Monthly archives: February 2011

Congratulations to Arinze Kene – ‘Most Promising Playwright’

Thanks to tweets from @OvalDirector we’re thrilled to see that one of our Associate Company playwrights, Arinze Kene, won the award for Most Promising Playwright at’s Offie Awards last night. And we couldn’t be more delighted for him.

The prize was awarded for Arinze’s recent play, ESTATE WALLS which was directed by our good friend Ché Walker and produced by Inner City Theatre, one of our Associate Companies who we support and mentor as an emerging theatre company with playwrights at their heart.

All of us at PP HQ thought the play was fantastic and can’t wait to see his new play LITTLE BABY JESUS at Oval House Theatre in May.

Beethoven verses The Beatles

“I think rock and roll is better, don’t you? Don’t you think rock and roll is simply a better sort of music?”

It’s 1967 and brothers Henry and Kenneth in Mike Bartlett’s LOVE, LOVE, LOVE have very different ideas about the world.

They also have very different tastes in music…

Simon Darwen as Beethoven loving Henry and Ben Addis as Beatles fan Ken

“I do prefer classical music, yes, but that’s allowed”

So what do you think? Classical or rock and roll? Post a comment and let us know whether you prefer symphonies or synthesisers.

There’s a signed copy of the playtext  for the person who makes the most convincing case…

What we’re seeing this month

It’s not often the full PP team is in London at the same time. But with James and Jack in rehearsals for Love, Love, Love, and George, Tara, Claire and our brilliant interns Kate, Ann and Jo all nose to the grindstone putting the finishing touches to our 2011 programme, we’re taking the opportunity to see some London theatre together.

We’ll be making a bee-line for DC Moore‘s Honest at Soho Theatre. The play was first seen at Paines Plough’s LATER back in 2009 and since then it’s been a huge hit in Northampton and at the Edinburgh Fringe. Before that, we’re heading to see Bender by Anna Jordan, Lovecat by Ant Stones, Word:Play 4 from Box Of Tricks and Moment by Deirdre Kinahan.

We’re all very much looking forward to Andrew Sheridan’s Winterlong which we loved when we read it last year and which Paines Plough Board Member and superstar playwright Simon Stephens recently called the best first play he’s read. In fact, our friends at the Royal Exchange Theatre are taking over London this month with both Winterlong and Mogadishu running concurrently – the latter of which James and Tara saw up north earlier this month and have been raving about ever since.

There are only a few of us left to see the Royal Court’s Clybourne Park and we’re about to book for their production of Richard Bean’s The Heretic too. We’re also grabbing tickets to Bad Physics’ Sunday Morning at the Centre of the World while they’re still a steal at £6.

Tell us what you’re seeing and what we can’t afford to miss.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE posters and flyers

The posters and flyers for our Spring tour of LOVE, LOVE, LOVE arrived in the office today… whaddya think?

The poster...

...and the back of the flyer

Caro Newling appointed Chairman

Caro Newling

We’re delighted to announce that Caro Newling has been appointed Chair of our Board of Trustees with immediate effect.

Caro is a director of Neal Street Productions, an independent theatre, film and television production company formed with long term collaborator Sam Mendes. Current theatre work includes The Bridge Project, a three year international initiative with The Brooklyn Academy of Music and The Old Vic, Shrek The Musical (with Dreamworks Theatricals) at Drury Lane, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in development with Warner Bros.

As long-standing admirers of Caro’s work since her days founding and running the Donmar Warehouse, we are delighted to welcome Caro to Paines Plough. We know the company will benefit hugely from her expertise and experience and we’re very excited about the future of the company under her leadership.

You can read the full press release here.

Your favourite playwrights

Last week we asked you who your favourite living playwright was…

We were bowled over by the number of responses and the thrilling range of playwrights advocated in your comments.

We loved reading your passionate championing of your favourites, which collectively are real testament to the depth and range of talent out there, and to the catholicity of taste amongst new writing afficionados.

Here are a selection:

Edward Albee and Mark Ravenhill are like creative and ‘slightly mad’ cooks; mixing surrealism with naturalism and throwing in some rich, full-blooded dialogue. All amounting to feast after feast for this reader.”
Georgie Buns

Enda Walsh, without a doubt.”

“I think it has to be Dennis Kelly; I can’t think of many living writers who can pull off epic quite so brilliantly as Gods Weep… But, can’t ignore James Graham either, Whiskey Taster is sublime!”

David Eldridge: Totally exposes the human condition and writes the best Radio plays around.”
Francesca Moody

Tim Crouch, to my mind, is the most exciting theatre-maker and writer of the last 50 years.”
Will Wrightson

Martin McDonagh. Always precise, vivid and disturbing!”
Zoe Sharp

Charlotte Jones always writes amzing stories about truly interesting human beings – she constantly inspires me…i love her!”
Samantha Edwards

Mike Bartlett. Cock is the best play I’ve ever seen in my life. Still can’t get over it.”

“I’ve only just been introduced to Simon Stephens, and i’ve fallen in love!”


Everyone who commented went into a hat from which we drew one person to receive a lovely parcel of plays from us. The winner was Mark Oosterveen, who wrote:

“The tempting thing here is to stop, think, and make a measured, thought-out response. But the more honest thing would be to blurt out the first name that comes to mind. I’m going for the latter and saying David Mamet.”

A parcel of plays winging its way to Mark Oosterveen

Please do keep adding your favourite playwrights to the thread.

We *heart* cake

Valentine’s Day was a most appropriate date to start rehearsals for a play called LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

And to mark the occasion, fabulous new cast member Ben baked some love-ly cakes for us all to swoon over. Here’s a photo:

We love, love, love cake

Day one of LOVE, LOVE, LOVE rehearsals

Great excitement at PP HQ this morning as LOVE, LOVE, LOVE goes back into rehearsals prior to its Spring Tour.

We’re welcoming two new faces to the cast – Ben Addis will play Kenneth and Lisa Jackson will play Sandra.

Lisa Jackson and Ben Addis

And we’re welcoming back James Barrett, Simon Darwen and Rosie Wyatt who are reprising the roles of Jamie, Henry and Rose.

Simon Darwen, Rosie Wyatt and James Barrett

The company are at PP HQ for the next three weeks before travelling to Salisbury where the show opens on 8 March, before embarking on the biggest tour in Paines Plough history taking in 12 theatres over 14 weeks with 28,359 available seats.

Full details of the production and tour schedule can be found here.

Stay tuned for regular updates from the rehearsal room.

Stationery geeks

We’re a bit geeky about stationery. Cue much excitement as our new letterheads, comps slips and business cards arrive hot off the press this morning.

The brilliant Bureau For Visual Affairs – who designed our website and brand – have come up with fresh new designs and a vivid pink palette that has inspired a sudden penchant for letter writing at PP HQ.

The new PP stationery

Who is your favourite playwright?

It’s one of our favourite questions…

Who is your favourite living playwright and why?

It’s our opening gambit at most of the workshops we run, and we asked actors who came to our open auditions on Sunday. The responses are always hugely varied and interesting, so we thought we’d open up the question to you, dear blog readers.

Simply post a comment to tell us who you favour. Keep it to living playwrights. Shakespeare and Chekhov don’t count.

We’ll publish the best responses on here and on Friday we’ll put everyone’s name into a hat and one lucky person will receive a lovely parcel of PP playtexts in the post from us.

Who will you choose?