Category Archive: Broken Biscuits

Broken Biscuits: #nowplaying Scarborough


This week BROKEN BISCUITS by Tom Wells is on the East coast at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough so we’ll be listening to bands who started life along the beautiful Yorkshire coastline.

Little Angels – Scarborough 

Prolific 80s rock band Little Angels formed in Scarborough back in 1984 (previously named both Zeus and Mr Thrud). They started life with their brilliantly titled debut album Too Posh To Mosh. During their prime they supported Van Halen and Bon Jovi.

Arthur Brown – Whitby

I AM THE GOD OF HELLFIRE AND I BRING YOU… Arthur Brown of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Who remembers ‘Fire’ which reached Number 1 back in 1968 (both here and in Canada)? The eccentric frontman was famed for his operatic singing style which he has sustained through a long career, continuing to record to this day. His followers refer to him as The God of Hellfire in reference to the opening lyrics to Fire.

Ben Parcell – Bridlington

Ben Parcell couldn’t be further from Arthur Brown in terms of style but only comes from down the road in Bridlington. Parcell describes his sound as Pop Folk – which is a similar sound to the BROKEN BISCUITS gang. Although we don’t think Ben has any songs about working on the checkout at Sainbury’s.

We’re at the Stephen Joseph from Tuesday until Saturday – come and rock out with us (in a gentle geeky way). Tickets here.


Broken Biscuits: #nowplaying Hull

With Plymouth still tapping its feet, we’re brushing off the sand and getting back on the road. This evening BROKEN BISCUITS lands in Kingston upon Hull at Hull Truck Theatre, ready to shred those skins.


The Housemartins

An unlikely collision of Marxist politics and Christianity, The Housemartins are an alternative backing track to the 80s. Originally buskers on the streets of Hull, their single ‘Happy Hour’ landed them at the top of the UKs music scene. Whilst members Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway went on to form The Beautiful South, did you know that Fat Boy Slim and Beats International’s Norman Cook used to be their bass player?


The Beautiful South

Former members of the Housemartins, Paul and Dave formed The Beautiful South in 1988, joined by former roadies and guest vocalists Briana Corrigan and Jaqui Abbott. Their hilariously frank lyrics and soft melodies, mean there’s always one line of ‘Don’t Marry Her’ that always has to be yelled at the top of your lungs.


Fatboy Slim

After he moved to Hull to join The Housemartins, the group split in 1988 and Norman Cook created the musical sensation that is Fatboy Slim. Technically a DJ and not a band, we’re going to give this one to Norman because Christopher Walken moves are truly something else.


The Paddingtons

With a similar sound to bands like The Cribs, The Libertines and Alex Turner’s The Last Shadow Puppets, indie rock band The Paddingtons are one of the 00’s grungers out there. Messy hair, eye liner, ‘cool’ hats and tattered jeans… some of us have all been there.

DID YOU KNOW… back in 2012 Paines Plough presented Paul Heaton’s soul opera THE 8TH in a co-production with Manchester International Festival and on tour across the UK.


Broken Biscuits: #nowplaying Plymouth


Broken Biscuits at Live Theatre (cred. Richard Kenworthy)

This week BROKEN BISCUITS by Tom Wells is in Devon at Theatre Royal Plymouth (in an aptly named space – The Drum) so we’ve decided this week we’ll be listening to bands and artists who started out in Devon. Here’s our list:

MUSE – Teignmouth

The Grammy Award winning stadium rockers started out life at Teignmouth Community College where they all played in different bands. Much like our gang in BROKEN BISCUITS they struggled to settle on a name going through the following: Carnage Mayhem, Gothic Plague, Fixed Penalty and Rocket Baby Dolls before settling on MUSE. Twenty million album sales later and we’d say they’ve done pretty well.

Chris Martin from Coldplay – Whitestone

That’s right. Not only is Devon home to MUSE but also Chris Martin who with Coldplay has sold over 80 million records world-wide. This makes them one of the biggest selling artists of all time. All that thanks to a boy from Whitestone.

Ben Howard – Bantham

The Brit Award winning boy from Bantham started writing songs when he was eleven and things are going pretty well for him. In addition to international fame and recognition his face was chosen to be on the Totnes 10 pound note  in 2014. Hopefully our Ben from BROKEN BISCUITS can get his face on a tenner too.


