Monthly archives: November 2013

Tom Wells interviewed in The Independent

We are very thrilled to have Tom Wells’ heartwarming, heart-stealing football rom-com, JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS, opening at the Bush Theatre today, Nov 26 at 7.30pm. After much critical acclaim and a successful regional tour, JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS will now have an extended London run, playing throughout the Christmas season until Jan 4, 2014.

And on that note, we’re equally excited about this lovely candid Independent article with Tom Wells, covering all the bases on the man behind the play! “…beneath its gently endearing exterior beats a stealthily subversive heart – which expresses its radical intentions by presenting gay lives as nothing other than varied, mainstream, and totally normal”, writes the Independent. For the full article, click here.

Tom Wells above - Source: The Independent

We can’t wait to bring JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS to audiences in London, and with tickets selling out fast, we wouldn’t want you to miss out. For further information on production dates and how to get tickets, please click here.

Get involved with all things JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS – tweet us @painesplough with #Jump4Goal, or visit us on Facebook and get involved with our Facebook event.

See you at the Bush!

WASTED – Live Broadcast from The Roundhouse

Following our CAMPUS tour of WASTED, visiting 8 universities across the country and bowing out to a very loud and lively audience in Lincoln last week, we are unbelievably excited to bring Kate Tempest’s debut play back to London’s Roundhouse as part of The Last Word Festival until Sunday 24th November.

What’s even more exciting, is that this Thursday 21st November at 8pm GMT, we will be live streaming the performance, thanks to the Roundhouse Bloomberg Broadcast Volunteers.

Having toured WASTED to 52 venues across the UK since 2011, we are thrilled to be giving audiences everywhere the opportunity to see Kate’s smash hit play.

So join us online and let us know by tweeting us @painesplough #katetempestwasted

The performance will be available for free on demand until 21st December, and you can watch it here.

To book tickets for WASTED at the Roundhouse click here.

Want more things WASTED?

Have a little look at what some of our CAMPUS audience had to say.

Check out the WASTED trailer, browse our Flickr gallery or tweet @painesplough #KateTempestWasted.

See you at the Roundhouse!

TOURING INSIGHTS from the cast of WASTED

We’re diggin’ it, diggin’ it, diggin’ it, we’re diggin’ it like this…

As we set to come home to London with ‘Wasted’, here’s a little insight into the weird and wonderful world of touring digs.

WARNING!

Some of the characters and events that take part in this blog have been made up for our own entertainment. (Apart from Alice been caught on the bog that one was definitely true I have pictures, no word of lie!)

THE CANTERBURY TALES

WHAN that Aprille with his shoures soote

The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,

And bathed every veyne in switch licour,

Of which vertu engendred is the flour;

A man called Colith and a landlady named Louliegh.

The Place was great, the coffee was free but underhand flirting

Happened as we three watched, perched on a stool made from

Cheap leather and shipped from IKEA as she laid down the rules with an iron fist:

No Shoes on the carpets!

No drips on the shower room walls for fear of condensations that may deliver black Pours!

The door must be opened with a confident turn of the key for a shakey hand would Make far too much noise and awaken the beast with her sixteen year old boy!

And if the keys were misplaced then heavens offend “The locks will be changed and You will be charged at a standard rate to compensate your flaccid facade!”

The romance was set as we left for the show for candles were laid and the freshly painted magnolia walls were doused in perfume with a petal laden path for the unsuspecting Colith, with Louliegh herself in a dripping gown fresh from the bath to congratulate this warrior for his gargantuan task of ferrying her to and thro to the towering superstore named B&Q home.

“Oh Colin! Your wife wouldn’t like that!”

The affair consummated, the travelers three, returned from their performance showered with praise as the full house applauded and rose to their feet. An exceptional time for all to be had in this town of Canterbury, just know, whatever you do don’t spill the beans when traveling through, for cuckolds are lurking in every hotel, the Wifi is free and the towels are complementary, just keep your doors locked before you become prey to the land lady Louleigh and her carnivorous ploy to have you for dinner with her sixteen year old boy!

FIRE ESCAPE-GATE –  A Limerick

Digs for Cary and Bradley and Alice,

Was a fire-escape dorm, not a palace.

The door to the loo,

Was completely see through,

It was booked in a moment of malice!

THE HUB – Peterborough Odyssey 2013

In the future, ‘The Hub’ will be a 3* establishment.

In the future,  ‘The Hub’ will have to be knocked down for that to be true.

In the future, we won’t be staying in plastic pods in the playground.

In the future, the toilets will not smell of urine

In the future, ‘The Hub’ will be teleported from it’s industrial wasteland home to anywhere, as anywhere’s better than there

In the future, Bradley won’t get lost on his mission to McDonalds

In the future, we’ll turn the heating down instead of wedging the door open with a towel in the middle of the night leaving us prey to the violent Russian builders across the way.

