Category Archive: Insights

Free workshops in Edinburgh

Growth by Luke Norris rehearsals, Paines Plough- -®HelenMurray-99

This is how much fun we’ll have in our workshops (cred. Helen Murray)

Here at Paines Plough we’re always looking for ways to share our knowledge and empower theatre makers around the country. So on a few of the mornings during our Edinburgh Festival Fringe run we’ve decided to host a range of free workshops in Roundabout.

The workshops are part of our Earlier / Later programme and you can see the full line up here.

While all the workshops are free you do you need to book in advance as there are limited places.

The workshops will be focussing on:

– Mon 8 Aug // 10am // How to Tour Q&A session, book here.

– Wed 10 Aug // 10am // General Management workshop, book here.

– Tue 11 Aug // 10am // Acting & Directing workshop, book here.

– Fri 12 Aug // 10am // Casting workshop, book here.

– Mon 15 Aug // 10am // General Management workshop, book here.

– Thu 18 Aug // 10am // How to Tour workshops, book here.

– Wed 24 Aug // 10am // Acting & Directing workshop, book here.

We’d love to see you there. Help us spread the word by sharing this blog with anyone you think might be interested!


#EarlierLater #RoundaboutPP

Beyond Theatre: Alex Wood’s Top Faves

If you’re like us, then you must often get curious about what playwrights watch and read and listen to outside of the theatre bubble we live in.

So we recently grabbed the opportunity to guilt-trip blackmail politely ask our awesome former Playwright-in-Residence (and writer of upcoming thriller THE INITIATE) Alexandra Wood to share a few of her top faves with us.

And she was nice enough to comply:

Favourite books: Runaway by Alice Munro has stayed with me. She uses beautifully simple language to tell stories that take you by surprise, and lets you make connections between the stories, without it ever being heavy-handed or didactic. Lionel Shriver’s We Need To Talk About Kevin is one of the most honest books I’ve ever read – it asks bold questions, and allows space for doubt and interpretation. Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy is a puzzle of a book – things never seem quite right, which I love. It reminded me of Borges’ short stories, which I read when I want a touch of the enigmatic. I recently discovered John Steinbeck (I know, I’m late to the party!) but I’m loving what I’ve read of his so far.

Favourite films: Anything by Michael Haneke is invariably brilliant. His first film, The Seventh Continent, is devastating in its understated portrayal of the disintegration of a family.  While researching my adaptation of ‘Wild Swans’, I watched some great Chinese films: Blind Shaft (directed by Li Yang) and Still Life (directed by Jia Zhangke) – I loved the imagery in these films of the vast, broken landscapes.  I’m a fan of documentaries, too: Searching for Sugar Man is amazing, I just loved the humility of a Rodriguez, who was such a huge star in South Africa without even knowing it. And Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, where we watch a man slowly coming to feel remorse for the horrific killings he participated in forty years ago, is an astonishing, completely unique and important film.

Keep a look out on our blog for more ‘Top Faves’ from our writing, directing and acting alumni.

Insights with the cast of HOPELESSLY DEVOTED

It’s now just ONE day until show-time.

Our Spring tour of HOPELESSLY DEVOTED officially kicks off at The Garage tomorrow, February 26, before winging its way to an extensive list of places all across the country.

But to tie you over as you await the arrival of Kate Tempest‘s latest lyrical firecracker at a venue near you, here are some insights with the brilliant.


For full details on our nationwide tour, click here.

Have you seen the show trailer?

Join in the twitter discussion with: @painesplough #KTHopelesslyDevoted

JFG Insights-2nd week at The Bush

We’ve settled right in here in W12.  Shepherds Bush has everything: cafés, caffs, restaurants, markets, gyms, convenience stores, and humming away behind it, glowing like a docked spacecraft, is the Westfield Shopping Centre.  It has its own gravity force and sucks us in after matinees, relieves us of fifteen quid for our ‘quick bite to eat’ and makes us buy clothes that we don’t need.  DAMN YOU, Westfield (and thank you for your nice Byron burgers and shakes).

Fortunately, the café/bar at the Bush is properly lovely.  There’s a reading room with a huge collection of plays on the old shelves (it used to be the local library), including the ones that have recently been playing.  You can sit there with your fat sausage roll and good coffee and relax.

