Category Archive: Latitude Festival

With a little bit of Latitude

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Elated, inspired and a little bleary-eyed we’re back from magical Henham Park and another mind-expanding, heart-lifting Latitude Festival.

Our Latitude co-production WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK by wizard wordsmith Sabrina Mahfouz packed out the Theatre Tent on Thursday and Friday nights and had audiences on their feet and dancing in the aisles to Gabriel Benn’s piano riffs and Martyna Baker’s honeyed vocals as Seroca Davis led a merry charge through one wild night at the height of the UK Garage era.

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To all of you who came and watched and listened and cheered and whistled and raved – both inside the tent and on the big screen outside – a heartfelt thank you from all of us. You were the most incredible audience and you created an atmosphere we’ll remember and savour for a long time.

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Here’s a round-up of some of the lovely responses from the critics and the Twittersphere…

“Fist-pumping euphoria… one of the highlights of Latitude’s sun-stroked 10th anniversary festival… crackle[s] with a rare and unexpected life.”
The Stage

“Highlights of the myriad events on offer included Sabrina Mahfouz’s With A Little Bit Of Luck… the crowd dancing, singing and cheering the whole show.”
Whatsonstage.com

“The same fizzing energy of the best club nights… marks Mahfouz out as a unique theatrical voice.”
The Public Reviews

“A dark and joyful swirl of garage music and South London rhythms.”
@SarahLooseleaf

“Danced happily & proudly whilst watching #WithALittleBitOfLuck @LatitudeFest My youth came rushing back to me…..”
@therealcginge

“Our theme tune for a magical #Latitude15? “With A Little Bit of Luck”. What a tune, what an evening. That tent was ALIVE!”
@oldtrunktheatre

“Absolutely loved @painesplough #WithALittleBitOfLuck at @LatitudeFest – undeniably one of my festival highlights!”
@avpegrum

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Top photographer Richard Davenport was in amongst the action to capture the scene. You can check out his gallery of photos over on our Flickr Stream.

So what next? Well, with a little bit of luck the show might just be back in 2016…

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Programme 2015: 11 plays in 74 places

Here we go… we’re excited to announce our Programme 2015 in full. Eleven top class productions touring to 74 places from Cornwall to the Orkney Islands.

Here’s a snapshot:

•    This summer’s unmissable pop-up experience: ROUNDABOUT follows its run at The Brighton Festival with a two month residency at The Southbank Centre, a return to the Edinburgh Festival and a national tour.
•    THE HUMAN EAR, a brand new play from Alexandra Wood receives its world premiere in Roundabout in Edinburgh.
•    WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK by award-winning writer Sabrina Mahfouz premieres at the Latitude Festival.
•    EVERY BRILLIANT THING returns to the UK following its acclaimed Off-Broadway run in New York and tours nationwide in addition to performances in Roundabout.
•    OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL continues to thrill young audiences in Roundabout and in theatres on an extensive national tour.
•    LUNGS and THE INITIATE continue in the Roundabout rep.
•    DANIEL KITSON is amongst a thrilling programme of visitors performing in Roundabout.
•    NATHAN BRYON receives the inaugural Paines Plough Playwright Fellowship.

Welcome to Programme 2015.

TAB

Continuing at The Bush Theatre until 13 June…
THE ANGRY BRIGADE by James Graham
A pyrotechnic thriller from the writer of sell-out smash hits THIS HOUSE and PRIVACY.
“Memorably adventurous…a timeless depiction of young people agitating against a world that appears to exclude them.”
★★★★ The Times

The Bush // 30 April – 13 June

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A Paines Plough world premiere at The Latitude Festival…
WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK by Sabrina Mahfouz
“I want to be iconic. I want to be beautiful, reckless, feared, hated, ahead of the times. I want to be different, I want to be dangerous…”
London, 2001. Raves. Revision. Re-election.
Nadia is swept up in one hot summer’s night of love that promises endless possibilities. Drinking, dancing, hope, ambition, lust, greed… and decisions that will determine the rest of her life.
Rhythmically underscored by a live mix of old school UK Garage, award-winning writer Sabrina Mahfouz explores the legacy of a cultural movement that defined the hopes of a generation.
London, 2015. Re-wind.

Latitude Festival // 16-17 July

Round

This summer’s unmissable pop-up theatre experience…
ROUNDABOUT
The Stage Awards ‘Theatre Building of the Year’ pops-up in Brighton, London, Edinburgh and on tour with a repertory of outstanding new plays.

