Category Archive: Fly Me To The Moon

2010 reviews round-up

With the advent of a New Year we’ve been reflecting on a thrilling 2010 and we thought we’d share with you some of the nice things the press said about our shows. So here goes – a round-up of 2010 in quotes…

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE by Mike Bartlett

“Mike Bartlett’s bang-on-the-money new play… required viewing”
***** The Telegraph

“Peppered with terrific lines and big laughs…Bartlett does the clash of generational world views with a devastating precision”
**** The Guardian

“Under Hartley T A Kemp’s vivarium-like lighting no nuance of the five actors’ brilliantly hyper-real performances is lost… Dazzling.”
The Observer

TINY VOLCANOES by Laurence Wilson

“Lit up by excellent performances from Kevin Harvey and Michael Ryan”
The Stage

“Brave enough to shake up the Latitude theatre tent with such a challenging piece of work.”
Liverpool Daily Post

“James Grieve’s direction employs many complex layers that build a compelling narrative… the script switches effortlessly between diverse styles of delivery such as stand up comedy and a quiz game.”
Oxford Daily Info

FLY ME TO THE MOON by Marie Jones

“Features two high-powered comic performances from Katie Tumelty and Abigail McGibbon”
**** The Scotsman

“James Grieve’s direction whisks it all quickly along, punting the laughs up front and giving Tumelty and McGibbon the necessary comedic broad-brush shorthands to whisk plot and development along in the brief time available. But not so broad and cartoon-like as to hinder their – and Jones’ – success in creating a pair of humane and likeable characters.”
The Stage


“The writing is brilliant, gripping, poetic, often sensationally powerful”
The Scotsman

“Directed assuredly by David Horan… the writing is sparkly and poetic.”
**** Metro (Dublin)


“Charlotte Gwinner’s production has a severe and brilliant quiet choreography, controlled down to the minutest gesture; and the performances are riveting, mature, eloquent, beautiful, and not only real, but true.”
**** The Scotsman

“This is tightly performed piece that evoked not just amusement but the recognition of the wide array of views with the theme of uncertainty at their core”
Edinburgh Guide

CALAIS by April De Angelis

“This is a little bit of female history brought to life in a moving and entertaining way with top performances all round.”
Edinburgh Guide

“Tamara Harvey’s clear, dynamic direction, picks right through to the emotional relationship”
The Stage

GOOD WITH PEOPLE by David Harrower

“Harrower’s dialogue is crisp, economic, and loaded with meaning… Duff and Scott-Ramsay both turn in riveting performances brimming with sexual chemistry and charged with danger.”
**** The Herald

“George Perrin’s razor-sharp production…a tremendous piece of work.”
**** The Guardian

Where we are this week

Here’s a quick update on where our A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT shows are this week:

FLY ME TO THE MOON by Marie Jones is at Bewley’s Cafe Theatre in Dublin. Click here for information and booking.

IN THE PIPELINE by Gary Owen is at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. Click here for information and booking.

THE UNCERTAINTY FILES by Linda McLean is at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. Click here for information and booking.

CALAIS by April De Angelis is at the Live Theatre in Newcastle. Click here for information and booking.

GOOD WITH PEOPLE by David Harrower is on a break before opening at Live Theatre in Newcastle next week. Click here to read the outstanding ****review in The Guardian.

We’ve been getting fantastic feedback from audiences all over the UK and Ireland for our A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT plays. Here are a few comments for THE UNCERTAINTY FILES by Linda McLean at the Live Theatre in Newcastle:

“A really thought provoking and engaging piece. Actors really inhabited the myriad characters in such a short time – very telling business with minimal props. Liked the “interview” style and very natural responses highly enjoyable.”  Karen, Lanchester

“Really interesting production. Would like to see it again. Liked the non usual.” Hazel, Newcastle

“I always love coming to the Live & I’m pleased you have new work from Paines Plough coming in – good to see excellent new writing venues joining together – will be keeping an eye out for future work (as always)” Jenny, Newcastle

We’ve also been interviewing the writers of all of our PPP plays. Here are some answers from April De Angelis, writer of CALAIS:

Is 45 minutes and max 3 actors easier or harder than 2 acts and a cast of ten? 