It’s not been that relaxing, really; London isn’t set up for that, and it’s better to just drink plenty of coffee and hurl yourself into the maelstrom.  Have fun and sleep when you die (or, better, in January).  Margaret Thatcher only needed four hours sleep per night whilst she was PM; Andy Rush needs even less, and he’s not busy smashing the Unions.  Phil and I were knackered after a 2-show Saturday and an evening at Blacks and Madame Jojo’s (50s hits/Northern Soul), but Duracell Rush wasn’t done; no, he held an impromptu limbo competition in the middle of Soho afterwards.

Andy Rush doing what he does best!

The shows themselves come thick and fast.  Whilst we’re waiting to go on we can hear and feel the anticipation from the packed houses.  There are people we know at every performance – friends, family, loves, casting and industry folk – along with the dozens who have queued for tickets and put their hands in their pockets to come and see our play.  We look each other in the eye as we line up after Amy gives us the ‘Stand by’ call, backs are patted, hands are shaken, a quick hug, one more daub of mud and then we’re out there.  We want to give them all a ‘Press Night’.

JFG Bush Dressing Room

The standard we’ve set ourselves is high.  Of course we have – it’s a matter of professional and personal pride, but the closeness of the audience and the writing itself demands it.  This space keeps you honest and you get found out if your energy or concentration slips by a degree.  In two scenes I am sitting on the bench downstage left, only a couple of feet from the front row, close enough to nick their Werthers.  The other night I heard a guy whisper the end of one of Viv’s lines before she’d said it herself.  It seems people have come back to see us for a second or even a third time.

Audience at the Bush awaiting show-time

James came in last week to watch the show.  It was a decent enough performance but the running time was long – a sure sign that some moments are being indulged.  He gave us some important notes: keep listening to each other, stop ‘performing’ it, and tell the story for the first time, every time, with simplicity and clarity.  An audience can tell when you start to fall in love (a bit) with your lines and gradually you can hear less belly in the laughter and more shuffling in the quiet parts.

Weird things happen when you’ve been doing a show for a while.  Phil had a funny turn during one show (not just intentionally funny, which he always is) and scrambled a couple of his lines: ‘slim prickings’ were on offer in his library, and we had to smirk when he declared that, at Luke’s parents’ cookery weekend, ‘you tell posh people how to whisk.’  At the start of scene 4 Viv takes the team through the current league table and complex results permutations.  Last Wednesday, much to our surprise, she produced the ball pump (makeshift pointer) as usual but also a pair of granny glasses, which she conducted the scene in.  Some actors work from the inside – out, and some rely on props and costume to add depth to their character.  Well, it worked for Alec Guinness!  I’m considering where I might incorporate a stovepipe hat…

The inevitable xmas jumpers...

Oh yeah, Gary Lineker came to watch the other night.  The Gary Lineker who presents MOTD and SPOTY and does the crisps ads and has a celebritmodelactresstvpersonality wife and once babbed himself during a game?  No, not him.  It was the Gary Lineker who scored 48 goals for his country (England’s second top scorer), is still a hero in Barcelona, where he won domestic and European trophies and scored a hat-trick in an El Classico game (he also learned to speak Spanish fluently). The Gary Lineker who won the Golden Boot in the ’86 World Cup and nearly took us to the Final at Italia ’90.  The authentic football legend?  Him.

Gary Lineker with Barely Athletic

His theatrical connection goes back some way too.  A play was written in 1991 called ‘An Evening With Gary Lineker’ and was later adapted for telly, with the man himself making a cameo appearance.  He also guested as ‘God’ in Spamalot in the West End (albeit via video), and a few months ago, he shocked the stage world with a reply to a Simon Stephens tweet.  A theatre bromance has since blossomed between the two and Stephens and his wife accompanied the Linekers last Wednesday.  It was thrilling to have them in, and quite surreal.

But amongst all this – the rush, the gush, the three quid coffees, the booze, the talk, the photos, the celebrities, the hype, the noise, the buzz and the bollocks – we’re clear why we’re here: to tell the story of 3 gay lads, a bossy lesbian and a young widower who are fighting battles which most know nothing about.  Like everyone.


