Monthly archives: August 2010

A strenous day at Paines Plough HQ

Today we rearranged the office so all the administration staff are in one cosy room… Please enjoy some snap shots;


How many Paines Plough staff members does it take to put a desk together?


Artistic Director, George Perrin, hard at work!

and after!

"Spit spot. And away we go!"

The best way to poach an egg?

@djientan swears by Poach Pods

Now, obviously we’re working very hard rehearsing, but the FLY ME TO THE MOON company has had another preoccupation this week – the best way to poach an egg.

Of the cast members, Abby is of the saucepan school, whipping up a whirlpool with a bit of vinegar and dropping the egg in the middle. Katie has a cunning trick involving cling film – crack the egg into the middle of a sheet and wrap it up, then drop the parcel in boiling water and unwrap the perfect egg.

We asked Twitter – “What’s the best way to poach an egg?” – and here are the responses:

In a saucepan.
(ho, ho – Ed)

My gran always puts a little bit of vinegar in the pot and swirls the water before putting the egg in. Keeps it together.


Not too much water in your pan, a little bit of vinegar, swirl it around so there’s a whirlpool and drop egg into middle.

Lightly simmering water, glug of white wine vinegar, swirl the water, approx 2 mins for slightly runny centre.

I have a couple of these: Bit of a poached egg cheat, but perfect every time! :-)

If you know better, post a comment. We’ve ordered some Poach Pods as recommended by @djientan and we’re planning an poach off!

Giggles in Glasgow

Abby (left) and Katie get snapped

Here’s the fantastic cast of FLY ME TO THE MOON being photographed by a press snapper in the rehearsal room in Glasgow today.

Abby McGibbon and Katie Tumelty play Loretta and Francis, two down on their luck care workers whose Frank Sinatra obsessed charge has a posthumous win on the horses.

We’re having a ball in rehearsals. Marie Jones’s madcap script is hilarious and outrageous, and it’s as much as we can all do to keep a straight face for long enough to rehearse a scene. There’s one particular moment with a wheelchair (we shall say no more) that has us all giggling uncontrolably. We open at Oran Mor in Glasgow on Monday, so we just hope the audience find it as funny as we do!

There’s a great buzz in the amazing Oran Mor rehearsal flat where me and Jack are living, which also houses two rehearsal rooms. The IN THE PIPELINE company is rehearsing just across the coridoor from us and the kitchen becomes a green room at breakfast and lunchtimes, with English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish accents mingling over bagels and baked potatoes. As of Monday, THE UNCERTAINTY FILES company moves in too, and the A Play, A Pie And A Pint season will be underway. Can’t wait.

Paines Plough Associate Company Scheme

With the launch of our new brand, website and 2010 programme of work, came the introduction of a new Paines Plough scheme whereby each year we offer support and resources to three fledgling theatre companies with new writing at their heart; the Paines Plough Associate Company Scheme.

Paines Plough began in 1974 when, over a pint of Paines bitter in The Plough pub, the company’s founders John Adams and David Pownall decided to start a company dedicated to touring new plays. 36 years later that entrepreneurial spirit is still strong in our new team’s approach to making as much work for as many people as possible all year round.

But we felt that there was little support available to new companies starting out and decided that in whatever way we could, we wanted to help people that share the commitment to getting brilliant new plays to audiences that lies at the heart of Paines Plough.

So it is with great pride that we introduce you to our first three Associate Companies; Forward Theatre Project, Inner City Theatre and Pieces Productions. They are all premiering new work this autumn and we can’t recommend highly enough that you check them out:

Arcola Theatre and Pieces Productions present
Pieces of Vincent
by David Watson | directed by Clare Lizzimore

A hopeful young man, a teacher in love, a pregnant woman,
A fearful policeman, a boy on a mission, a pianist in the rain.
A wounded man, a grandmother…
And Vincent.

Nine lives fractured by the events of one tragic day.
Arcola Theatre, Dalston
2 – 25 Sept  8pm
18 and 25 September 3pm and 8pm, Previews 2, 3, 4   
£16 (£10) | Pay What You Can Tuesdays | A Night Less Ordinary Free tickets for under 26’s
Box Office: 020 7503 1646 |

Inner City Theatre presents
Estate Walls
by Arinze Kene | directed by Che Walker

“Three ghetto youts on de estate wall,
Whole day pass dey do na’ting at all,
Dey fink dey bad cos dey fightin’ ‘n’ brawlin’,
But one of dese mornin’, one of dese mornin’,
One of dese mornin’…”

Oval House Theatre, Oval
21 Sept – 9 Oct 7.45pm
£12 (£6) | Box Office: 020 7582 7680 |

Forward Theatre Project presents
Scratch My City

Working with emerging theatre companies from around the country, FTP have asked them to send in things that inspire them about the city they live in. These materials have now been presented to a group of FTP’s directors, writers and designers. Now, Forward Theatre Project presents five new and exciting pieces of theatre inspired by the artist’s peers in another part of the UK…

the Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road
Monday 4th October, 7.30pm
£5 | Box Office: 0844 482 8008 |

It’s Friday!!

