Monthly archives: March 2014

Week 2 – In Watford

So, we moved to Watford, we got the hats out, we were brought to tears in the first rehearsal of the last scene, we had a photoshoot, did some costume fittings… and I could write all about it, or you could watch some of the best bits here:

And to top it all off we ended our sunny second week back in London for Friday@5, which means drinks with team Paines Plough in the Nell of Old Drury  – this time with our special guest Rachael Stirling.

Tune in for week three, for question time with John and Rachael…

 

Catching up with the cast of BLISTER

The talented cast of BLISTER – the electrifying new play Laura Lomas – have been hard at work these past few weeks at RWCMD, with the brilliant Stef O’Driscoll.

As we open the show in Cardiff tomorrow, Tuesday 1 April, we caught up with the cast for a round-up of all things BLISTER. Here’s what they had to share:

Mark Newsome:

I have really enjoyed working on this show – working with new writing has been fantastic and you really have the freedom to do what you want to do. Creating a character that’s never been portrayed before is a great opportunity for an actor and you don’t feel pressure to do something that’s ‘right’.

However it also comes with it’s challenges! We had a re-write quite soon before going into tech, but that’s also quite exciting. You don’t have time to panic, you just have to do it and for me that’s quite exhilarating.

Working with Stef has been fantastic. Because she’s so cool and down to earth, you get along with her very easily and that makes rehearsals much more fun – and you need that as some scenes are quite heavy. She’s really helped me go deep and find detail in everything I do. She’s brilliant. We love her.

Hope you enjoy the show!

Here are some rehearsal snaps from the last few weeks:

 

#BlisterPlay @painesplough

City guide to…Bristol

So, we’ve set up shop in Bristol for our final week of HOPELESSLY DEVOTED at Tobacco Factory Theatres.

And what’s so great about Bristol, you might ask? The simple answer – plenty.

But we consulted with our lovely pals at Tobacco Factory Theatres to put together this nifty little city guide, featuring our selection of the city’s top 5 hot spots. Check it out:

       1. THE OLD BOOK SHOP

A lovely bar on North Street

“…a sumptuous port-of-call for the discerning ladies and gentlemen of Bristol. Enjoy fine food and drink, an intimate musical experience and the artistic talents of our local community.”

Had us at “fine food.”

       2. THE STOKES CROFT AREA

Image by Joel Redman for the Guardian

“…this isn’t anti-capitalism old-style, with hair shirt and poor personal hygiene, but with sassy glamour. The streets are painted in vast, colourful murals.”

An entire street as a work of art? Count us in – not least to spot the famous “Mild Mild West” Banksy mural voted “Alternative Landmark of Bristol” in ’07.

        3. POCO

Environmentally friendly cafe bar on the corner of Jamaica Street in Stone Croft

“Our aim is to create a sustainable business model that can be taken as an example of how a modern business can operate sympathetically to its environment.”

Famous for their locally sourced tapas, and winner of the 10th Observer Food Monthly Award – want more could you want?

       4. BELL’S DINER

Bells Diner and Bar Room

“…you can eat as little or as much as you want; prop up our bar with a little bit of something lovely or pull up a chair and eat like a king (or queen).”

We’ll take the latter. Modern Mediterranean dishes with titillating flavours from Spain, North Africa, Italy and France.

5. MADE IN BRISTOL: PAPER SCISSORS STONE

Pop up shop located in Quakers Friars, Cabot Circus

“Showcasing a fresh collection of talented artists & designers from Bristol, Bath and the surrounding countryside, this unique shopping experience is the perfect destination for those who covet colourful, eclectic, handmade gifts…”

…and it seems we’re just in time for the Spring shop party. Sweet.

Have thoughts on our top 5? Suggestions for hotspots we need to check out this week? We’d love to hear them! Tweet us with: @painesplough #KTHopelesslyDevoted, or find us on Facebook and Instagram.

And the first week of rehearsals comes to an end!