Broken Biscuits: Reviews Round-up


After playing for three weeks at co-producers Live Theatre in Newcastle, Tom WellsBROKEN BISCUITS hits the road. We thought we’d do a quick round up of all the brilliant feedback our young rockers have received so far.

“A sweet meditation on the fierce, fragile alliances formed on the cusp of adulthood… incredibly endearing.” ★★★★ The Guardian

“Wonderful, funny and original ★★★★ The i Newspaper

“Funny, confessional and well-crafted… Matthew Robins’ music and Wells’ lyrics feel like Victoria Wood for a new generation.” The Stage

“Quirky, warm and hugely entertaining.” ★★★★ The Chronicle

“It’s funny. It’s engaging, even heart-warming.” British Theatre Guide

“Great atmosphere.” ★★★★ The Reviews Hub

“A funny script and rocking soundtrack… filled with warmth.” Narc Magazine

“A brilliant script… may well be the most uplifting thing you’ll see all year.” ★★★★★ Once Upon a Tyne

“Charming and recognisable… provided laughs along the way in its feel good message about growing up.” North East Theatre Guide

“A new play by Tom Wells is always a welcome event.” The Northern Echo

We’re touring until December visiting all of the following places. Are we coming to you?

25-29 October
The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth
01752 267222

01-05 November
Hull Truck Theatre
01482 323638

08-12 November
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
01723 370541

15-19 November
Crucible Studio, Sheffield Theatres
0114 249 6000

25-26 November
Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol
0117 902 0344

29 November – 03 December
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
0121 236 4455


Broken Biscuits: Previews


Broken Biscuits (cred. Richard Kenworthy)

As a creative team, we spend countless hours in the lead up to a show attempting to create and hone an audience’s experience of the play. We coordinate and plan how all aspects of the production will come together. Rehearsals are held in preparation for an audience but without them present we can never have a full understanding of the production’s workings.

If you think of it as preparing for a dinner party: you can plan meticulously what you will cook; what you will wear; what music you will play, but the evening is an unknowable thing until your guests have arrived.


Broken Biscuits (cred. Richard Kenworthy)

This is where previews play a part.

Previews allow the team to see the production with all elements in place, the final element being, you, an audience. While the changes between first preview and opening may be barely perceptible to a first time viewer, there are also occasions where much bigger changes are made in this period. It is in these intial runs that the final pieces click into place.


Broken Biscuits (cred. Richard Kenworthy)

Every audience brings something slightly different to the show. They’ll discover a moment of absolute belly laughter at a point the previous night’s audience gave out a small titter. Every audience will relate to the play slightly differently and previews help actors to become acclimatised to this changing reception.


Broken Biscuits (cred. Richard Kenworthy)

We were incredibly happy in the Broken Biscuits previews to play to some really varying audiences. The actors got the chance in previews to feel how an audience response to the play can vary. The creative team had chance to tweak and perfect the lighting and sound. Previews are a perfect reminder to us all of how important an audience is in shaping a production. Now they are finished, the show is up and running and we can’t wait for you to see it!


Broken Biscuits (cred. Richard Kenworthy)

Anna Ryder, Assistant Director.

Broken Biscuits Tech Week


Broken Biscuits at Live Theatre Newcastle (cred. Richard Kenworthy)

Hello! Team Biscuits here, all the way from sunny Newcastle (you may think I jest, but the sun has done nothing but beam up here).

For weeks now an eavesdropper of rehearsals would have become familiar with patient phrases such as:

‘In this bit of the show there will be an effect where…’

‘This is when, during the show, you’ll hear…’

‘Once we have the lights…’

No more!


Broken Biscuits at Live Theatre Newcastle (cred. Richard Kenworthy)

Tech week is here and the imaginings of the creative team are leaping into reality. It truly is glorious.

For all very practical and sensible reasons, rehearsal rooms never begin with all the elements in place. We have to wait for the wonders of tech week before we can stop talking in possibilities and start working with all the practical components of the show. Lights, sound, props, this is your time.