A one act play is definitely less slog than a two acter!

Should every play come with a complimentary pie and pint?

If every play in the universe came with a pie and a pint we’d get bored of the novelty and fatter as a constituency.

What is more scary, contemplating a blank sheet of paper, contemplating a deadline or contemplating the audience at the first performance?

The audience at a first night is the scariest. You can always tear up your writing at the end of the day..

In three words how do you feel about about the critics?

Critiscism ain’t art.

Do you agree with Thomas Edison that “Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration?”

Yes, mind you it’s an elusive 1%

More great reviews for our 2010 programme of work

We’re coming to the end of another exciting and very busy week at Paines Plough, and as we start to dig out our winter coats and cosy socks, must keep reminding ourselves that even though it’s getting chilly, the cold won’t slow us down! There’s loads going on right now, and we’ve also had some wonderful reviews for two of the productions in our 2010 programme, FLY ME TO THE MOON by Marie Jones and GOOD WITH PEOPLE by David Harrower.

Check out what The Stage said here about FLY ME TO THE MOON:

Oran Mor and Paines Plough asked Marie Jones, writer of FLY ME TO THE MOON some questions:

Is 45 minutes and max 3 actors easier or harder than 2 acts and a cast of ten?

45, 95, 125,……doesn’t matter how many minutes, none of its hard if you have a good story.

Should every play come with a complimentary pie and pint?

Not sure, I suppose it depends on the venue….I was in the Belfast Opera House last night and the majority of the women had vodka secreted in their handbags….there is a certain excitement in sneaking your drink into a place you’re not supposed to sneak drink into and not paying a fortune at the bar…although, can’t see anybody wanting to sneak a pie out of their handbag

What is more scary, contemplating a blank sheet of paper, contemplating a deadline or contemplating the audience at the first performance?

Blank Page is very scary… family know when i am about to write a new piece, the house is spotless and I   cook them really nice meals and take the dog walks…I know they know that  I am putting off the inevitable, but    they don’t want the pampering to stop, so they say nowt….As soon as I tackle the scary page, the house goes    to hell,  they eat whatever they find in the cupboard and the dog lies in a corner getting fat…I know my priorities.

In three words how do you feel about about the critics?

They’re human too.

Do you agree with Thomas Edison that “Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration?”

 He only said that when he was inventing the light bulb…That’s pretty hot work…I’d be sweating too.

Take a look at Joyce Macmillan’s review about David Harrower’s GOOD WITH PEOPLE:

“For a truly elegant, powerful and purposeful drama about the impact of violence on everyday life, there’s only one place to be this week; and that’s at the lunchtime Play, Pie, Pint show at Oran Mor, which this week premieres a brilliant new 50-minute play by David Harrower…In this terrific short duologue – performed with electrifying power by Blythe Duff and Andrew Scott-Ramsey – Harrower first acknowledges the connection between violence and sex, making the air between the two characters crackle with more erotic tension than I’ve seen on a Scottish stage in years…In this last of five autumn co-productions between A Play, A Pie and A Pint and Paines Plough, George Perrin directs with impressive grace and flair…And the whole experience comes as a sharp reminder of how, in the years since Scottish devolution, playwrights based in Scotland have tended to leave the specifics of Scottish life to the politicians, and to paint on a wider canvas; and of what rich dividends it can pay, when they focus once again on the pain, the potential, and the deep, deep resonances of the society on their doorstep.” ****Joyce Macmillan, The Scotsman

“Harrower’s dialogue is crisp, economic, and loaded with meaning…Duff and Scott-Ramsay both turn in riveting performances brimming with sexual chemistry and charged danger.”  **** The Herald

Send yourself to Coventry

According to Lyn Gardner’s theatre tips, Coventry is the place to be this week, and I’ll be heading there myself on Saturday for another yummy installment of A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT.

FLY ME TO THE MOON by Marie Jones opens at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry on Thursday 30th. Check out this lovely review of the play in The Stage.