The first day of rehearsals is always filled with excitement, not without the smallest hint of nerves, and Monday this week was no different as a total of 24 people squeezed into the rehearsal room on the 4th floor of the PP HQ to hear the first read-through of Mike Bartlett’s new play AN INTERVENTION. Staff from Watford Palace Theatre joined the members of the Paines Plough team, the show’s creatives, director James, and cast members Rachel and John for the introductory meet and greet and ‘who’s who’, before James made his welcoming and inspirational introduction to the play and its production…
 

http://youtu.be/yDoFZN8oi4o

Since then we’ve been making progress on the play, interspersing Wimbledon theme tune singing with meticulous reading of each page for clues for UNALTERABLE FACTS  and to make lists of QUESTIONS that will inform how each scene is played. Despite not being a naturalistic play, the text is full of subtext about the two’s friendship, which is vital for us to track and unpick. The actors are finding it invaluable in throwing everything up in the air and unearthing all sorts of possibilities for performance that their instinctive choices might not have discovered. The lists are slowly but surely taking up our wall space…!

What’s particularly exciting about the approach Mike and James have taken with the play is to not ‘characterise’ A and B, but instead to enable Rachael and John to find their own relationship within it, through their actions on each other, and their non-stop verbal sparring and game-play.

Here’s an example of what we’ve been looking at for inspiration… We hope you laugh out loud as much as we have!

Things have also got politically heated this week… We’ve had some thought-provoking discussions of protests we’ve been to, the impact of the Syrian crisis on our conscience, and other military interventions our country has been a part of in the past…

 

And so now that we’ve come to the end of our rehearsal week in London, we’ll be reporting back from Watford next week where we will have made our home in the local Wetherspoons to create our own drunkenness scale (yes it is absolutely VITAL research for the play…!) and will soon be creating our own comedy sketch for you to feast your eyes upon…

Interesting Fact of the Week: Did you know that blue is the last colour that a baby learns to see? Blue and violet have shorter wavelengths and fewer receptors in the retina for visualizing them, so it takes longer for a baby to distinguish them. Interesting…

AN INTERVENTION cast announcement

With our co-producers at Watford Palace Theatre, we are unbelievably thrilled to announce the cast for Olivier award-winner Mike Bartlett‘s new play, AN INTERVENTION.

Incredibly talented film and TV sensation Rachael Stirling will star alongside the equally brilliant John Hollingworth – and we could not dream up a better pairing! Check out their impressive credits below.

Rachael Stirling

Rachael has been twice nominated for an Olivier Award for An  Ideal Husband (West End) and The Priory (Royal Court).

Theatre: VARIATION ON A THEME (Finborough Theatre), MEDEA (Headlong), THE RECRUITING OFFICER (Donmar Warehouse), AN IDEAL HUSBAND (Vaudeville Theatre, West End), A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (The Rose Theatre, Kingston), THE PRIORY (Royal Court), PYGMALION (Theatre Royal Bath, Japan), UNCLE VANYA (Wilton’s Music Hall),  LOOK BACK IN ANGER (Theatre Royal Bath), TAMBURLAINE (Bristol Old Vic), THEATRE OF BLOOD (National Theatre), ANNA IN THE TROPICS (Hampstead Theatre), A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE (Theatre Royal Haymarket), HELPLESS (Donmar Warehouse), DANCING AT LUGHNASA (Arts Theatre &Geord Sq), OTHELLO (Royal Theatre, Glasgow and Bloomsbury Theatre).

Film: SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN (Universal), SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN (BBC Film), CENTURION (Pathe Pictures Int), THE YOUNG VICTORIA (GK Films), DANGEROUS PARKING (Comiche Pictures), THE TRUTH, FRAMED (STV Films Ltd), REDEMPTION ROAD (Enterprise Films Co), TRIUMPH OF LOVE (Recorded Picture Co), ANOTHER LIFE (Another Life Ltd), MAYBE BABY (Inconceivable Films), COMPLICITY (Talisman), STILL CRAZY (Still Crazy Prod Ltd)

