Monthly archives: May 2016



We’re excited to announce the latest leg of our COME TO WHERE I’M FROM series.

Since 2010, more than 100 writers from across the UK have returned to their home towns to pen plays about the places that shaped them. At theatres from Bristol to Belfast, Cardiff to Coventry and Nottingham to Newcastle, these plays have been performed by the playwrights themselves, coming home to tell their tale.

But COME TO WHERE I’M FROM has never been done in London, until now…

In June and July we’re partnering with Tamasha on a series of London COME TO WHERE I’M FROM events across the city which will see some well known names alongside some of the most exciting new voices from the Tamasha Developing Artists programme.

We’ve got a series of events across the Capital with writers from North, South, East and West performing in their local theatres over the course of six summer days in June and July.

Here are the details…

NORTH-WEST: Tricycle Theatre
Monday 27 June
With Karla Williams, Zia Ahmed, Mediah Ahmed, Ché Walker

SOUTH-WEST: Clapham Omnibus
Tuesday 28 June
With Elena Procopiu, Amman Singh Brar, Kathryn Golding, Alexandra Wood

WEST: The Gate
Wednesday 29 June
With Divya Sachdeva, Sally Woodcock, Satinder Chohan

EAST: The Yard Theatre
Thursday 30 June
With Lucy Sheen, Afsana Begum, Lizzy Dijeh, In-Sook Chappell, Arinze Kene

SOUTH-EAST: Ovalhouse
Monday 04 July
With Sandra Townsend, Vinay Patel, Miran Hadzic, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Adam Brace

NORTH: Park Theatre
Wednesday 06 July
With Mahad Ali, Isley Lynn, Cheryl Walker, Stephen Jeffreys, Monsay Whitney

In advance of our London series we’re launching the COME TO WHERE I’M FROM app so you can listen to 100 short plays for free wherever you are!

Simulator Screen Shot 17 May 2016, 12.27.58

The app features audio recordings of COME TO WHERE I’M FROM plays read by the playwrights themselves. It’s available for free from the App Store – just search COME TO WHERE I’M FROM or click this link.

Search the map for plays by location or find your favourite playwright in the plays index. You’ll discover a huge range of playwrights from Olivier Award winners to first timers reading tales of their home towns stretching from Edinburgh to Ipswich to the Isle of Wight. A theatrical tapestry of the UK, woven by writers asking if home is really where the heart is.

Let us know what you make of the app by tweeting us using #CTWIF. Happy listening.

COME TO WHERE I’M FROM is supported by Garrick Charitable Trust and Royal Victoria Hall Foundation.

Eat | Sleep | Rave | Repeat (WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK on tour)

Seroca Davis in With A Little Bit of Luck (cred. James White)

Seroca Davis in With A Little Bit of Luck (cred. James White)

WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK has been on tour since 13 April and we’re 24 venues in our 29 date tour so Eat Sleep Rave Repeat has become a daily routine for us out on the road. We wanted to share some of the tour highlights with you. First up The Spring in Havant who went all out and programmed a full evening of entertainment.

On Saturday night the audience were treated to a gig from Music Fusion at 8pm, WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK from 9pm, Beats & Swing at 10pm and then DJ Luck & MC Neat from 11pm. Now that’s a night out.


With A Little Bit of Luck at The Spring in Havant (cred. James White)

This is what WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK is all about. Part gig. Part theatre. The audience were up and dancing from 8pm to midnight. It was a brilliant night and we can’t thank The Spring enough for putting together such an exciting programme.

MC Neat at The Spring in Havant (cred. James White)

MC Neat at The Spring in Havant (cred. James White)

A few weeks earlier at Studio 3 Arts in Barking we were warmed up by New Movementz, a talented crew of street dancers, who’d created bespoke routines to garage classics. As if that wasn’t enough, after Seroca, Martyna and Gabriel had strutted their stuff in WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK UKG legend Kele le Roc performed in a post-show PA.

Kele le Roc at Studio 3 Arts (cred. )

Kele le Roc at Studio 3 Arts (cred. Rosie Ross)

New Movementz perform pre-show at Studio 3 Arts (cred. )

New Movementz perform pre-show at Studio 3 Arts (cred. Josh Pearce)

It’s not all about late nights and late starts though. Our wonderful Associate Director, and director of WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK, Stef O’Driscoll has been running workshops at a number of venues across the tour. Pictured below are the crew from Looping The Loop learning about gig-theatre in the historic Theatre Royal Margate. Who says you can’t rave under a proscenium arch?