Broken Biscuits at Live Theatre Newcastle (cred.Richard Kenworthy)

Tech week is a hectic, fast paced and brilliant period in the world of a production. It’s the sort of week that if someone reminds you of a conversation that you had that very morning, your brain spends a good five minutes computing how it can possibly have taken place on the same day as now. You’ve been to the world of fairy-lights and back since then.


A world of fairy lights (cred. Richard Kenworthy)

It’s a week of high-speed naps, delirious green room conversation and a huge amount of hard work. It’s safe to say caffeine consumption is at an all time high, but the results are well worth it!

We are so excited to share Broken Biscuits with you all, in the immortal words of Megan ‘You will be wanting to spend the next two months in this shed, I promise.’

Anna Ryder, Assistant Director.

Broken Biscuits: The Trailer

It’s one week until BROKEN BISCUITS by Tom Wells opens with our co-producers Live Theatre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and we’re very excited to give you a glimpse of Megan’s shed where our musical heroes are tuning up.

We hope to see you at one of our tour dates:

05-22 October
Live Theatre, Newcastle
0191 232 1232

25-29 October
The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth
01752 267222

01-05 November
Hull Truck Theatre
01482 323638

08-12 November
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
01723 370541

15-19 November
Crucible Studio, Sheffield Theatres
0114 249 6000

25-26 November
Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol
0117 902 0344

29 November – 03 December
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
0121 236 4455

The brilliant trailer was created by Rory Gibson. You can check out his work here.


Broken Biscuits Rehearsal Room Blog


Broken Biscuits © Matt Humphrey 2016

As Team BROKEN BISCUITS prepares to up sticks to the wonderful Live Theatre, Newcastle, we wanted to give you all a brief check-in on our London rehearsals so far!

We’ve been having a shed-load of fun *groan* discovering the world of Megan, Holly and Ben and their musical adventures have become somewhat our own! Many biscuits have been consumed, too many biscuits some might say (though they would be wrong) and the shed is really starting to come to life. The cast have been playing with all the possiblities of the space and it is really starting to transform into a stage owned by our glorious characters.


Elmo has been keeping a keen eye on biscuit consumption (cred. Jack Heaton)

The office has been brimming full with the trio’s developing musical talents, and Faye’s (Megan) drumming will undoubtably be missed from everyone’s mornings here. Diving into the deep end of teendom, we have been finding the friendships, feelings and frustrations at the heart of our sixteen year old’s summer.


© Matt Humphrey 2016

Props are a heavy feature throughout the play (what garden shed would be complete without numerous odds and ends) and keeping track of the box of biscuits has become a near full time job for our Stage Manager, Aimee.

We’ve been very lucky to have some visitors to rehearsals over the past few weeks: the wonderful Elspeth Morrison came to support with voice and dialect; the equally wonderful Tom Attwood came to lend a hand with our singing talents; then the equally equally wonderful Polly Bennett dropped by to get us up to scratch with movement. This last session resulting in joyous (slightly exhausting) morning warm-up-boogie that has certainly been doing it’s job.


© Matt Humphrey 2016

We are all very excited to start our Newcastle adventure, watch this space for more updates!

Anna Ryder, Assistant Director.

Broken Biscuits: Tour & Casting announcement


© Matt Humphrey 2016

We’ve got a double whammy of news for you today. We’re co-producing Tom Wells‘ new play BROKEN BISCUITS with Live Theatre in Newcastle and we’re very pleased to announce both the cast and the national tour dates.

We scoured the country for the talent to play Megan, Holly and Ben – the ‘Mis-Shapes‘ at the centre of BROKEN BISCUITS. We did Open Auditions in London, Hull and Newcastle. We met hundreds of talented actors. We did first calls and recalls. And then there were three. Here they are:

Faye Christall


© Matt Humphrey 2016

Faye is making her debut with Paines Plough and trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Theatre credits include: GONE VIRAL (St James Theatre), ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). Film credits include: CUTE LITTLE BUGGERS 3D and AWAKE. Workshops include: THE UNTITLED MUSICAL (Tricycle Theatre). Faye is also part of the Cirque du Soleil Company.

Faye will play Megan in BROKEN BISCUITS.