Also mentioned in Lyn’s theatre tips this week is ESTATE WALLS at Oval House Theatre, by one of our associate companies Inner City Theatre. We all saw it last week and it’s absolutely brilliant, so get your tickets before it ends on the 9th October!

We’re a bit lonely at PP HQ now as the cast of LOVE, LOVE, LOVE have left our rehearsal room and gone to Plymouth to finish rehearsing before the show opens at the Drum Theatre on the 7th.

To quote a text from Simon Darwen, ‘Missing the PP crew too…not the stairs though!Looking forward to you coming down.The rehearsal spaces are incredible and the place is lovely and’

Rub it in guys!

The empty rehearsal room

Linda McLean’s THE UNCERTAINTY FILES opened to rave reviews this week at Oran Mor.

‎****The Scotsman for Linda McLean’s THE UNCERTAINTY FILES:

Charlotte Gwinner’s production has a severe and brilliant quiet choreography, controlled down to the minutest gesture; and the performances are riveting, mature, eloquent, beautiful, and not only real, but true.

Whilst the company of Marie Jones’ FLY ME TO THE MOON pioneered the first leg of the tour at Live Theatre Newcastle. I went up there to see the first show and brought back a little souvenir for everyone in the office:

We're loving Newcastle Live A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT Beer Mat

Judging from the show report received today from Stage Manager, Kara Jackson, the Newcastle audience are enjoying it so much that the running time has increased by two minutes due to laughter.

Back at PP HQ LOVE, LOVE, LOVE culminates its second week of rehearsals.  They have it up on its feet after the detailed table work last week and rehearsal props are flying into the room.  The character of Sandra seems to enjoy quite a few cigarettes!

We also had all three of the Creative Team in today to watch rehearsals.  Hartley  (Lighting Designer), recovered from Edinburgh where he runs C venues, and Lucy Osborne (Designer), currently opening THE ALIENS at the Bush Theatre, have a good catch up on the sofa that is on for rehearsal furniture.

Lucy Osborne and Hartkey T A Kemp deep in thought - or are they on facebook?

We, in the office, are very much looking forward to catching a run through next week and we’ll be able to show you some photos soon as Graham Michael is coming in on Friday to take some rehearsal shots.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend – we’re off to see Bryony Lavery’s BEAUTIFUL BURNOUT on Sunday at the Barbican.

All You Need Is Love…

And there was a lot of love in the Paines Plough offices today as we hosted the first day of rehearsals of our co-production with Drum Theatre Plymouth, Mike Bartlett’s LOVE, LOVE, LOVE

It was a real Monday morning treat to hear five talented actors read this firecracker of a script together for the first time.  It is also really joyous to have all the creative and technical teams plus staff members from both companies in the room together which will probably be the first and last time until we tech in 4 weeks time at Drum Theatre Plymouth.  With this in mind every minute is essential and straight after the reading the actors were measured by Lorna Price, Deputy Head of Wardrobe at Plymouth.

Post a revitalising lunch the actors returned to start their around-the-table-work with James Grieve, who directs his second Mike Bartlett play after ARTEFACTS rehearsed in the very same room 2 years ago.

Raring to go...

Elsewhere in the busy hive of Paines Plough activity around the UK – Gary Owen’s IN THE PIPELINE received its first performance at Oran Mor. Click on the link for video footage.

Tomorrow we welcome the writer of CALAIS, April De Angelis, as well as Tamara Harvey (director) and a wonderful cast: Joanna Bacon, Louise Ford and James French to the A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT family at number 5 Sanda Street. I’m looking forward to my 5am train up there for second meet and greet of this week!

The fine actresses Abigail McGibbon and Katie Tumelty and superb stage manager, Kara Jackson, have a well deserved week off before going to Live Theatre Newcastle next week.

That’s it for now, I’m off for my sister’s birthday dinner…

Four Stars for FLY ME TO THE MOON

We’ve had fantastic full houses for the opening, second and third performances of our co-production season with Òran Mór – A Play, A Pie and A Pint.