JFG Insights – 1st week at the Bush

London -Week 1

At a quarter to eight a week on Wednesday morning a fortnight ago, two figures moved through the Westminster gloom and stepped into a cone of light on College Green – that small patch of grass across the road from the Houses of Parliament – where they do all the interviews with MPs.  One of the figures was the Rt. Hon Maria Miller MP, Minister for Culture, and the other was Phil Redmond CBE, the Liverpudlian who gave us Grange Hill and Brookside in the ‘80s.  Around them was a crescent of cameras, microphones and journalists who were there to hear one word: the name of a city.

200-odd miles and an eastern swerve through the rich industrial shadows of the North, a few dozen people had gathered in the foyer of Hull Truck theatre, where Jumpers For Goalposts had played its home fixture two months earlier.  I know many of the assembled and I know that most had not touched a drop or a crumb of the breakfast buffet that had been laid on for them.  There were poets, playwrights, councilors and campaigners, managers and musicians, and they were there to hear just one syllable: the name of their city.

Maria Miller said some stuff that nobody really took much notice of, and then, without pause or drama – and with only the growl of traffic on Victoria Street as a drum roll and the odd horn bib as fanfare – said, ‘the Capital of Culture 2017 will be Hull.’

And this is what happened in the foyer at Truck.

The screams, cheers and yeses in that clip are not triumphant roars of Yorkshire bigheads, but a flood of relief and joy that someone had at last recognized something valuable and fascinating in us, and had faith in our ability to display it to the nation and beyond with flair and imagination.

The photos and scratchy reels of Hull in the first half of the last century show vaguely familiar places as the settings for unimaginable bustle and activity.  Noise and masts and smoke.  Tidy chaos.  I grew up in a landscape of still and empty docks, or ones filled in with the mossy rubble of the warehouses which used to surround them, and railway sidings that have been slowly embroidered with weeds; a city skyline that has actually thinned and shrunk and – ducking the wide skies above.  The Hull of my childhood was a poor old man of a town; unkempt, whiskered, hair sprouting from the ears, going on about his youthful glories.  The people are modest and straightforward, not timid, but wary of attention in case it was more bad press about us being Britain’s worst ‘this’ or the UK’s crappest ‘that’.  Being UK City of Culture will hopefully bring positive change to Hull, and its renaissance is actually well underway.  But a generation spent in the shadows, on the edge of things, has also given us an un-self-conscious honesty and deadpan humour that Tom Wells has personified in the characters of Beardy, Joe, Viv, Danny and Luke.

We’ve had a wonderful opening week at the Bush.  The reviews are glowing and generous and they, along with the enthusiasm on social media, have made us feel really proud.

We arrived in the Capital knowing that we had a good show.  I think we were all a bit wary of what London audiences – spoiled with cutting edge, quality drama and harder to impress – might make of a relatively gentle, joyful but un-sensational story of a bunch of losers from a place on the edge (never mind the middle) of nowhere.  Tom had a big hit at the Bush a couple of years ago with The Kitchen Sink so there was a lot of anticipation for what he had come up with next.  Maybe some people are coming to see what this Hull thing is all about following the 2017 announcement.

Leaving nothing to chance, I blessed the stage before the Tuesday preview with some holy Chip Spice, which I had brought down from home.  It didn’t bring us any immediate luck when disaster struck during the tech.  We were all thinking we could smell something funny, and Charlie Balfour suddenly noticed that his lights had started to melt the plastic roof on Lucy Osborne’s changing room set.  Shit.  We had to forego the dress rehearsal while a cooler form of illumination was sourced and rigged (huge thanks to the cavalry at the NT lighting dept.).  Jamie said he thought the burning smell was weed (you need to find yourself a new dealer, mate).  So our first performance was before an actual, live sold-out audience.  It didn’t matter – in fact, we enjoyed the edginess and heightened feel that it gave the performance (sorry, I inadvertently made that sound like a cheap condom advert), and by now, the play is in our bones.

I was nervous on press night the following evening, though.  It has to go well on press night, and my mind was going a bit pinball.  We’d done all our usual warm-ups and prep and had just had the 5 minute call, so I decided to go back to the dressing room and watch the Hull 2017 bid film on my laptop.  It’s stirring and moving, and undoubtedly contributed to us being awarded the City of Culture.  It sorted me out anyway.  I went out there with a headful of home and we all told our stories simply and honestly and had fun.  Viv’s right: all you can do is chuck your face at it and do your best.