Regency Square, Brighton Festival // 2-24 May
Southbank Centre, London // 7 June – 18 July
Summerhall, Edinburgh Festival Fringe // 6-30 August
Newbury Corn Exchange // 9–13 September
The Lowry, Salford // 16–20 September
Lincoln Performing Arts Centre // 23–27 September
Brewary Arts Centre, Kendal // 30 September – 4 October
Theatre Royal Margate // 7–11 October
New Vic, Stoke // 14–18 October

Human Ear RND 2015 image final

A Paines Plough world premiere…
THE HUMAN EAR by Alexandra Wood
A man turns up at Lucy’s door claiming to be the brother she hasn’t seen in 10 years. But why has he come? Is it really him? And what happens when there’s another knock at the door?  Forced to confront the messy inner workings of sibling love with its petty resentments, casual cruelty, profound betrayals and implicit understanding, can the bond between brother and sister be rebuilt?
An intriguing tale of loss, renewal and knowing who to trust from Fringe First Award winner Alexandra Wood.

Roundabout @ Summerhall, Edinburgh Festival Fringe // 6-30 August
Roundabout @ Newbury Corn Exchange // 9–13 September
Roundabout @ The Lowry, Salford // 16–20 September
Roundabout @ Lincoln Performing Arts Centre // 23–27 September
Roundabout @ Brewary Arts Centre, Kendal // 30 September – 4 October
Roundabout @ Theatre Royal Margate // 7–11 October
Roundabout @ New Vic, Stoke // 14–18 October

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The highly acclaimed and multi-award winning…
LUNGS by Duncan Macmillan
“The most beautiful, quietly shattering play of the year.”
★★★★★ Sunday Express

Roundabout @ Regency Square, Brighton Festival // 2-24 May
Repeated on BBC Radio 3 // 24 May
Roundabout @ Southbank Centre, London // 7 June – 18 July
Roundabout @ Summerhall, Edinburgh Festival Fringe // 6-30 August
Roundabout @ Newbury Corn Exchange // 9–13 September
Roundabout @ The Lowry, Salford // 16–20 September
Roundabout @ Lincoln Performing Arts Centre // 23–27 September
Roundabout @ Brewary Arts Centre, Kendal // 30 September – 4 October
Roundabout @ Theatre Royal Margate // 7–11 October
Roundabout @ New Vic, Stoke // 14–18 October

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The Scotsman Fringe First Award winner…
THE INITIATE by Alexandra Wood
“An intense, original and memorable play for today, with outstanding performances.”
★★★★ The Scotsman

Roundabout @ Regency Square, Brighton Festival // 2-24 May
Roundabout @ Southbank Centre, London // 7 June – 18 July

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Back in the UK following its four month run Off-Broadway…
EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe
Our co-production with Pentabus Theatre Company hits the road for an epic UK tour.
“Heart-wrenching, hilarious… one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see, full stop.”
★★★★ The Guardian

Barrow Street Theatre, New York // 6 December 2014 – 29 March 2015
Machynlleth Comedy Festival // 2-3 May
Unity Theatre, Liverpool // 9 May
The Drum, Plymouth // 12-16 May
The North Wall, Oxford // 18 May
Roundabout @ Brighton Festival // 19, 20, 23, 24 May
Quarterhouse, Folkestone // 21 May
The Spring, Havant // 22 May
The Dukes, Lancaster // 26 May
Trestle Arts Base, St Albans // 28 May
Leintwardine Village Hall // 30 May
Pulse Festival, Ipswich // 2 June
Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal // 3 June
Harlow Playhouse // 4 June
The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury // 5-6 June
Square Chapel, Halifax // 7 June
Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis // 10 June
The Muni, Colne // 11 June
The Lowry, Salford // 12-13 June
South Hill Park, Bracknell // 15 June
The Castle, Wellingborough // 17 June
The Garage, Norwich // 18 June
Key Theatre, Peterborough // 19 June
The Tolmen Centre, Constantine // 21 June
Salisbury Arts Centre, Salisbury // 23 June
The Phoenix, Bordon // 25 June
Derby Theatre, Derby // 26-27 June
Roundabout @ Southbank Centre // 7-11 July
Roundabout @ Summerhall, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 6-30 August
The Civic, Stourport // 9 September
Roundabout @ Corn Exchange, Newbury // 10 September
Bridport Arts Centre // 11 September
Mill Arts Centre, Banbury // 16 September
Roundabout @ The Lowry, Salford // 17 September
Isle of Eigg // 21 September
Sunart Centre ,Arainn Shuainert, Strontian // 23 September
Plockton Village Hall, Plockton // 24 September
Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit // 25 September
Lyth Arts Centre, Wick // 26 September
Pier Arts Centre, Orkney // 27 September
Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds // 29 September
Roundabout @ Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal  // 30 September
South Holland Centre  // 1 October
Pegasus Theatre, Oxford // 2-3 October
The Theatre, Chipping Norton // 4 October
Tobacco Factory, Bristol // 6-10 October
Stahl Theatre at Oundle School, Peterborough // 14 October
The Old Market, Brighton // 18-20 October
Shop Front Theatre, Coventry // 21 October
Span Arts, Pembrokeshire // 22 October
Riverfront Theatre, Newport // 23 October
Pontardawe Arts Centre, Pontardawe // 24 October
Lakeside Theatre, Colchester // 29 October
The Civic, Barnsley // 31 October

