Monthly archives: May 2013

Programme 2012 in Pictures

To celebrate the release of our 2012 Annual Review, here is Programme 2012 in pictures (and music):

Annual Review 2012

Hot off the press, it’s our lovely little review of last year!

Programme 2012 featured 11 productions touring to 46 places throughout the UK and internationally, featuring the work of 33 playwrights.

Like an Annual Report, but considerably less boring, our Annual Review offers a full lowdown of Programme 2012 with lots of stats, pictures, quotes and maps. Plus notes from James & George, and chair of our Board Caro. And the names of every single person we worked with last year. Which was lots.

We hope you like it. Let us know, yeah?

You can also watch a sound tracked slideshow of production images from all of last year’s productions here.

You can find Annual Reviews from previous years here, if you want.

EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan

We’re thrilled to announce that the sixth production of Programme 2013 is EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan.

You’re six years old. Mum’s in hospital. Dad says she’s ‘done something stupid’. She finds it hard to be happy. You start to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Everything that’s worth living for.

1. Ice cream
2. Kung Fu movies
3. Burning things
4. Laughing so hard you shoot milk out your nose
5. Construction cranes
6. Me

You leave it on her pillow. You know she’s read it because she’s corrected your spelling. Soon, the list will take on a life of its own.

Based on true and untrue stories.

EVERY BRILLIANT THING is the culmination of a project that Duncan began several years ago with Paines Plough Joint Artistic Director George. It has in various forms existed as a monologue, an exhibition and a FaceBook group and has evolved with the input of thousands of people at the nabokov Arts Club, Innocent Village Fete, Latitude Festival and online.

With our friends at Pentabus, Jersey Arts Trust and nabokov we’re bringing the full story behind Duncan’s incredible project to the stage with two exclusive preview performances this summer before a full national tour in 2014.

For more information about the show visit the production page on our website: http://www.painesplough.com/current-programme/by-date/every-brilliant-thing

 

A little reminder… We’re looking for a new housemate

As you may know, PP HQ is based on the 4th floor of 43 Aldwych in the heart of theatre land and in the rafters of the Aldwych Theatre.

We currently have two housemates on the 4th floor, Improbable and Kate Morley PR. Excitingly Improbable have found a bigger home in Kennington so we’re looking for another company or individual to join us.

The office that we have available is around 10ft x 15ft and has space for four or five people to work comfortably in there at the same time. Kitchen and toilet facilities are shared with and maintained by Paines Plough and tenants can also use the bright rehearsal room on the 4th floor at a discounted rate.

Of course we think Aldwych is the place to spend your working week but don’t just take our word for it- check out this article from the Evening Standard:

“‘Aldwych is the new Shoreditch’… the small crescent road in WC2 is driving a resurgence of cool in Covent Garden”

If you’d like to hear more about the office space including rates and terms and conditions, please contact office@painesplough.com for more information.

Natalie’s first week at Paines Plough!

I’ve just completed my first week at Paines Plough and now into my second week ranging alone! I’ve taken over from our interim administrator, Sean, who had kindly shown me around on my first day at PP towers. Since day one I felt extremely welcomed by the whole team as they invited me to share cake and sweets in the office and a lovely welcome beer outside of the office! Aside from that, I have learnt a lot in just a short time, observing how everyone functions in a small team to deliver high quality touring productions and absorbing information at every moment. Each week we have company meetings and ‘creative chat’, giving insight into how the company is run and the goals that we are working towards as a team.

I will be spending the next 12 months at Paines Plough working as the Admin and Finance Assistant. I was lucky enough to be given this opportunity through a work placement scheme called Creative Access, something I hope will encourage more people from BAME backgrounds to apply for roles within the creative industry.

Some of what I’ve been up to during my first week:

Compiling figures for our Sustainability Report

Given tours of the office space as we’re looking for a new housemate

Scheduling bookings for our Rehearsal Room

Finance Thursday!

Preparing for the release of our next newsletter (so keep an eye out for that!)

Being in the Paines Plough office is a very exciting and vibrant place to work, fully immersed amongst creative and inspiring people, I’m looking forward to my next 12 months here.

Maria’s farewell

I had the great opportunity of working at Paines Plough.

I’m currently studying a Master on Arts Administration and Cultural Policy in Goldsmiths, and as a part of it I had to do an internship in any arts organisation. I wanted to do it in theatre, and was looking for something in the field, when one of my teachers told me Paines Plough was searching for an intern. I immediately applied.

Before working there, I knew some basic things about the company: that it had an amazing history of good productions, that some of the greatest British playwrights (including the même Sarah Kane) had worked with them, and that they were very committed to touring and to new playwriting, things that I found very noble and appealing. But, I didn’t know I was going to meet such a good group of people. People that are not only colleagues, but also friends; people that try to do their best to create good productions, and that are always thinking on new ideas about how to make things better.

My work as an administrative assistant was mainly centred on doing research in different things that the company needed for the short and long term. PP is soon to be 40 years old, so my first job was to update the immense (and very rich) archive that has information about all the productions done so far. This was a very good insight to the company. Then I had to investigate about a broad number of things: venues and places where they could tour, different drama societies around the UK, environmental policies, fundraising, among others. This gave me a wide and updated vision on how the ‘theatre field’ is developing nowadays, and reinforced all my sherlockholmeans skills.  I also got the opportunity to participate on the company ‘day away’ meeting and the ‘creative chats’ (which were great! If The National Theatre wants to know what to do for the future, please call the team PP); help with some production needs; answer the phone (awfully executed); see some rehearsals; meet actors and great writers such as Kate Tempest and Tom Wells; and watch a lot of theatre.