We’re diggin’ it, diggin’ it, diggin’ it, we’re diggin’ it like this…

As we set to come home to London with ‘Wasted’, here’s a little insight into the weird and wonderful world of touring digs.


Some of the characters and events that take part in this blog have been made up for our own entertainment. (Apart from Alice been caught on the bog that one was definitely true I have pictures, no word of lie!)


WHAN that Aprille with his shoures soote

The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,

And bathed every veyne in switch licour,

Of which vertu engendred is the flour;

A man called Colith and a landlady named Louliegh.

The Place was great, the coffee was free but underhand flirting

Happened as we three watched, perched on a stool made from

Cheap leather and shipped from IKEA as she laid down the rules with an iron fist:

No Shoes on the carpets!

No drips on the shower room walls for fear of condensations that may deliver black Pours!

The door must be opened with a confident turn of the key for a shakey hand would Make far too much noise and awaken the beast with her sixteen year old boy!

And if the keys were misplaced then heavens offend “The locks will be changed and You will be charged at a standard rate to compensate your flaccid facade!”

The romance was set as we left for the show for candles were laid and the freshly painted magnolia walls were doused in perfume with a petal laden path for the unsuspecting Colith, with Louliegh herself in a dripping gown fresh from the bath to congratulate this warrior for his gargantuan task of ferrying her to and thro to the towering superstore named B&Q home.

“Oh Colin! Your wife wouldn’t like that!”

The affair consummated, the travelers three, returned from their performance showered with praise as the full house applauded and rose to their feet. An exceptional time for all to be had in this town of Canterbury, just know, whatever you do don’t spill the beans when traveling through, for cuckolds are lurking in every hotel, the Wifi is free and the towels are complementary, just keep your doors locked before you become prey to the land lady Louleigh and her carnivorous ploy to have you for dinner with her sixteen year old boy!


Digs for Cary and Bradley and Alice,

Was a fire-escape dorm, not a palace.

The door to the loo,

Was completely see through,

It was booked in a moment of malice!

THE HUB – Peterborough Odyssey 2013

In the future, ‘The Hub’ will be a 3* establishment.

In the future,  ‘The Hub’ will have to be knocked down for that to be true.

In the future, we won’t be staying in plastic pods in the playground.

In the future, the toilets will not smell of urine

In the future, ‘The Hub’ will be teleported from it’s industrial wasteland home to anywhere, as anywhere’s better than there

In the future, Bradley won’t get lost on his mission to McDonalds

In the future, we’ll turn the heating down instead of wedging the door open with a towel in the middle of the night leaving us prey to the violent Russian builders across the way.

In the future, we may dare to use the showers.

In the future, the corridors will not be strewn with Rubble.

In the future, the reception will be manned and the keys to the front door will work.
In the future, ‘The Hub’ will be built.

In the future, ‘The Hub’ will be a 3* establishment…

With communal showers and plastic lidless loos, we fear the future is not coming! The future’s too bright, the future is actually orange-plastic paneling… If the future is The Hub, The future has no stars, just strip lights burning down on broken cars.


‘The sleep of reason breeds monsters’

‘It’ll shine when it shines’

‘We all thought officious little prick’

Chapter 1

‘This place is huge! How do we get in anyway? Is that a door? No door bell. What about over there? Locked. Ok? Erm… Down there? Nah it’s definitely not down there. What about that? Well it’s open. Guys I don’t think this is the place. What is this place? Look, through there, what’s that? I’ll have a look? Ok, ok looks like it could be a hotel. There’s a man. Do you think he works here? Not sure… maybe. Excuse me do you know where reception is?’

‘Down the mirror corridor’

‘ Ok, thank y… hello? Oh. I think he’s gone. Down here? Maybe. I guess so, there are a lot of mirrors. Look there’s champagne in the windows. This is like the Ritz in paris. Yeah, in the 70’s. What is this place? Oh my God look at this, chandeliers. This place is cool! I like this place. It’s ridiculous. £30 a night? This is awesome. There’s no one here. Look at this place. It’s fucking massive. There’s a ballroom. There is seriously no one here. What’s that? I think it’s a toy. It’s He-man. How did it get up there? Are you taking a photo? Err Yeah, of course. Look reception.

