Monthly archives: April 2016

What’s on the PP stereo?

It’s last thing on a Friday and DJ PP has put together a playlist as perfectly balanced as the weather for the May Day bank holiday. This is what we’ve been listening to in PPHQ this week…

Plus there were two pretty unmissable programmes from Annie Mac this week which have been making their way around the office – catch Prince: A Tribute and the Beyoncé ‘Lemonade’ Listening Party on BBC iPlayer.

“The other night I went to a club and I watched a DJ control an entire room. Even politicians can’t do that.” - Prince

Meet the WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK cast: Seroca Davis

We caught up with our leading lady and raver on the road, Seroca Davis. She’s currently careering across the country bringing the rave to Manchester, Margate and loads of our favourite places in between. Today she is in Canterbury, where better to have a chat and find out how she’s finding life on the road with WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK.


Hey, Seroca! What can or should an audience expect from WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK?

A good story, great music and to feel like you want to rave after the show! It is a mix of one of my favourite genres of music and fabulous writing. I’m loving raving on stage with audiences and getting them involved too!

And what made you want to get involved in the show?        

I loved the fact that it was a play which included old school garage! It’s one of my favourite genres of music and very nostalgic for me. It takes me back to secondary school when I used to listen to Heartless Crew and Pay as u go radio sets on my walkman! Also, I really admire Sabrina’s writing so was great to be able to work with her and help bring her work to life.


What was your first professional, paid gig? And where was it? 

My first professional role was when I was 10 years old and I did a training video for the London Transport Museum. Very good fun!

Do you have a connection to any of the locations on the tour? 

I had been to Edinburgh before we took the show to the Roxy as I did a play at the Fringe festival in 2012. I also performed at the Crucible in Sheffield back in 2010. And I used to go to the seaside at Margate as a child!

I’ve lived all over North London in Tottenham, Wood Green and Edmonton so I’m really looking forward to the shows at the ROUNDHOUSE in June.

Did a particular person inspire you to want to become a performer/musician? Who was it and how did they encourage you?

Not a specific person, but my mum was very encouraging and she always taught me that I could be whatever I wanted to be. She always made me feel like it was possible for me to be an actress and is still my biggest fan! Actresses like Helen Mirren, Viola Davis and Angela Bassett inspire me now though.

WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK touches down in Canterbury tonight at the Marlowe Theatre for two nights of mellifluous melodies and music making, before hitting Barking, Fareham, Nottingham, Wellingborough and Lancaster. Check out where else we’re heading here.

We’re recruiting a Company Stage Manager for the ROUNDABOUT season

We’re on the lookout for a friendly and dedicated Company Stage Manager to join the good ship ROUNDABOUT and team PP this year. Could it be you? Details below:


To apply please email a CV and brief cover letter to

Application deadline: Friday 29 April, 10am

About Roundabout:

Roundabout is our beautiful pop-up in-the-round theatre. It offers a unique 360 degree theatre experience with 168-seats wrapped around the stage, state-of-the-art LED lighting and surround sound. Roundabout flat packs into a lorry and pops-up across the UK bringing the nation’s best playwrights and a thrilling atmosphere to audiences everywhere.

This year Roundabout will host three brand new plays, directed by our joint Artistic Director George Perrin and performed by a rep of three actors. The plays are:

A Paines Plough production
GROWTH by Luke Norris

A Paines Plough, Clwyd Theatr Cymru and Sherman Cymru production

A Paines Plough and Half Moon production


London, Rehearsals: w/c 16 May
London, Tech and previews in Roundabout: w/c 11 and 18 July
Edinburgh Tech and rehearsals in Roundabout: w/c 25 July
Performances Edinburgh Festival: 4 – 29 August
UK Tour: 5 September – 19 November

Job Purpose:

To support the Director and manage the Roundabout company during rehearsals and on tour ensuring the efficient running of the rehearsal room and productions in tech and performance and the well-being of the company. To operate all Paines Plough shows and with the Technical Stage Managers providing a safe, tidy and welcoming environment within the Roundabout auditorium for all audiences.