Stef O'Discroll runs a gig-theatre workshop at the Theatre Royal Margate (cred. Dik Ng)

Stef O’Discroll runs a gig-theatre workshop at the Theatre Royal Margate (cred. Dik Ng)

You’ve still got a few more chances to catch WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK before it finishes touring including the ever brilliant Brighton Fringe and a week at Roundhouse. Full tour dates list here.

Full Roundabout EdFringe Programme

Roundabout audience Rich Lakos

This summer Roundabout returns to Summerhall for Edinburgh Festival Fringe August 5-28. Roundabout will host up to 10 shows a day for 24 days. 225 productions in total. That’s nearly 300 hours of top notch entertainment with 37,800 tickets available.

And that’s just the beginning. After Edinburgh, Roundabout tours the nation stopping off at Margate, Eccles, Kendal, Barnsley, Stoke-on-Trent, Lincoln and Luton.

We’re excited to announce our full Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme including three world premières. Joint Artistic Directors James and George told us what to expect:

“We’re thrilled this cracking programme of new plays from some of the most exciting writers around will tour across the UK this summer and autumn. Roundabout will bring a festival feel to every place it visits with a host of locally curated and created shows and events alongside our own work. An offbeat love story from Alan Harris and an unflinching, side-splitting comedy from Luke Norris, join Katie Douglas’ superhero quest for children in an eclectic, fun-filled collection of new plays in our portable, pop-up theatre. In Edinburgh we’re honoured to present a programme of outstanding visiting work ranging from Stacey Gregg’s Irish Times Award Winning new play SCORCH to the hit Off-Broadway song cycle GHOST QUARTET.”

Our three world premières are LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY by Alan Harris, GROWTH by Luke Norris and I GOT SUPERPOWERS FOR MY BIRTHDAY by Katie Douglas.


Paines Plough, Sherman Cymru & Theatr Clywd present
Time 13:35 Dates Aug 5, 7, 10, 17, 24, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28.

This is a boy meets girl story. Son of a Polish taxidermist meets daughter of a failing ice cream salesman. In Tesco. An offbeat love story about trying to fit in from acclaimed writer Alan Harris.

Tickets here.

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Paines Plough present
GROWTH by Luke Norris
13:35 Dates Aug 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27.

Tobes is young, free and having a ball. Off. It’s seriously cramping his style so there are pants to be dropped and decisions to be made. A comedy about growing up and manning up from rising star Luke Norris.

Tickets here.

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Paines Plough & Half Moon present
11:00 Dates Aug 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21.

Ethan, William and Fiona discover they have superpowers on their 13th birthday, just in time to save the world. Join our heroes on a magical quest for ages 7+ from acclaimed writer Katie Douglas.

Tickets here.

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Paines Plough and Pentabus present
EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe
15.35 Dates Aug 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28.

The worldwide smash hit is back. A play about depression and the lengths we go to for loved ones. ★★★★ “Heart-wrenching, hilarious… possibly one of the funniest plays you will ever see” (The Guardian). “Captivating” (New York Times).

Tickets here.

PP2016 season shows v9 PRINT 343x3433

10:00 & 22:30 Dates Aug 5-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-28.

A series of early morning and late night one-off shows and events. Coffee and croissants with readings, talks, workshops, debates, insights and special guests. Get your fix of fresh ideas, brave new work and rip-roaring performances. These will be announced on our Twitter @painesplough and tickets will be available via Summerhall.

Now fully announced, see the full programme here.

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Prime Cut productions presents
SCORCH by Stacey Gregg
18:05 Dates Aug 6-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-29.

A story of first love through the eyes of a gender-curious teen inspired by recent court cases, lost amidst the headlines. Winner of the prestigious Best New Play at the 2015 Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards. ★★★★ ‘High quality’ (The Irish Times).

Tickets here.



Walrus presents
12:10 Dates Aug 6-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-29.

Walrus’ award-winning sell out show returns to Edinburgh. The average person says 123,205,750 words in a lifetime. But what if there were a limit? Oliver and Bernadette are about to find out. A play about what we say and how we say it. ‘About as promising as debuts get’ (Time Out). ★★★★ ‘It’s bright, light and sharp – a rom-com with smarts’ (WhatsOnStage).