‘Hello… Welcome to the Allesley’

Chapter 2

‘It’s locked. You need to call the number. Wait here’s someone. Thanks, well at least we know we’re not the only ones here. Should we just here and finish our food? Yeah. That kebab was amazing. That club was amazing. Yeah, Pie and wings… not so great. Ah… hi mate, is there any chance we could get a beer?

‘Have you got cash?’

‘Can we charge it to the room?


‘Oh… Erm, I got some change, maybe we could share a beer? No, you have a beer, it’s your birthday. Yeah, you can have some though. I’m all right mate, f*^ked. Pint please, mate. Where’s he going? I think he’s just got cans stashed in the back room. Sean Lock’s brother’

‘There you go. Working here are you?’

Yeah, we’ve just done a show’

‘Oh performers are you? Yeah I’ve met a few performers. Yeah… Doesn’t faze me though. My mum was a performer you see. Dancer. She’s worked with them all, yeah… Vivien Leigh, Olivier, She was in… What was she in? What’s that film? Well that was back in the 20’s. But what she taught me was that they’re just normal people. Normal people you see. So I’m not fazed.’

‘You could look less like Sean Lock.’

Chapter 3

‘Guys… I think there was blood dripping down my wall.’

Interview with PP Playwright-in-Residence Alexandra Wood

Last week, West Camel from Culture Compass popped in to PP HQ to interview our Playwright-in-Residence Alexandra Wood about her latest play THE EMPTY QUARTER, which closed at Hampstead Theatre Downstairs on Saturday.

Here’s what Alex had to say…

It seems you have a great deal of knowledge about the expat community in Dubai, but  you’ve never been there. How did you manage that authenticity?
When you’re writing plays you’re creating worlds. And that’s what Dubai seems to be – an act of Sheikh Mohammad’s imagination, which became real. I found that fascinating. I did lots of research. There’s copious publicity – the way they sell the lifestyle is fascinating. Online forums were interesting – expats giving each other advice. And then there was stuff about the other side of Dubai. Particularly important in terms of the development of the play was an article in The Independent by Johann Hari called The Dark Side of Dubai. He set up the various types of people there – the expat, the Emiratis, the Pakistani workers, the slave-labourers, gay Dubai, Philippinos working in fast-food joints. I was particularly attracted to one story about an expat caught out by the situation who found herself living in her car. That was the seed of Holly’s story in The Empty Quarter.

Gemma, the older, seasoned ex-pat in The Empty Quarter, seems to ‘stand up’ during the play.
In earlier drafts it had been Holly’s story, which is still what the play is at the beginning. But then a surprising shift occurs. It took me by surprise during the rewriting process – I found myself becoming more interested in Gemma’s story. It was when Hampstead said they were going to put The Empty Quarter on that her character became more integral. I think something in your head shifts when a theatre says ‘we’re going to produce this’. It’s all hypothetical up until then. When you know a real actor is going to play the part, you feel you need to make it as rich and complex as possible. I think that spurred me on to pursue Gemma’s journey a bit more. But I also think I had a sense that parts for women around 50 aren’t that many and if you’re going to write one you have a responsibility to give that actor a meaty role.

As a young woman, you’re obviously not familiar with being middle-aged – which is similar to writing about Dubai when you’ve not been there. And you’ve also written about China. What attracts you to writing about ‘the other’?
I’ve always been attracted to stories set elsewhere. There’s a sort of freedom in it. But I am interested in what’s going on here. I understand that I’m British. I’m a product of Britain, the characters I’m writing are affected by Britishness. And the plays are for a British audience. But I think it’s useful to have that bit of distance. I’m trying to explore what makes us tick through this ‘other’ prism.

What are the particular challenges of writing about ‘the other’ in theatre – bringing Dubai or China to the stage?
I’d initially conceived The Empty Quarter as a film. I wanted to write about Dubai because it’s such an amazing place visually and I thought it would be amazing to have panoramic shots of all those skyscrapers and cranes. Setting a tiny human story against that backdrop could be really striking. But when I reconceived it as a stage play I turned that on its head, and set it in three apartments that all look exactly same. I reduced it to this tiny place that could be anywhere. But the outside then comes in through the way the environment affects how the characters act. Dubai is represented by the characters’ behaviour.