Key Responsibilities (including but not limited to):

• To source and buy any props and costume for the productions as requested by the Director and Designer, within the budgets and parameters agreed with the Producer
• To manage the petty cash budget within the parameters set by the Producer
• To take joint responsibility with the Technical Stage Managers on all aspects of the Roundabout Auditorium whilst on the road
• To strictly monitor and adhere to the weekly schedules as provided by the Producer.
• To be jointly responsible with the TSM’s for the daily power-up and power-down of the Roundabout.
• To ensure that all set, costume and props are kept in a tidy, clean and orderly manner and to replace any consumable items within the budgets and parameters agreed with the Producer.
• In conjunction with the TSM’s to ensure that all working and public areas are kept tidy and clear of waste material and that equipment is maintained to a safe and proper standard.
• In conjunction and liaison with the Technical Stage Managers, to complete any day to day maintenance that may be required of the set, props, furniture and dressing for the production according to the Director’s and Designer’s requirements and within budgets and parameters agreed with Producer.
• In conjunction and liaison with the Technical Stage Managers, to ensure that all work undertaken on the set, props and furniture etc. is completed to the high standards agreed with the Producer.
• In conjunction with the Technical Stage Managers to liaise with the FOH at each tour venue to ensure the smooth running of the shows and Roundabout auditorium.
• Cover the running and/or operating of all 3 Paines Plough productions within the Roundabout as per weekly touring schedule drawn up by the Production Manager & Producer and as mutually agreed.
• To liaise and co-operate with all other departments and individuals within Paines Plough.
• To act as a credible ambassador for the company at all times.
• To adhere to the Health and Safety Policy of the company, undertaking such duties as are required, and ensuring that reasonable care is taken to ensure a healthy and safe working environment.
• To undertake any other appropriate duties which may be allocated by the Producer.
• Be in attendance at post-show discussions, press/photo calls and interviews for the Insights programme as notified
• To deliver rehearsal and show reports for all Roundabout productions to Paines Plough staff and the creative team.
• To support and manage the Roundabout company during rehearsals, production, in Edinburgh and on tour

Person Specification


• Previous experience of the role, preferably within a similar-sized venue or production company
• Demonstrable ability to perform the duties listed above
• An organised yet flexible approach and calm under pressure
• Dedicated and committed with excellent focus and organisational skills
• Ability to be creative and resourceful in problem solving
• Proven ability to work within allocated budgets
• A working knowledge of the ITC/Equity Subsidised Repertory Agreements
• Awareness and experience of health and safety legislation and practice
• Experience of and ability to operate QLab
• Good team player


• First Aid trained

Fee: £447.50 p/w for rehearsals and w/c 31 Oct, 7 Nov, 14 Nov and £550 p/w for Edinburgh and the tour.

To apply please email a CV and brief cover letter to with the subject heading: ROUNDABOUT CSM APPLICATION

Application deadline: Friday 29 April, 10am

Interview dates: Tuesday 3 May and Wednesday 4 May.

Please note you must be available on one of the interview dates.

You can download the full job description here.

We’re off to… Margate

WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK has been zipping across the country since the tour kicked off in Norwich, serving up syncopated beats and musical treats to audiences across the country. Today we land in Margate, a place ‘as cool as it gets’ according to our good pal Joe from Margate Retro.

Home to Tracey Emin and the Turner Contemporary, Margate was host to ROUNDABOUT last autumn and we had so much fun we came back for another dose of Dreamland (and some fish and chips…).

This isn’t our first time at the Margate rodeo, in fact we think we’re pretty much locals now. Here are our top picks if you’re heading on down to the show this evening – or you feel inspired and fancy a trip to the seaside.


The holiday apartments on King Street are a unique place to stay with jukebox, space invaders, the lot. Neighbouring Fort Road Yard is home to a collection of studios and galleries to whet your cultural appetite. And if its art you’re interested in Alex Chinneck’s instillation ‘to the knees of my nose to the belly of my toes’ is just 10 minutes up the road.




If you find yourself with a craving for some seafood fare, Hantverk & Found provides a fine selection courtesy of their chef, Kate quick on her feet from Shoreditch (somewhere in London…).