troll

A colourfully comic show for children 7+ and their accompanying trolls / parents…
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL by Dennis Kelly
“Fun, funny…comic perfection.”
★★★★ The Times
Our co-production with Half Moon Young People’s Theatre continues in Roundabout before embarking on its own national tour.

Roundabout @ Regency Square, Brighton Festival // 2-24 May
Roundabout @ Southbank Centre, London // 7 June – 18 July
Roundabout @ Summerhall, Edinburgh Festival Fringe // 6-30 August
Roundabout @ Newbury Corn Exchange // 9–13 September
Roundabout @ The Lowry, Salford // 16–20 September
Roundabout @ Lincoln Performing Arts Centre // 23–27 September
Roundabout @ Brewary Arts Centre, Kendal // 30 September – 4 October
Roundabout @ Theatre Royal Margate // 7–11 October
Roundabout @ New Vic, Stoke // 14–18 October
TakeOff International Children’s Theatre Festival, County Durham // 21-23 October
Arts Centre Washington // 24 October
Old Fire Station, Carlisle // 25 October
Brewhouse, Burton // 27 October
Derby Theatre // 28 October
Lakeside Arts, Nottingham // 29 October
Royal & Derngate, Northampton // 30 October
The Castle, Wellingborough // 31 October
Half Moon Young People’s Theatre, London // 2–5 November
Tarvin Community Centre, Chester // 6 November
Whitby Hall at Trinity Ellesmere Port // 7 November
Z-arts, Manchester // 8 November
South Holland Centre, Spalding // 10 November
The egg, Bath Theatre Royal // 12–14 November
The North Wall, Oxford // 15 November

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Paines Plough and friends present…
EARLIER/LATER
A series of early morning and late night one-off shows: theatre, poetry, comedy, music, rumbles, shenanigans and much more in Roundabout throughout the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Get your fix of fresh new work, exhilarating debates and rip-roaring performances. Kick start your morning and round-up your evening in Roundabout – “the loveliest venue at the fringe” The List, 2014.

We’re excited to announce a storming line-up of VISITING COMPANIES in Roundabout @ Summerhall throughout the Edinburgh Festival Fringe…

Eastern Angles in association with Unity Theatre present
CHICKEN by Molly Davies

Supporting Wall presents
JONNY & THE BAPTISTS: THE END IS NIGH

Papermash Theatre and Tricycle Theatre present
HAPPY BIRTHDAY WITHOUT YOU by Sonia Jalaly

THEATRE UNCUT
Clara Brennan, Vivienne Franzmann, Kieran Hurley, Dennis Kelly, Neil LaBute, Stef Smith

Dancing Brick and Soho Theatre present
I’M NOT HERE RIGHT NOW by Thomas Eccleshare

Daniel Kitson presents
POLYPHONY by Daniel Kitson

Plus…
The inaugural Paines Plough Playwright Fellowship is awarded to Nathan Bryon. Nathan is 23-years-old and from Shepherd’s Bush. He is one of the most exciting and original new playwriting voices we have come across and we are delighted he will join Paines Plough on attachment until the end of 2015. The Playwright Fellowship is supported by Jon and NoraLee Sedmak and an anonymous playwright. It aims to assist a playwright of exceptional promise at the start of their career by supporting them in the development of their craft. The Fellowship comprises an attachment to Paines Plough, a bursary of £6,000 and a place at the prestigious l’Obrador d’estiu playwriting conference in Barcelona.

We welcome two new members of our team thanks to our partnership with Creative Access. Joining Paines Plough are Trainee Administrator Bhavini Goyate and Trainee Producer Rachel D’Arcy. Former Creative Access intern Natalie Adams is now full-time Administrator.

Joining the Paines Plough Board of Trustees are Andrea Stark, CEO of High House Production Park, Matthew Littleford, Editorial Director for Digital, BBC Worldwide, Anne McMeehan Roberts, Founder Director of Cauldron Consulting and playwright Dennis Kelly.