TV: THE GAME (BBC), THE BLETCHLEY CIRCLE (ITV), THE DETECTORISTS (Channel x, BBC), DR WHO (BBC), WOMEN IN LOVE (Company Pictures, BBC), MINDER (Talkback Thames), BOY MEETS GIRL (ITV), LEWIS (ITV), THE HAUNTING OF TOBY JUGG (BBC), RIOT AT THE RITE (BBC), MISS MARPLE (MURDER AT THE VICARAGE) (ITV), THE QUEST III (ITV), POIROT – FIVE LITTLE PIGS (LWT), TIPPING THE VELVET (BBC), BAIT (ITV), OTHELLO (LWT), IN THE BEGINNING (Hallmark, BBC)

Radio: POSSESSION (Pier Productions), HOLD BACK THE NIGHT (BBC Radio 4), THE PALLISERS (BBC Radio 4).

 

John Hollingworth

Theatre: OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD (Out of Joint Tour and London), MAKING NOISE QUIETLY (Donmar Warehouse), EARTHQUAKES IN LONDON (National Theatre On Tour / Headlong), THE DEEP BLUE SEA (West Yorkshire Playhouse), DESIGN FOR LIVING (The Old Vic), WOMEN, POWER AND POLITICS (Tricycle Theatre), THE POWER OF YES (National Theatre), OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME (Hampstead Theatre), FOR KING AND COUNTRY (Theatre Royal Plymouth & UK Tour), PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD (Nuffield Theatre Southampton), IGNITION 2 (Royal Court Upstairs).

Film : CINDERELLA (Disney), ABOUT TIME (Working Title), THE DARK NIGHT RISES (Warner Brothers), THE BURMA CONSPIRACY (Pan-Europeene), GODARD & OTHERS (Poppies Films), PELICAN BLOOD (Ecosse Films), DORIAN GRAY (Ealing Studios).

TV credits include: OUR WORLD WAR (BBC 3), CROSSING LINES (Tandem / NBC), DA VINCI’S DEMONS SEASON TWO (Starz / BBC Worldwide), BREATHLESS (ITV Studios), THE HOUR II (Kudos / BBC America), ENDEAVOUR (Mammoth Screen / ITV), CITY ON FIRE (Juniper / Channel 4), THE MAN WHO CROSSED HITLER (Hardy Pictures / BBC), TWENTY TWELVE I (BBC Television), CASUALTY (Stone City Films / BBC), BEING HUMAN (Touchpaper / BBC), WUTHERING HEIGHTS (Mammoth Screen / ITV).

Radio: DEADHEADING SERIES ONE (Savvy / BBC Radio 4), CRAVEN, SERIES SIX (Red Productions / BBC Radio 4), BERYL: A LOVE STORY ON TWO WHEELS (Savvy / BBC Radio 4), ADVENTURES OF THE SOUL (Sparklab / BBC Radio 3), NUMBER TEN (Parcificus / BBC Radio 4), MURDER IN SAMARKAND (Greenpoint / BBC Radio 4), THE TOWER (BBC Radio 4).

#AnInterventionPlay @painesplough @watfordpalace

HOPELESSLY DEVOTED on the Twittersphere

We’re now blasting into week three of our nationwide tour of HOPELESSLY DEVOTED – the explosive new play by Kate Tempest.

So what’s your verdict online? Here’s the scoop on the Twittersphere:

@feministmumuk:

@painesplough #KTHopelesslyDevoted Speechless. Loved it, best piece of theatre seen in a very long time.

@ElinaS_:

How has this play touched upon all the issues in my life?

@claremccullagh:

Singing addictive songs from #HopelesslyDevoted @katetempest after watching at @marlowetheatre. Think they’ll still be there in a few days!

@SydneyyBurges: 

Brilliant show at Trestle this evening, lovely to see such new and forward thinking drama

@SmallFreck:

@katetempest’s #HopelesslyDevoted was utterly brilliant tonight. Such an ambitious piece of work. Rich, hopeful, moving, and so much more…

Photo by Richard Davenport

We’ll be singing our way to a venue near you. Check out the full list of all the stops on our tour here.