In the future, we may dare to use the showers.

In the future, the corridors will not be strewn with Rubble.

In the future, the reception will be manned and the keys to the front door will work.
In the future, ‘The Hub’ will be built.

In the future, ‘The Hub’ will be a 3* establishment…

With communal showers and plastic lidless loos, we fear the future is not coming! The future’s too bright, the future is actually orange-plastic paneling… If the future is The Hub, The future has no stars, just strip lights burning down on broken cars.

THE SHINING ALLESLEY HOTEL – WARWICK… Actually Coventry

‘The sleep of reason breeds monsters’

‘It’ll shine when it shines’

‘We all thought officious little prick’

Chapter 1

‘This place is huge! How do we get in anyway? Is that a door? No door bell. What about over there? Locked. Ok? Erm… Down there? Nah it’s definitely not down there. What about that? Well it’s open. Guys I don’t think this is the place. What is this place? Look, through there, what’s that? I’ll have a look? Ok, ok looks like it could be a hotel. There’s a man. Do you think he works here? Not sure… maybe. Excuse me do you know where reception is?’

‘Down the mirror corridor’

‘ Ok, thank y… hello? Oh. I think he’s gone. Down here? Maybe. I guess so, there are a lot of mirrors. Look there’s champagne in the windows. This is like the Ritz in paris. Yeah, in the 70’s. What is this place? Oh my God look at this, chandeliers. This place is cool! I like this place. It’s ridiculous. £30 a night? This is awesome. There’s no one here. Look at this place. It’s fucking massive. There’s a ballroom. There is seriously no one here. What’s that? I think it’s a toy. It’s He-man. How did it get up there? Are you taking a photo? Err Yeah, of course. Look reception.

‘Hello… Welcome to the Allesley’

Chapter 2

‘It’s locked. You need to call the number. Wait here’s someone. Thanks, well at least we know we’re not the only ones here. Should we just here and finish our food? Yeah. That kebab was amazing. That club was amazing. Yeah, Pie and wings… not so great. Ah… hi mate, is there any chance we could get a beer?

‘Have you got cash?’

‘Can we charge it to the room?

‘No’

‘Oh… Erm, I got some change, maybe we could share a beer? No, you have a beer, it’s your birthday. Yeah, you can have some though. I’m all right mate, f*^ked. Pint please, mate. Where’s he going? I think he’s just got cans stashed in the back room. Sean Lock’s brother’

‘There you go. Working here are you?’

Yeah, we’ve just done a show’

‘Oh performers are you? Yeah I’ve met a few performers. Yeah… Doesn’t faze me though. My mum was a performer you see. Dancer. She’s worked with them all, yeah… Vivien Leigh, Olivier, She was in… What was she in? What’s that film? Well that was back in the 20’s. But what she taught me was that they’re just normal people. Normal people you see. So I’m not fazed.’

‘You could look less like Sean Lock.’

Chapter 3

‘Guys… I think there was blood dripping down my wall.’

The future of small-scale touring

An Independent Touring Symposium
The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
30 January 2014, 11am-6pm

We’ve hooked up with our friends The Royal Exchange, Manchester, ITC and PANDA to announce a TED-style symposium on 30 January in Manchester to explore the future of small-scale touring.

Open to everyone across the UK working in small scale touring – from artists to producers, directors to venue managers – the day will provide a forum to discuss and debate the key challenges and share experiences in a practically applicable way.

Small-scale touring is full of challenges, not least in this time of threats to arts funding. We conducted a survey earlier this year that showed companies and venues were experiencing the same issues and facing the same obstacles to making touring work.

But the survey also showed people were undeterred; companies and theatres alike are working together to meet these challenges head on with inventive and strategic approaches.

So we thought we’d stage the inaugural Future Of Small-Scale Touring symposium to discuss how we shape the future together.

Based on advice from senior industry professionals, as well as the results of the survey, the day will be structured in three parts.

Each will be themed and feature a series of guest speakers who will each give a presentation on an area of small scale touring that they are evolving. After each session there will be a small break out opportunity for delegates to discuss the presentation, seek further information and present the chance to form partnerships and collaborations to tackle issues moving forward.

From the research, the areas which were highlighted for discussion are:

•    new touring models and approaches to tour booking

•    data and audiences

•    working in partnership

A full line up of speakers to include industry leaders, practitioners and journalists will be announced shortly.

Meantime, you can find out more and buy tickets here.

For updates, follow The Future Of Small Scale Touring on Twitter, or join the event page on Facebook.

INSIGHTS with the WASTED cast

The cast of WASTED were lovely enough to answer a few questions about the third (THIRD) nationwide tour of Kate Tempest‘s debut play.

With Canterbury, Aberystwyth, Peterborough and Sheffield under our belt, WASTED will be bulldozing into Leeds University Union later tonight, with Buckingham University rounding off the week!