We kicked off this week with Marie Jones’ play FLY ME TO THE MOON which has been met with a raucous crowd clutching pies & pints. The audience was rolling like the sea; some risky moments of farce in the play paid off and many were met with rounds of applause!

This is an extract from Kara Jackson’s (stage manager) show report yesterday….

Comments: A large audience number in today. A spectacular performance and the audience laughed throughout the whole show. There was a round of applause after the wheelchair exit and the huge laughter after ‘Burn the house down’. The added four minutes on running time today was due to the laughs throughout. Great show!!

We’re very proud of our entire creative team and a special congrats to Abigail McGibbon and Katie Tumelty.

Make sure you buy your tickets for the final few days in Glasgow or catch it in Newcastle, Edinburgh, Coventry or Dublin over the next month!

Here’s a snapshot from the Glasgow Evening Times

And here is a fantastic 4 star review from The Scotsman’s chief theatre critic Joyce McMillan.

And there’s more! Here’s a video clip of Fly Me To The Moon with some audience reactions to the opening performance…

The best way to poach an egg?

@djientan swears by Poach Pods

Now, obviously we’re working very hard rehearsing, but the FLY ME TO THE MOON company has had another preoccupation this week – the best way to poach an egg.

Of the cast members, Abby is of the saucepan school, whipping up a whirlpool with a bit of vinegar and dropping the egg in the middle. Katie has a cunning trick involving cling film – crack the egg into the middle of a sheet and wrap it up, then drop the parcel in boiling water and unwrap the perfect egg.

We asked Twitter – “What’s the best way to poach an egg?” – and here are the responses:

In a saucepan.
(ho, ho – Ed)

My gran always puts a little bit of vinegar in the pot and swirls the water before putting the egg in. Keeps it together.


Not too much water in your pan, a little bit of vinegar, swirl it around so there’s a whirlpool and drop egg into middle.

Lightly simmering water, glug of white wine vinegar, swirl the water, approx 2 mins for slightly runny centre.

I have a couple of these: Bit of a poached egg cheat, but perfect every time! :-)

If you know better, post a comment. We’ve ordered some Poach Pods as recommended by @djientan and we’re planning an poach off!

Giggles in Glasgow

Abby (left) and Katie get snapped

Here’s the fantastic cast of FLY ME TO THE MOON being photographed by a press snapper in the rehearsal room in Glasgow today.

Abby McGibbon and Katie Tumelty play Loretta and Francis, two down on their luck care workers whose Frank Sinatra obsessed charge has a posthumous win on the horses.

We’re having a ball in rehearsals. Marie Jones’s madcap script is hilarious and outrageous, and it’s as much as we can all do to keep a straight face for long enough to rehearse a scene. There’s one particular moment with a wheelchair (we shall say no more) that has us all giggling uncontrolably. We open at Oran Mor in Glasgow on Monday, so we just hope the audience find it as funny as we do!

There’s a great buzz in the amazing Oran Mor rehearsal flat where me and Jack are living, which also houses two rehearsal rooms. The IN THE PIPELINE company is rehearsing just across the coridoor from us and the kitchen becomes a green room at breakfast and lunchtimes, with English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish accents mingling over bagels and baked potatoes. As of Monday, THE UNCERTAINTY FILES company moves in too, and the A Play, A Pie And A Pint season will be underway. Can’t wait.

Day One of Fly Me To The Moon

After a manic weekend of Fringe watching, my highlights included PENELOPE by Enda Walsh/Druid, the fantastic new stand-up talent of BO BURNHAM at the Pleasance Dome and some strong performances in THE GIRL IN THE YELLOW DRESS. Heading back on Thursday to catch IT’S ALWAYS RIGHT NOW, UNTIL IT’S LATER, TEENAGE RIOT & BUNNY amongst others.

And over to the Òran Mór in Glasgow…

After much debate about how best to poach eggs, some exciting new scenes from Marie Jones, bananas as telephone props and the arrival of a rehearsal bed, we’re in the rehearsal room and cracking on after a fruitful DAY 1!

Working hard to get off script and the physical comedy of the show is starting to stack up.

follow our progress on twitter – @painesplough

Òran Mór soon x