Tickets here.

Lemons Beth 1 (cred. Giulia Delprato)

Jonny & the Baptists
19.35 Dates Aug 6-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-29.

In 2009, David Cameron forgot how many houses he owned. Within five years, homelessness doubled. A riotous musical epic about inequality, friendship and betrayal. ★★★★ ‘Rallying… gigglesome wordplay’ (Guardian). ★★★★ ‘Wickedly amusing’ (Times).

Tickets here.

Jonny & the Baptists - Eat the Poor - PR image 1 (image by Anna Soderblom).jpg

Katie Bonna and Paul Jellis in association with SOHO Theatre present
16:40 Dates Aug 6-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-29.

Fringe First winner Katie Bonna (Dirty Great Love Story) confronts humanity’s obsession with lying. ‘Simultaneously restores your faith in human nature and the Fringe.’ ★★★★ (Telegraph). ‘Laughs are frequent, unsignalled… brilliant.’ ★★★★ (Times).

Tickets here.

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Ghost Quartet presents
21:00 Dates Aug 6-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-29.

Ghost Quartet is a haunted song cycle about love, death, and whisky. A raucous chamber musical from Dave Malloy, composer of the Broadway-bound Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.

Tickets here.

GhostQuartet3(Ryan Jensen)


Fly By Night Productions presents
14:00, 17:00 & 20:00 Dates Aug 16.

Des Clarke hosts the recording of an exciting new stand-up TV series featuring the comedy stars of today and tomorrow. Proceeds to the STV Children’s Appeal.

Tickets here.

Des Clarke

Taste Tuesday: Chocolate Cake and Cheese Scones

Finance and Admin Assistant Charlotte is clearly a fan of the PP blog and knows that we love a little bit of cheese and a little bit of chocolate. Her Taste Tuesday effort brought together both in delicious union as she treated us to two terrifically turned out treats: the family birthday cake and some savoury scones. Delish. 


Chocolate Cake

Ingredients for sponge cake/
6oz Caster Sugar
6oz Margarine
3 Eggs (roughly 2oz each)
5oz Self Raising Flour
1 ½ oz Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Powder

Ingredients for butter cream/

3oz Margarine
6oz Icing Sugar
2oz Cocoa Powder


Preheat the oven at 170 degrees.

Mix flour, caster sugar, baking powder and (sieved) cocoa powder into a mixing bowl. Then add the margarine and eggs. Using an electric whisk mix together for two minutes and divide the mixture between two greased tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes, then leave to cool.

For the butter cream, put all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl and whisk until creamy. You may need to add more butter gradually to make it lighter. To finish, spread the butter cream evenly over one sponge and sandwich together.


Cheese Scones

8oz Self Raising Flour
3oz grated Cheese
3oz Margarine
1tsp Baking Powder
1 Egg
1tbsp Milk/Water

(for 8-10 scones)


Preheat your oven to 190 degrees.

Add the margarine to the flour and baking powder and rub in with your hands then add the cheese, egg and milk/water. Mix with your hands to form a soft dough (you may need to add a small amount of water to help it come together).

Using a rolling pin, roll out to roughly 1 inch thickness and cut out your scones before placing on a greased baking tray and brushing with a little bit of egg or milk.

Bake for 12 minutes.

And you’re done – enjoy.

– Charlotte.


What do you do all day? Administrator

PP Administrator Simone Ibbett-Brown.

PP Administrator Simone Ibbett-Brown.

Name: Simone Ibbett-Brown
Job Title: Administrator

Hello! Can you give us a brief overview of your career so far?
After doing a load of producing while I was at uni, I was lucky enough to get a year-long traineeship with international-touring theatre company Cheek by Jowl through the incredible Creative Access paid internship scheme. During my time there I moved roles from Office Assistant to PA to the Artistic Directors, and then left to join Paines Plough as their Administrator in September of 2015.

How did you end up in your current role?
Actually, the previous Administrator at Paines Plough emailed me at Cheek by Jowl and asked if we would retweet their job vacancy… I did so and then went one better and applied for it myself!

What are your main responsibilities within Team PP?
One of my main duties is to assist Aysha (the General Manager) in ensuring that Paines Plough’s finances are looking peachy, so I work closely with the producing team on venue settlements and royalties, as well as doing the day to day accounting for the company.