We may have been partial to the odd libation in the Lifeboat pub on a previous trip to Margate… And we must give special mention to Harbour Arms Sunday night – an addition to the weekend that we hear is often better than the two boozy nights before it.



Caffeinate yourself at Fort’s Cafe – enjoy proper, home cooked food, beer and wine in their relaxed, one-stop seafront shop.




There’s a lot appearing in the ‘Gate, with multiple exhibitions at the Turner Contemporary or the iconic Dreamland amusement park where you can check out their roller disco or have a wander round the Octopus’ Garden.


Get the lowdown on what else you can get up to in Margate over at

Garage at The Garage: We’re Off to…Norwich (again)

Where better to kick off Sabrina Mahfouz’s garage musical WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK than at The Garage. We know, it’s almost like we planned it…

This Wednesday our fist pumping, get out of your seat and start dancing, show opens in Norwich. We’re big fans of this city on the river, so here’s a reminder of a few of the top things to do and see before you come rave with us in the evening.



The Maids Head Hotel is known for its traditional Tudor style façade, dating back to the 13th century. It’s also more famously known for reportedly being home to a couple of ghosts – one of a lady dressed in grey, and one of the former mayors of the city.


Head down to the medieval alleyways of the Norwich Lanes (winner of the Great British High Street of The Year Award 2014) which is home to some of the most splendid restaurants, gastro pubs and cafes in Norwich. You’ll find award winning fish and chips at the Grosvenor, Falafel heaven at Moorish, Bedfords where you’ll find one of the best burgers in the city and much more.


Norwich was once thought to have a Church for every week of the year and a pub for every day of the year. The figures aren’t quite that high these days but there are still a wealth of pubs to frequent. If you’re after some Norwich history you can find the Adam and Eve nestled down by the river. Dating back to 1249 the pub has a lovely quaint atmosphere and a good selection of ales. If you’re after something a little more modern The Mash Tun is the newest pub to spring up and serves local beer from troubadours Redwell Brewery, as an added bonus the upstairs has been turned into a gin palace serving over 150 different blends.



The Garage is home to Locomotion Coffee who take their coffee making seriously, from traditional lattes and mochas, to concoctions such as the protein vanilla iced-latte banana smoothie. They also serve an array of teas from local tea wizards Wilkinsons of Norwich – you will definitely be tempted by the Smokey Russian caravan or Arctic Fire.

Their skills don’t stop at coffee, barista Jason can solve a rubix cube in less than a minute (it’s all in the algorithms apparently).


Norwich forum is open 7 days a week all year round making it the perfect place to hang out. Much more than just a library, you can also enjoy an eclectic mix of free exhibitions, events activities, and free outdoor film screenings in the summer, or just chill out with friends in Bar Marzano.



Must see attractions include Norwich Cathedral, an iconic Norman Cathedral and one of the most complete Romanesque buildings in Europe. Take a stroll around the largest surviving cloister in England and be awed by the stunning Romanesque architecture, highlighted by the Nave and crossing tower…don’t forget to look up! There’s lots to discover at the Norwich Castle from its history as a Norman palace and as a prison, to the many galleries packed with treasures from nationally important collections, from archaeology to fine art, from the ancient Egyptians to natural history. Also a trip to Norwich wouldn’t be complete without stopping at the Norwich market. There are a plethora of market stalls to delve into, you might find yourself a great vintage bargain….or just pick up a commemorative tea towel to take home! Check out Visit Norwich for more ideas!

Dancing Soon Became A Way – The cast and creatives of With A Little Bit Of Luck talk about the music that changed their lives.



‘Moving to music, it’s like a memory deeper than any revision can dredge up, it’s like summer on your skin, it’s like freedom you didn’t have to fight for, it’s like – love.’

Whether you’re a garage head or vibezing over the latest Drake track (meh), music undoubtedly makes marks in our memories, on our lives, in our relationships…seeps deep beneath our skin and leaves its tattoo. I love getting asked ‘do you remember where you were the first time you heard this song?’…Yeah I do, and it usually means something to me. I’m an album kind of gal, and the album that changed my life was without a doubt Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am That Is What I’m Not. Some of you may know that my unhealthy obsession with the fearsome foursome is only trumped by my love of dogs, but Alex Turner spoke to me on that warm 2005 afternoon. MTV2, a music channel that I don’t think exists anymore, crackled out the muted colours of an old grey whistle test style video and I heard, ‘We are the Arctic Monkeys, don’t believe the hype’…and I did.