It’s been a busy week this week at PP HQ. So to top it off we thought we’d give you a rundown of what we’ve been up to outside of the office (contrary to popular belief, we do have lives outside of work).
Plays we’ve seen…
BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE by Martin McDonagh (Young Vic)
SPUR OF THE MOMENT by Anya Reiss (Royal Court)
Books we’ve read…
HAPPINESS by Will Ferguson
ONE DAY by David Nicholls
Movies we’ve seen…
Music we just can’t stop listening to…
MUMFORD AND SONS (takes us back to the fields of Latitude)
Exhibitions we’ve been to…
THE FAMILY AND THE LAND by Sally Mann (Photographers Gallery)

…and here’s a picture of our Friday afternoon treat!

My first two days with Paines Plough

I’m Fiona, the new intern at Paines Plough. It’s only my second day but it has already been both exciting and exhausting. I only say exhausting because when I arrived on Tuesday morning the lift up to our fourth floor offices was being fixed. Mainly it has been very exciting. I spent most of my first day trying to reckon with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival Guide so that when our Producer, Tara, goes up next week, she can fit every possible show into the 72 hours she is in the city.  I’ve met all the lovely people in the office but have only met one half of the artistic directing team that are George Perrin and James Grieve (I met George who was very nice to me). I was also lucky enough to sit in on their company meeting yesterday to hear all about the exciting new projects coming up including A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT. The second play from this series, Gary Owen’ s IN THE PIPELINE, directed by David Horan Artistic director of Bewley’s Theatre Cafe, is starting rehearsals on Monday.

Day One of Fly Me To The Moon

After a manic weekend of Fringe watching, my highlights included PENELOPE by Enda Walsh/Druid, the fantastic new stand-up talent of BO BURNHAM at the Pleasance Dome and some strong performances in THE GIRL IN THE YELLOW DRESS. Heading back on Thursday to catch IT’S ALWAYS RIGHT NOW, UNTIL IT’S LATER, TEENAGE RIOT & BUNNY amongst others.

And over to the Òran Mór in Glasgow…

After much debate about how best to poach eggs, some exciting new scenes from Marie Jones, bananas as telephone props and the arrival of a rehearsal bed, we’re in the rehearsal room and cracking on after a fruitful DAY 1!

Working hard to get off script and the physical comedy of the show is starting to stack up.

follow our progress on twitter – @painesplough

Òran Mór soon x

From Edinburgh to Glasgow

It was my turn to head up to the Fringe this weekend, and what a brilliant weekend it was. Leaving PP HQ on Friday morning, I was greeted in the afternoon by glorious sunshine in Edinburgh, and made my way straight to the Forest Fringe foyer to see James Baker’s 30 DAYS TO SPACE. An attempt for Baker to realise his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut with a ladder and a very shiny space suit. Over the weekend I saw a number of fantastic solo performances and plays, including I AM WOOF, created and performed by Robert Taylor, WHERE HAVE ALL THE LADIES GONE? created and performed by Victoria Kember, BUNNY, by Jack Thorne, and 10 DATES WITH MAD MARY, by Yasmine Akram. All were uniquely different and thoroughly engaging. I also got to enjoy HOT MESS, by Ella Hickson, and OTHERS, by The Paper Birds, and followed the crowds to the Traverse to see THE AUTHOR by Tim Crouch, PENELOPE, by Enda Walsh, FREEFALL by Michael West and The Corn Exchange Theatre Company Ireland, and SPEECHLESS by Linda Brogan and Polly Teale.

After my busy weekend hotfooting it around the city, on Monday morning I hopped on a train to Glasgow for the first day of rehearsals for Paines Plough/Òran Mór’s A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT. I joined PP’s James, Tara and Jack, and Artistic Director of Òran Mór, David MacLennan, to meet with the cast and crew of the season’s first play, FLY ME TO THE MOON by Marie Jones. With tea and coffee brewed, and Monday morning pastries on the table, we all gathered to hear the fantastic Abigail McGibbon and Katie Tumelty bring the script to life in the first read through. It was so brilliant to meet the team and see everyone’s excitement. Can’t wait to see the play up on it’s feet.

A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT will tour to five cities in the UK from 30th August, including Glasgow, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Coventry, and Dublin. If anyone has any suggestions for places to eat, things to do, and where to get the best watermelon martini in each of these places, please do get in touch! We want to hear from you.

Drinking in the rain

Left to right: Mimi (our new Intern), James (co-AD), Jo (General Manager), Jack (Trainee Director), Tara (Producer)

It takes more than a few spots of rain to stop us from enjoying an end-of-week drink on the roof of Paines Plough HQ!

We want your tips for perfect pints on tour

It’s been a busy week at Paines Plough as all our Productions enter their rehearsal periods within the next six weeks and shortly thereafter will be on the road.

We have seen a wealth of British acting talent for Mike Bartlett’s LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and it has been a pleasure to meet everyone.  Rehearsals start on Monday for FLY ME TO THE MOON by Marie Jones, the first play in the Paines Plough/Oran Mor Season of A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT, and will be directed by our very own James Grieve. Whilst the other four playwrights continue to develop their 45 minutes plays and the directors (David Horan, Charlotte Gwinner, Tamara Harvey and George Perrin) begin to think on casting which will cover nationalities from Welsh, to American, to Scottish.  Finally, our collaboration with Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse on a November tour for Laurence Wilson’s TINY VOLCANOES is tied up after its success at Latitude.

As we begin to venture on the road doing what Paines Plough does best – we thought we’d ask for your stories and reccomendations for the various cities that we are going to be in for A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT. So, here goes – let us know the best brew, classiest coffee, satisfying sandwich, perfect pint and delightful dinner you have had in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Coventry and Dublin by posting a comment – and we’ll let the company know.