Have you seen the show? Share your thoughts with us!

Tweet: #KTHopelesslyDevoted @painesplough or take our online survey.

Introducing the cast of NOT THE WORST PLACE

Hitting 40 means non-stop excitement at PP HQ. So the fun continues as we kick-start our fifth production of Programme 2014:  NOT THE WORST PLACE by Sam Burns.

In co-production with our friends at Clwyd Theatr Cymru and Sherman Cymru,  we’re so very thrilled to officially announce our brilliant cast:  Scott Arthur, Kirsten Clark, Rhys Isaac-Jones and Rachel Redford.

Scott Arthur

Scott trained at Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Theatre: THE HISTORY BOYS (Mercury Theatre), TWELFTH NIGHT (Chester Performs), MASTERS ARE YOU MAD (Chester Performs)

Film and Television: SUBURBS (Blenkov Schonnemann Pictures), DOCTORS (BBC), DA VINCI’S DEMONS (Tonto Films / BBC / Starz), THE SOMNAMBULISTS (No Bad Films), BEING HUMAN (Touchpaper TV / BBC), LEWIS (ITV)

Radio: THE GUN (BBC Wales), THE ARCHERS (BBC Radio 4), AMBRIDGE EXTRA (BBC 7), BOOM BOOM (BBC Radio 4), WRITING THE CENTURY (BBC Radio Drama)

Kirsten Clark

Kirsten trained at LAMDA.

Theatre: OVER GARDENS OUT (Riverside Studios), THE RIVALS and ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL (Theatr Clwyd), GASLIGHT and MY COUSIN RACHEL (Vienna’s English Theatre), DAVID COPPERFIELD (Wolsey Theatre / Eastern Angles), SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER (Magnificent Theatre Company), PRIVATE LIVES (New Vic, Stoke), THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (Harrogate), BLOODY POETRY (BAC)

Television: SATELLITE CITY (BBC Wales)

Rhys Isaac-Jones

Rhys trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and graduated in July 2013.  Prior to that he was a member of the Welsh National Youth Theatre .

Theatre: PETER PAN (Lovegrove Theatre), THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE (TenTen Theatre)

Theatre whilst in training: NICHOLAS NICKLEBY, LANCE IN TOAST, AS YOU LIKE IT, PRIVATE LIVES.

Rachel Redford

Rachel recently graduated from RADA.

Theatre: PARALLEL LINES (Chapter Arts Centre / Dirty Protest), A FAMILY AFFAIR (Sherman Theatre), ROMEO AND JULIET (Black Rat Productions).

Theatre whilst training: THE ACID TEST, BLUE STOCKINGS, KING LEAR

Film: POSH (Blueprint Pictures)

 

NOT THE WORST PLACE opens at Clwyd Theatr Cymru, playing from 23 April – 3 May 2014 before heading to Sherman Cymru from 5 May – 10 May 2014. To book tickets and for additional information, click here.

To stay in the loop and follow updates from the rehearsal room, check out our blog.

Share your thoughts and join the online conversation with @painesplough #NTWP

Friday Feature – Blast from the Past

In this week’s Blast from the Past, we’re throwing some love at SLEEPING AROUND, the envelope-pushing production directed by Vicky Featherstone, and written by incredible writing talents Abi Morgan, Mark Ravenhill, Hilary Fannin and Stephen Greenhorn.

Thoughts/comments? Join us online:

@painesplough

#PP40 #PPblastfromthepast

 

Introducing the cast of BLISTER by Laura Lomas

We’re delighted that BLISTER,  the gripping new play by Laura Lomas, begins rehearsals today at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Introducing the talented cast:

Mari Izzard, Robin Willingham, Mark  Newsome, Rebecca Durbin, Tessie Orange-Turner, Jay Worley and Danny Mellor.

 

Some exciting times ahead. Great to get the ball rolling on this co-production with RWCMD and the Gate Theatre. For full production details, click here.

Join us online: @painesplough #BlisterPlay