How did you manage this with Wild Swans? – It’s such broad sweep of a novel.
That was a very collaborative production. The sense of scale was achieved through the design. So at the start you’ve got an old Chinese market; and by the end you’ve got modern China – lots of video design, everyone’s image of contemporary Beijing. All in the space of an hour and a half. But again you’re seeing China through behaviour. In Maoist China, especially, the way people behaved – the paranoia, the intrigue and the betrayal – was a result of Mao’s policies.

If you were to give someone the Wild Swans book and ask ‘is this is a three-to four hour epic by Steven Spielberg, or a small play at the Young Vic?’ They’d say the Spielberg, wouldn’t they?
I think you can do both. But the way you tell the story would be different. The Spielberg could chart history from Imperial China to the present day. Whereas in the play we focus on the parents’ relationship, which for us was the heart of it – the difficulties and conflicts of having loyalty to a party and a leader and loyalty to your wife and your family. It felt very human.

Is it this human aspect that makes you write for theatre rather than other media?
What theatre does brilliantly is the human. Because ultimately you’ve got human beings sitting in front of or around another human being, so you can’t help but think about you relationship with other people. You don’t have that so much in a film. There’s something finished and safe about cinema – nothing’s going to go wrong. Whereas in theatre there’s danger and that element of possibility. As an audience you can directly affect what’s happening on stage. The way you laugh, the way you respond, is going to affect those actors.
What theatre’s also great for is creating that space around what’s said and what’s done. It allows ambiguity and provides room for interpretation. As an audience I love having to work hard to understand what’s going on, and knowing I might have a different interpretation to someone else. And in my writing I love that flexibility – throwing up questions and not necessarily answering them all. Theatre gives me the space to play with certainty.

What do you think about the growth in immersive theatre, such as You Me Bum Bum Train and Punchdrunk?
Punchdrunk’s Faust production in Wapping was one of the most exhilarating theatre experiences of my life. I was overawed by the scale of the project and felt true emotions. I felt actual fear on one of the levels. I was completely alone in a massive warehouse. I didn’t know what could happen to me. That was thrilling, but I wouldn’t want it as my only theatre experience. I think more traditional plays when you have people sitting looking one way at some actors performing, will continue. I think there’s room for everything.
Ultimately they both respond to the basic thing that theatre can offer – human interaction. Whether you’re in an audience of 50 or of one, you’re still having that connection with a performer, which can challenge you and provoke you and engage you. That’s what theatre is about.

Read the full interview on

Photo: Robert Day/Hampstead Theatre

INSIGHTS: Post Show Q&A with the JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS company

Earlier this week, JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS writer, Tom Wells, director James Grieve, and the cast, took to the stage at Watford Palace Theatre for a post show chat. An opportunity for the audience to ask questions to the company and get to know more about the play.

We caught it on a trusty flip cam and put it on YouTube for all to have a watch:

JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS ends its run at Watford Palace Theatre this Saturday 20th April. Tickets are £12.50 and £5 for under 26s. Get your tickets here.


This week our General Manager Claire, Producer Tara and Assistant Producer Hanna headed up to Scarborough for NSDF 2013. As well as watching the final show of the WASTED tour at the Grand Spa Hall, and seeing some of the selected shows at Stephen Joseph Theatre, the team was also delivering workshops on Producing, Fundraising and Budgeting. We were really inspired by all of the young producers and arts managers who took part in the workshops, thanks so much for coming.

Check out the summaries of the workshops below and click on the handy links for the PowerPoints from the workshop. If you would like copies of any of the handouts please do get in touch.

The Scarborough seaside providing the backdrop for NSDF 2013

1. Run by Tara Wilkinson, Hanna Streeter and Claire Simpson

Workshop title: Getting big on budgets

Workshop summary: Practical guidance on how to draft a production budget, primarily for touring co-productions, focusing on all of the details you might need to consider.  This workshop will include group-based exercises.

Maximum number of attendees: 20

Skill level (if applicable): Some understanding or experience of drafting a budget or producing a show would be advantageous, but not essential.