Working on WALBOL has reminded me what music can be, what it achieves, how it affects us, how it angers us, makes us, helps us. Sabrina is writing about a time, as she says in her Vice article, ‘[a] play about London, raving, summertime, the encroachment of adulthood, love, betrayal, money and of course, music’.

And above all that for the past two weeks in rehearsals the music that made us dance with love in our hearts has been blaring out of the PPHQ rehearsal room. So I asked the gang what song, album or genre changed their lives.

For director Stef it was, to no surprise, drum and bass music is at the heart of her relationship with music. ‘What Garage is for Nadia in this play, is the way I feel about drum and bass. It was a way of expression and escapism through my teenage years. It still is now. Music is how I love, release, connect with people, because music is everything. A dance floor is a magical place. In my awkward teenage years I could dance how I wanted in the depths of a jungle drum and bass rave, without having to be sexy that’s important, that was everything.’

Our favourite vocalist Martyna threw a curve ball when she announced that the album that changed her life was Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morrisette. ‘This album shaped the person I am because Alanis was such a strong female who spoke her mind and didn’t let her gender define or restrict her. It gave me permission to shout and scream.’

walbol pic1


Seroca pulled a banger out of the bag in the most beautiful and empowering way when she told us about the album that changed her life. ‘The album that changed my life was The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Lauryn Hill is just a powerful woman. The album was dope and very inspiring for me at that time in my life. It was one of those albums that I could just listen to over and over again without skipping the tracks. Doo Wop is such a great tune with empowering lyrics, Ex factor- another great banger which is cathartic and has helped heal my heart after romantic episodes.’

And for the man who tinkles the sweetest ivories, Gabes gave his adoration to the man who sparked a thousand dreamy nights, sat on sofas, discussing visions of the past and possible futures. ‘I remember listening to Bob Marley’s greatest hits album in my mother’s car with my Auntie and as a boy being awoken by the way he was singing and the jams of the musical outfit he had with him – it blew me away and felt strange and familiar. Reggae later really did change my life and helped understand the world.’

In a similar way to Stef, writer extraordinaire Sabrina attributed jungle music as the genre of music that changed her life. ‘Jungle music changed my life because it gave me a completely alternative world to the usual ‘out to get pissed and pull’ nightlife that was around and that positively effected how I viewed relationships and friendships. Jungle raves were 100% about the music. You could wear a tracksuit, you could dress up, it didn’t matter as long as you were there to dance. And oh did we dance. Even though there were no women MCing or DJing at these raves at that time, it still felt like an empowering place to be a girl, dancing and dressing however you wanted, making friends with boys without feeling like everything was aimed at chatting you up. It is still the only music in the world that can make me happy no matter what else is going on.’

Whatever you like, whatever gives you that feeling that anything is possible, go off now and play it loud. Remember why you fell in love, why it made you cry, why it made you laugh. Just go and enjoy.


What music or album or song changed your life? Let us know by posting a comment below or tweeting @painesplough

Rehearsal Room Diary: Misheard Lyrics

PPHQ has been treated to the sound of UK Garage classics reverberating down the corridor from WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK rehearsals, as we gear up to take the show out on the road next week. It’s sounding incredible. 

Assistant Director, Nadia, fills us in on what’s been happening behind closed doors, and what all those Garage lyrics we’ve been getting oh so wrong actually are, as we try to sing along…

We’ve been creating our own little rave in the Paines Plough rehearsal room for the past two weeks and apart from the sick beats and sweet melodies one thing has certainly kept us guessing – the lyrics. I test anyone right now to tell me what the heck DJ Luck and MC Neat are talking about.

Or what about Kelly G/Tina Moore’s stonker ‘Never Gonna Let You Go’? We all know the line we simultaneously mumble on, one slight variation…‘never gonna let you go, coz you’re my baby, means more then a penis would’.