Other aspects of my role include creating the newsletter, running our university placement scheme, and administrating a variety of PP events from Press Nights to fundraisers.

What do you think are the essential skills needed to be a successful Administrator?
Attention to detail, organisation, an enjoyment of numbers, and most importantly, communication skills. That doesn’t mean you have to be particularly outgoing or anything, but it’s important to be clear, friendly and switched on to what the other person really needs from you.

Real talk – what’s the least enjoyable part of your job?
Having to chase people for money – nobody wants to be a loan shark.

What’s the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?
“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” – Bill Gates

Okay, so maybe he didn’t give me that piece of advice personally, but as an Administrator I always aspire to be lazy. By which I of course mean I aspire to find new ways to make PP’s processes and procedures more efficient and helpful for all involved.

General Management Workshop

Last month we held our first General Management workshop here at Paines Plough, meeting lots of people eager to learn the in-and-outs of being a General Manager. We had such a great time that we couldn’t wait to do another, and meet those of you who weren’t able to make it the first time around.

Therefore, we are delighted to invite you to our next General Management workshop.

Here at Paines Plough we are always looking for ways to demystify the way we go about commissioning, producing and touring new plays in order to provide support for theatre makers at any stage of their careers.

This workshop is a chance for anyone interested in working in the theatre industry as a General Manager, or in Finance and Administration, to find out more about the profession. Does that sound like you?

Fantastic. You’re in the right place.

The evening will be a discussion and Q&A with members of the theatre community that work in General Management. Full panel to be confirmed.

The event will take place on Tuesday 17 May, 6.30-8.30pm, with registration from 6pm, in the Paines Plough Rehearsal Room. We are located on 4th Floor, 43 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4DN. There will be drinks and a chance to get to know everyone before and after the workshop.

If you would like to register for a place just email Charlotte at with the following information by 10am this Friday 06 May:

  • Your name.
  • Current role and where you work, if applicable.
  • A few sentences on why you’d like to attend this workshop.

Looking forward to meeting you all soon.


Meet the WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK Cast: Gabriel Benn

Not ones to let a Bank Holiday get in the way of a blog, we grabbed WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK‘s Gabriel Benn to talk touring, musical influences and uh, Beyoncé and Jay-Z… 


Is this the first theatre production that you’ve toured with?

Yeah, it is. It’s a whole new experience. The tour dates are all first time visits for a lot of the cast and it’s great, being in all these different places and having the chance for the cast to explore and have good walks around. I think Lincoln was probably the most unexpected surprise. It was such a beautiful city; I managed to have a good wander down the old cobbled streets to explore the old town and the cathedral.

Can you tell us a little bit about what made you get in to music and DJ-ing?

Good question! I remember Mark Ronson being a big inspiration when I was about 14 because he was DJ-ing and making music and looking really cool. He’d just released Ooh Wee, if you remember that? It was around that time and I liked what he was doing a lot.


My dad gave me some decks that Christmas and I started making music. My friends and I got into producing electronic mostly, and then I started travelling and producing to expand my musical vocabulary. I started in Ghana at first, being a very rhythmical place as far as music goes, so that helped me expand my abilities. Then Columbia afterwards which had an amazing variety of rhythm and it just made me push the musical boundaries that I’d set myself. It allowed me to grow, and if you learn more you can do more.

Have you brought those influences into the way that you work with Martyna and Seroca during WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK?

I think so, because being influenced by other world rhythms has allowed me, in a sense, to infuse those rhythms into the performance and that has helped me to adapt to the strong rhythms of Garage.


Were you into Garage when you were younger or has being part of WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK expanded your knowledge of it?

It has expanded my knowledge hugely – I came in late because I’m 25 so I was only 11 when people like our leading actor, Seroca, were going out to the raves. But five years later I started DJ-ing all kinds of electronic and picked out quite a lot of Garage from the back catalogue of music, so I was always playing bits and bobs of Garage and really loved it. This show helped me understand why Garage meant so much to so many people.

Finally, what can or should an audience expect?

Well, audiences so far have loved the music which has been nice. There’s been a lot of laughter at the pop culture references from 2001 like Starbucks and E4 which had just launched. It’s been great because it makes people reflect on things that are now such a strong part of our lives – even things like Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s relationship! – and that’s been really fun. The musical elements of the show have really been a success because people have got up and danced and sang along -they’re visibly happy at hearing some of their favourite songs which is great.