Three months passed so fast!!…

As I said: I had the great opportunity of working at Paines Plough! Sean, Claire, Fran, Hanna, Tara, Tom, Mark, James and George I will really miss you! Thanks for everything and the best of luck with all the projects. Hope to see you soon to have some drinks and a nice piece of cake.

Un abrazo grande a todos!

Maria

What Next?

A few weeks ago we attended the ‘What Next?’ conference in London – a national movement to articulate and strengthen the role of culture in our society.

We spent the morning in groups of around 30, swapping ideas and provocations with arts leaders from across the country as well as one or two interested non-industry parties:

In the afternoon we collected in the Cambridge Theatre where the Chair of the movement, David Lan, summarised the work done so far.

You can watch the whole afternoon of the conference, in two halves, here –

First half.

Second half.

And here is what Sir Ken Robinson has to say about it all:

We’ll keep you posted on the progress of the movement on this blog and via twitter or find out more now by visiting www.whatnextculture.co.uk.

Fin Kennedy battalions on

On April 16th we published a blog post informing of Ed Vaizey’s lack of response to playwright Fin Kennedy’s In Battalions report. Perhaps Ed himself is a PP blog reader, because on the same day he issued a response to Fin giving his thoughts on the matter.

Whilst he appreciates Fin’s efforts in compiling such a thorough report on the critical situation new writing culture finds itself in, he takes a different view. He begins by highlighting the current economic climate,

“…we need to reduce the deficit, and DCMS sectors need to play their part in that. In the longer term our sectors, which rely on a mixed funding model, will benefit hugely from a strong economy and stable public finances”.

He very correctly goes on to highlight organisations with a strong new writing track record that have recently received increased funding during the last allocation. He then mentions the Arts Council Grants for the Arts scheme, which awards smaller amounts on occasions rather than regular funding, the chief concern of In Battalions.

Perhaps unfortunately, one page and a half letter is dedicated to highlighting how most of those who had contributed to the report had been rewarded in recent funding,

“Of the eighteen organisations that responded by name in your survey I noticed that eight have actually received significant increases in funding for this year set against 2011/2012 and one organisation shows no change in their funding. Furthermore of all theatre organisations which are funded, 24 received increases in funding set against 23 which show reductions whilst 11 showed no change”.

His final comment is to then speak of his own personal optimism with regards new writing and the future ecology,

“Whilst I in no way deny the overriding concern being felt in the sector at this difficult time, I was also interested and heartened to read some of the comments in the report that speak of optimism, resilience, innovation, and making the most of the way the Government is continuing to support the sector”.

There is no doubt that the discussion does not end here. Paines Plough is in direct contact with Fin and will inform you as and when any further action is taken. We would love to hear your thoughts on the above letter, as well as what you think should be done next. Whilst a direct dialogue with Vaizey is appreciated, it is obvious that some of the major findings are yet to be addressed.

Please let us know your thoughts, and we’ll inform you when we receive any more news.

We’re looking for a new housemate

As you may know, PP HQ is based on the 4th floor of 43 Aldwych in the heart of theatre land and in the rafters of the Aldwych Theatre.

We currently have two housemates on the 4th floor, Improbable and Kate Morley PR. Excitingly Improbable have found a bigger home in Kennington so we’re looking for another company or individual to join us.

The office that we have available is around 10ft x 15ft and has space for four or five people to work comfortably in there at the same time. Kitchen and toilet facilities are shared with and maintained by Paines Plough and tenants can also use the bright rehearsal room on the 4th floor at a discounted rate.

Of course we think Aldwych is the place to spend your working week but don’t just take our word for it- check out this article from the Evening Standard:

“‘Aldwych is the new Shoreditch’… the small crescent road in WC2 is driving a resurgence of cool in Covent Garden”

If you’d like to hear more about the office space including rates and terms and conditions, please contact office@painesplough.com for more information.

THE BIG ROOM Playwright-in-residence

We’d like introduce our newest member of the PP team – THE BIG ROOM Playwright-in-residence Alexandra Wood.

Alexandra’s play THE ELEVENTH CAPITAL was produced by the Royal Court as part of their Young Writers’ Festival 2007. On the strength of this she won the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright.

Alexandra adapted Jung Chang’s bestseller WILD SWANS (Young Vic/American Repertory Theatre) and was one of the writers to contribute to DECADE, Headlong Theatre’s piece exploring the legacy of 9/11.

Other plays include: THE CENTRE (Islington Community Theatre); THE ANDES (finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award); UNBROKEN (Gate); THE LION’S MOUTH, (Rough Cuts at Royal Court) and the radio play TWELVE YEARS (BBC Radio 4). She has written short plays for Rose Bruford College, nabokov, DryWrite and curious directive.

She is currently working on PIIGS, a collaboration with a Spanish writer to explore the effects of austerity in Spain, part of the ‘Open Court’ season at the Royal Court and is looking forward to writing a new play during her residency at PP.

THE BIG ROOM offer’s bespoke developmental opportunities to professional playwrights of exceptional talent across the UK.

Named after PP’s rehearsal room space in our long-standing Aldwych offices, it is a resource that will invest deeply in a small number of writers each year, with the ultimate aim of supporting the best playwrights in the development of their art, on their terms.

Read more about the work of THE BIG ROOM here.

THE BIG ROOM Playwright-in-residence is made possible by a donation from an anonymous playwright.