Who knew that UK Garage could be such an enigma?

My personal favourite misheard garage lyric goes to our Stage Manager’s rendition of Craig David ft. Artful Dodger’s Re-Rewind – ‘when the crowd so bo selecta’, which was misheard as ‘I got to post a letter’. He assures me that it was his 6 year old cousin who made the boo boo, but I’m not so sure.

Garage queen director Stef O’Driscoll had to be told that the lyrics to Over Here by M Dubs ft. Shy Cookie are in fact ‘listen to what the danman saying’, due to vocals from Richie Dan, after having sung ‘ listen to what the badman saying’ for the past 10 years. A fairly common error, to which Stef doesn’t back down, stating – ‘I’m sticking with badman’. She does her own thing.

But I think the crowning glory has to go to an anonymous contributor who by all standards smashed the misheard lyric game with his rendition of the classic namesake to Sabrina Mahfouz’s play. Our personal favourite WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK misheard lyric has to come from this guy. I mean we are still not sure what DJ Luck and MC Neat are saying… we’ve gone with with ‘holler with the rinsin’ sound, holler with the rinsin’ sound’, but an anonymous Garage extraordinaire upped his game when he thought the lyrics were ‘Ali Ali wets himself, Ali Ali wets himself’ – which I think we can all agree is a banger.

For anyone called Ali – we’re sorry, but forever in our minds you’ll be the guy who wet himself.

– Nadia

WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK kicks off its UK-wide tour at the Garage, Norwich on 13 April and you can get tickets here. See you there? Excellent. 

Taste Tuesday: Traditional Greek Marple Cake

We’ve been excited about Sofia’s Taste Tuesday debut since she revealed that she comes from a very foodie family with a load of authentic Greek recipes up her sleeve. We could barely contain our glee when she presented a traditional Greek marple cake, using her family recipe.  We can categorically state that the Stephanou School of Cookery has produced a Masterchef.


The ingredients for the cake are standards that everyone should have in their cupboard – if not they’re really easy to come by in your local supermarket.


200 ml (7 floz) vegetable oil
225g (8oz) caster sugar
4 medium eggs
juice of 1 large orange and the zest
200 ml (7 fl oz) milk
A few drops of vanilla extract
450g (1 lb) plain, fine flour
3 teaspoons baking powder

… and some strawberries to make it healthy.

Here’s the how to…


Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375 f/ Gas Mark 5.

Beat together the oil and sugar in a mixing bowl and gradually add the eggs one at a time. Mix in the orange juice, zest, milk and vanilla extract and fold in the sifted flour and baking powder until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 1.2 litre (2 pint) cake ring known in Germany as a ‘Kugelhopt’.

Tap the cake ring gently to level the surface, and bake in the pre heated oven for approximately 50 minutes or until the cake is nicely brown (test with a skewer).

Allow the cake to cool in the tin then place a plate on top of the tin and gently tip it upside down onto another plate. Pour some strawberries into the middles and serve with cream.

Serve and enjoy!

– Sofia

Come To Where I’m From: Otley

PP2016 season shows v9 web images updated8

We can’t tell you how disappointed we were when the weather foiled our rather brilliant plans to take COME TO WHERE I’M FROM to Otley earlier in the year, but now that spring has sprung, we’re delighted to announce our rescheduled date and get back on the road.

Join us on 9th APRIL at the Otley Courthouse where we’ll be welcoming the wonderful EMMA ADAMS, SHAZIA ASHRAF, JOHN HOLLINGWORTH and BOFF WHALLEY.

Our playwrights will be performing pieces penned especially for the event for the first time – we’ve had a sneak peek at some of the drafts and you’re in for a treat! We really hope that you’ll be able to make it along for what promises to be an exciting evening of new writing.

Check out Emma talking about the event on BBC Radio Leeds here. She’s on at around the 1 hour 30 minute mark.

Doors will open at 6:30pm and the show starts at 7:00pm.

Tickets: £6-£9

To book tickets contact the Box Office on 01943 467466 or you can grab some online.

See you there? Brilliant.

-Team PP x