Genre:  Producing, Finance, Administration

Items needed for workshop: Tables and chairs for practical activity and note taking, projector for power point, flip chart, board pens for flip chart

For the GETTING BIG ON BUDGETS powerpoint click here


2. Run by Tara Wilkinson, Hanna Streeter and Claire Simpson

Workshop title: Treasure Hunt – funding your way to success

Workshop summary: A summary of the current funding landscape and where the opportunities and challenges lie, with practical guidance on drafting a funding application.  This workshop will include group-based exercises.

Maximum number of attendees: 20

Skill level (if applicable): Some understanding or experience of applying for funding or producing a show would be advantageous, but not essential.

Genre:  Producing, Fundraising, Administration

Items needed for workshop: Tables and chairs for practical activity and note taking, projector for power point, flip chart, board pens for flip chart

Click here for the TREASURE HUNT- Funding your way to success Powerpoint


One of PP's NSDF workshops

3. Run by Tara Wilkinson, Hanna Streeter and Claire Simpson

Workshop title: Just the two of us – a guide to the very important co-producing relationship

Workshop summary: Sharing experiences of the different forms of co-producing relationships, how the relationship works in delivering a show and how that is reflected in the co-production contract.  This workshop will include group-based exercises.

Maximum number of attendees: 20

Skill level (if applicable): Some understanding or experience of producing a show would be advantageous, but not essential.

Genre:  Producing, Co-Productions, Administration

Items needed for workshop: Tables and chairs for practical activity and note taking, projector for power point, flip chart, board pens for flip chart

Click here for the JUST THE TWO OF US – a guide to the very important co-producing relationship Powerpoint

For any other information on the workshops email and we’ll see what we can do!

Happy Producing!

INSIGHTS: Lucy Osborne on the search for the perfect costume

JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS designer Lucy Osborne has been on an odyssey to find a rare Hull City shirt from the 1995 season. No stone is left unturned in the search for the perfect costume…

Lucy Osborne and her spoils – the rare Hull City away shirt 1995

Dedication.  Commitment.  Perseverance.

As a Nottingham Forest fan, these are the words that might spring to mind if I reflected on the great European Cup Triumphs of 1979 and 1980.  Or the attributes that might define such Forest giants as John Robertson, Peter Withe or Stuart Pearce.

But this week at PP HQ we have been awestruck by the passion and enthusiasm of the fans themselves: the amazingly generous and passionate fans of Hull City AFC.

Jumpers for Goalposts tells the story of a 5-a-side football team in Hull.  This is the world of scrappy Saturday afternoon football in the park.  Our team don’t have proper kits, but instead attempt team unity based around a “theme of red”.  Our costume supervisor Mark Jones had a moment of inspiration, and discovered that Hull City abandoned their archetypal amber and black kits for just two seasons and amazingly had a dark red change kit for the 1995-97 season.  This was brilliant news, one of our characters, Joe, would look brilliant playing in a Hull City shirt.  Now we wanted one of these shirts really badly….

But a bit more research revealed that this is an ultra-rare collectors item.  Only 1000 were ever produced, and when they do very occasionally come up for sale they can fetch close to £70.  We love a challenge, but how on earth were we going to track one down?

Time to call my mate Matt who is a Hull City fan.  Did he have one stashed away in the attic?  No, but his Dad might know someone who’s got one.  He’ll call his Dad in Hull.

Matt’s Dad gets involved.  He’s called Mike.  Best bet, Mike reckons after a bit of research, is via  He’ll email the guy who runs it for us. is a website entirely devoted to “an aesthetic critique of Tigers apparel”.  It describes the shirt we are after as being in “an unfamiliar although nonetheless lovely maroon with amber trim…memorably first used in a League Cup tie at Coventry.”.   This website leads us to Les Motherby.  Les runs, widely thought to be the finest independent Hull City website, with a legendary fans forum.  Within four hours of me calling my mate, our plea for a red Hull City Away Shirt from 1995-97 is on Twitter and every Hull City fans forum that counts, and someone has been in touch to say that they might have one that we could have.

Four days after the first phone call, our rare, supposedly impossible-to-find shirt arrives in the post.

So thank you Matt, Mike, Les and everyone on the Hull City forums who has helped us.  Nottingham Forest may have beaten you 2-1 at the weekend, but you have my gratitude and deep respect.  We’ll look after that shirt very, very carefully…