Here’s what the wonderful cast had to say:

Next week we’re in Warwick and Lincoln, before we head back to our lovely London co-producers The Roundhouse.

For tickets and info, click on the links below:

8 November Leeds University Union, Riley Smith Hall
9 November University of Buckingham, The Radcliffe Centre
11 – 12 November University of Warwick, Copper Rooms One
14 November Lincoln Performing Arts Centre
16 – 24 November Roundhouse, London

Let’s not start a tug-o-war for funding

Here’s the thoughts of our ADs James & George on the ROCC report…

Last week’s Rebalancing Our Cultural Capital report highlights the imbalance in arts funding between London and the rest of England.

The headline writers seized on the report’s claim that the ratio is 15:1 with DCMS and ACE distributing money to the arts equivalent to £69 per head of population (php) in London against £4.60 php in the rest of the country.

Of funds distributed by ACE, the report estimates £20 php in London against £3.60 php in the rest of England.

On the face of it, that’s a huge disparity, but the figures don’t take into account companies like Paines Plough, funded by ACE London, but with the specific remit to tour.

In 12/13, as a National Portfolio Organisation, we were in receipt of £313,000 from Arts Council England. We were funded by the London office, so that grant is included in the php figure for London in the ROCC report.

But we used our subsidy to make shows that toured to 46 different towns and cities across the UK, from Kendal to Chipping Norton to Canterbury.

We made shows with 22 co-producing theatres, only four of which were in London, leveraging our subsidy to generate a turnover of £750,000 that passed through local economies across the whole country.

Our very reason for being is to tour, and therefore to distribute our subsidy around the UK. That’s the remit given to us by ACE, and the criteria against which we are evaluated as part of a balanced portfolio.

There are lots of other companies funded in London but with national remits. Headlong, ATC, ETT to name but a few. And many more examples of London funding reaching beyond the M25 – the National Theatre, using its London funding, tours its hit shows and has developed a huge audience for NT Live, giving people a chance to see world class theatre in their local cinema.

We need both sides of the coin. A strong local cultural offer, and a world class national offer. As much as attending their local theatre or art gallery, for many people, a trip to London to see a show at one of our major institutions is a cherished part of cultural life, and funding the NT properly means you get WAR HORSE. London funding does not exclusively benefit Londoners. And as the recent Visit Britain report asserts, theatre is a bigger driver of tourism than sport, with all the attendant return on investment to the treasury.

We’re passionate about touring, so much so that we avoided London altogether for two years. And we see first hand, week in, week out, that deeper investment is desperately needed in hundreds of high-quality, creative, inventive, heart-of-their-community theatres from Aberdeen to the Isle Of Wight. We’re vociferous advocates for greater investment in regional theatre.

But at the same time, it’s crucial the ROCC report does not foment a bidding war between London and the rest of the country.

Without considering touring companies like Paines Plough, the picture painted is a partial one, and without a strong, properly funded London arts scene, we’d be poorer as a whole nation.

James & George

A Hello from Heni

Hey all!

I’m Heni and I’m the new Paines Plough Archivist.

So did you know Paines Plough is turning 40 next year? Well, it is and it’s very exciting! And that’s really why I’ve joined the Paines Plough team: to uncover everything Paines Plough from the land of organised boxes ready for its 40th Birthday.


The land of organised boxes: officially known as the V&A archive store at Blythe House.

I am mostly based in West Kensington V&A with… archives, surprisingly. So I only spend one day a week with the lovely people at Paines Plough (becoming overly familiar with excel spreadsheets), and then two to three days a week at Blythe house buried beneath photographs and performance notes.

Although, honestly, as an archivist I spend most of my time pretending to be some sort of detective. I have two identity cards: one card to exchange for a box of archives; one card to open the doors to access the labyrinth of corridors. It’s also necessary to be buzzed in and out of the iron gate and to have a daily wristband given to you by the security guard. Whenever I take out a box it has to be weighed in and out and signed for.

And I really wasn’t kidding about it being the land of organised boxes. There are hundreds of grey rectangular boxes and every box has a code related to general subject, sub-topic, and the folders contained within it. They are in chronological order (most of the time) and matched up (vaguely) to an online system. So it’s never a problem to find the articles or photographs that you want.

In the last three weeks I’ve mostly been working through the archived photographs. The earliest photograph is from the production LADYBIRD, LADYBIRD in 1976; the first two plays that the company produced don’t have photographs stored in the archives (but I’m determined to find some). The thing with the early photographs is that they rarely have the play title or cast list written on the back, so you’re basically playing ‘guess who’. But thankfully there are ways and means (Google) of finding out who played what in x, y, z.


Photo: LADYBIRD LADYBIRD 1976

There are some really bizarre and wonderful photographs in the collection, with some equally amusing and interesting stories behind them. I look forward to sharing them with you as I discover more and more about Paines Plough.

Heni x