Grace Hogg-Robinson


© Matt Humphrey 2016

TV includes: The regular role of Beth Kennedy in THE CORONER: Series 1 & 2 (BBC1 and BBC Worldwide) as well as appearances in CASUALTY (BBC1), CAMPING (Sky Atlantic), DIARY OF A SNOB (Nickelodeon), DOCTORS (BBC1) and SUSPECTS (Channel 5). Film includes: EDGE OF TOMORROW (Warner Bros.), BIRDHOUSE (NFTS), CANDY FLOSS (HAUS Pictures) and THE NEST (Beyond Fiction). BROKEN BISCUITS will be Grace’s stage debut.

Grade will play Holly in BROKEN BISCUITS.

Andrew Reed


© Matt Humphrey 2016

Andrew was born in South Tyneside. He trained with The Customs House, South Shields and the Theatre Royal Newcastle. Credits include: THE FIFTEEN STREETS, DRAMA, BABY, TAKEAWAY (The Customs House, South Shields), SCRAPBOOK (Live Theatre, Newcastle), THE MACHINES, 13 (Theatre Royal Newcastle and on tour).

Andrew will play Ben in BROKEN BISCUITS.

We’re also pleased to announce the creative team that will be taking BROKEN BISCUITS from page to stage:

Songs Matthew Robins
James Grieve
Design Lily Arnold
Lighting Joshua Pharo
Sound Dominic Kennedy

Our brilliant cast will be touring, with shed and musical instruments in tow, to the following venues in Autumn 2016:

Wednesday 5 to Saturday 22 October
Live Theatre, Newcastle
Tickets here.

Tuesday 25 to Saturday 29 October
The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth

Tickets here.

Tuesday 1 to Saturday 5 November
Hull Truck Theatre
Tickets here.

Tuesday 8 to Saturday 12 November
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
Tickets here.

Tuesday 15 to Saturday 19 November
Crucible Studio, Sheffield
Tickets here.

Friday 25 to Saturday 26 November
Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol
Tickets here.

Tuesday 29 November to Saturday 3 December
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Tickets here.

We hope to see you on tour.

#FunFact Tom’s inspiration for writing BROKEN BISCUITS was listening to Pulp’s hit Mis-Shapes. Listen carefully for the biscuit reference.


Recruitment: Company Stage Manager for Broken Biscuits by Tom Wells


We’re on the lookout for a friendly and dedicated Company Stage Manager on the book to go on tour with BROKEN BISCUITS and team PP this year. Must be able to drive a van. Could it be you? Details below:


To apply please email a CV and brief cover letter to

Application deadline: Tuesday 2 August at 10am

About the play:

A Paines Plough and Live Theatre Newcastle production
by Tom Wells

“The point is: we’re losers. Nobodies. Carry on like this, we’re losers forever. And we don’t have to be. Fresh start, two months to completely one hundred per cent reinvent ourselves. And I know exactly how we can do that.”

Megan, Holly and Ben are definitely not the cool kids. But Megan has a plan. One long summer holiday to change their lives. One sure path to coolness. One amazing transformation, through the power of song.

Holed up in Megan’s garden shed, three old friends try to change their fortunes in a beautiful, heart-warming, laugh-out-loud coming-of-age story for our times. Rock on.

Dates: 5th September – 3rd December

5 – 24 September: Rehearse, London

26 September – 1 October: Rehearse, Newcastle

3 – 5 October: Tech, Newcastle

6 – 10 October: Previews, Newcastle

11 October: Press, Newcastle

12 – 24 October: Run, Newcastle

25 October – 3 December: Tour

Job Purpose:

To support the Director and manage the BROKEN BISCUITS 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 call and operate all performances on the BROKEN BISCUITS tour.

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 strictly monitor and adhere to the weekly schedules as provided by the Producer.
– 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.
– To drive a van on tour.
– To support the TSM with the fit-up and strike at each venue
- 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 Manager, 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.
– Cover the running and/or operating of the production whilst on the road.
– 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 the production to the co-producers and the creative team.
– To support and manage the 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

– Able to drive and hold a full UK Driving License
– 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


£447.50 p/w plus relocation allowance of £95 p/w in Newcastle and subsistence allowance of £282.70 p/w on tour, in line with ITC minimum rates of pay.

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

Application deadline: Tuesday 2 August, 10am

Interview dates: Skype interviews w/c 1 August 2016. Let us know if you are up in Edinburgh this week as we may be able to meet you there.

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