame and recognition his face was chosen to be on the Totnes 10 pound note  in 2014. Hopefully our Ben from BROKEN BISCUITS can get his face on a tenner too.

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Roundabout @ Futures House, Marsh Farm (Luton)

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It’s week eight of the Roundabout national tour and, sadly, our final week, but we’re determined to go out with a bang. This week we’re in Luton working with Revoluton (we love that name) to bring a festival of theatre, art, spoken-word, DJ-ing and more to Futures House on the Marsh Farm Estate. If you need to find us we’ve dropped a pin on this map for you. We’ll be popping up from Thursday 27 October to Sunday 30 October and we can’t wait.

All the events in the programme are PWYD (Pay What You Decide) so just reserve your ticket online and then Pay What You Decide on the day. Easy!

Thursday 27 October:

16:30 // MARSH DAYS
19:30 // GROWTH by Luke Norris

Friday 28 October:

09:30 // Baby Sensory Session
10:45 // I GOT SUPERPOWERS FOR MY BIRTHDAY by Katie Douglas
12:30 // Acting For TV Taster Workshop
15:30 // Revoluton Drop In
18:30 // LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY by Alan Harris
20:30 // Soul Food Poetry

Saturday 29 October:

09:30 // Baby Sensory Session
11:00 // I GOT SUPERPOWERS FOR MY BIRTHDAY by Katie Douglas
12:45 // DJ Workshop
16:15 // GROWTH by Luke Norris
19:15 // FROM RIOTS TO REVOLUTON
20:00 // Post Show Discussion
21:00 // Music and Chill

Sunday 30 October:

10:00 // Exercise and Relaxation by Ghar Se Ghar
12:30 // I GOT SUPERPOWERS FOR MY BIRTHDAY by Katie Douglas
15:15 // FROM RIOTS TO REVOLUTON
16:00 // Post Show Discussion
19:00 // LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY by Alan Harris
21:00 // Wisdm & Small Green Shoots Spoken Word

You can book for all events through Revoluton’s website here. Or just wander over to Futures House – tickets will be available for all Roundabout events from the pop-up Box Office up until the performances open.

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Did you know?

Riots to Revoluton is a brand new play created for Roundabout. It tells the story of the Marsh Farm Estate and is inspired by residents. Here’s more about the show:

Marsh Farm Estate, Luton. 1995. Where youth unemployment seeped like a poisonous chemical through its foundations. Where petrol got poured on a spark and reason turned to riot.

Using real life testimonies of those who experienced it, Revoluton Arts offers an alternative prospective behind Luton’s notorious riots. Revealing a story of massive but passive defiance and a demonstration of what power music and art can have in uniting people and changing the course of events.

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Broken Biscuits: Reviews Round-up

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After playing for three weeks at co-producers Live Theatre in Newcastle, Tom WellsBROKEN BISCUITS hits the road. We thought we’d do a quick round up of all the brilliant feedback our young rockers have received so far.

“A sweet meditation on the fierce, fragile alliances formed on the cusp of adulthood… incredibly endearing.” ★★★★ The Guardian

“Wonderful, funny and original ★★★★ The i Newspaper

“Funny, confessional and well-crafted… Matthew Robins’ music and Wells’ lyrics feel like Victoria Wood for a new generation.” The Stage

“Quirky, warm and hugely entertaining.” ★★★★ The Chronicle

“It’s funny. It’s engaging, even heart-warming.” British Theatre Guide

“Great atmosphere.” ★★★★ The Reviews Hub

“A funny script and rocking soundtrack… filled with warmth.” Narc Magazine

“A brilliant script… may well be the most uplifting thing you’ll see all year.” ★★★★★ Once Upon a Tyne

“Charming and recognisable… provided laughs along the way in its feel good message about growing up.” North East Theatre Guide

“A new play by Tom Wells is always a welcome event.” The Northern Echo

We’re touring until December visiting all of the following places. Are we coming to you?

25-29 October
The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth
01752 267222
theatreroyal.com

01-05 November
Hull Truck Theatre
01482 323638
hulltruck.co.uk

08-12 November
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
01723 370541
sjt.uk.com

15-19 November
Crucible Studio, Sheffield Theatres
0114 249 6000
sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

25-26 November
Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol
0117 902 0344
tobaccofactorytheatres.com

29 November – 03 December
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
0121 236 4455
birmingham-rep.co.uk

#BrokenBiscuits