And we’ll be hosting more Open Auditions, releasing two new Apps, launching a transatlantic radio project, offering lots of exciting opportunities for playwrights through The Big Room, programming one-off events in Roundabout and eating lots of cake in the office.

So there you have it… Programme 2015. We hope to see you there.

WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK: A New Play by Sabrina Mahfouz

We’re absolutely thrilled to announce the next show to be added to PP’s programme for 2015 is a new play by award winning playwright and performance poet Sabrina Mahfouz. Directed by our Associate Director Stef O’Driscoll in a co-production with our firm favourites and great friends Latitude Festival, WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK will première in the theatre tent at Latitude, July 2015. See you there.

I want to be iconic. I want to be beautiful, reckless, feared, hated, ahead of the times. I want to be different, I want to be dangerous…

London, 2001. Raves. Revision. Re-election.

Nadia is swept up in one hot summer’s night of love that promises endless possibilities. Drinking, dancing, hope, ambition, lust, greed… and decisions that will determine the rest of her life.

Rhythmically underscored by a live mix of old school UK Garage, award-winning writer Sabrina Mahfouz explores the legacy of a cultural movement that defined the hopes of a generation.

London, 2015. Re-wind.

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Muddied but unbowed: Latitude 2012

Our kitchens look like chinese laundries, our mud splattered wellies perch on plastic bags in hallways, our legs feel like lead, our heads like cotton wool. It can only mean one thing – we’ve been Latituded.

It’s our favourite weekend of the year bar none, and now the tents have been dismantled for another year, we’re back at PP HQ reflecting on another vintage festival.

Team PP assembled in Suffolk on Thursday. With THE 8TH in Birmingham the previous night, the creative team travelled rock ‘n’ roll style with the artists in Paul Heaton’s tour bus, while the office disgorged into trains and cars and buses, weighed down by rucksacks jammed with pillows and rum and crisps.

Having pitched PP Camp in our usual spot in a glade of the lovely Henham Park forest, it was straight to The Film & Music Arena for tech rehearsals for THE 8TH. It’s always an exciting few hours before the Arena opens to the public – stallholders prepping their wares, wafts of music from multiple soundchecks, anticipation in the air. THE 8TH’s band tuned up, Reg roared his opening lines into the mic, the singers stepped up to stretch their vocal chords, Tim waved his wand at the lighting rig, Bernd frantically searched for a drill.

Tech done, and the gates to the Arena about to be opened, we beat a retreat backstage and waited for showtime.

THE 8TH from backstage at The Film & Music Arena

For six consecutive years, Paines Plough has appeared in the Theatre Tent (in its various guises), so it was a new and exciting experience to be performing in the Film & Music Arena for the first time in 2012. Thursday night is a brilliant night for theatre, because none of the music stages are opened until Friday, so the Arts stages are all packed with eager punters seeking their first festival fix.

Reg and the gang were on top form, bringing the curtain down on the tour with a rabble-rousing performance, roared on by a jammed to capacity tent head-bopping and yowling approval. “It’s my first rock ‘n’ roll tour,” grins Reg afterwards as celebratory beers are cracked. Huge thanks to everyone who came to see us, you were an incredible crowd.

No festival fun for the band and singers, they’re straight back on the tour bus and off into the night. Team PP heads to the theatre tent to cheer nabokov’s brilliant SYMPHONY before heading to the woods to dance idiotically to Dermot O’Leary‘s deliciously retro indie disco set.

With THE 8TH done and dusted, the whole weekend stretched out ahead of us, ripe for the revelling. Kate Tempest’s stunning BRAND NEW ANCIENTS has everyone on their feet for a raucous standing ovation in the theatre tent. There’s more theatrical delights from Tangled Feet and Rash Dash, a smorgasboard of poetics in the poetry tent and a great Latitude moment on the Lake Stage as the sun makes a hesitant appearance just as Clock Opera walk on stage for an imperious set. Our excitement at Bon Iver was a little pre-emptory. He wasn’t very good. We were sad.

The Latitude crowd packing out the tent for THE 8TH

Saturday offers up Luke Wright’s epic poem The Vile Ascent Of Lucien Gore And What The People Did in the outdoor theatre – one of our highlights from last year and the same again this. In the literary arena we heard PP alumni Abi Morgan in conversation with Edith Bowman, praising Kate Tempest‘s show as a reminder of how exciting live theatre can be. Also a great quote: “For a writer there’s nothing better than the moment you press send on the first draft.” Look Left Look Right bestowed not one but four new musicals to much hilarity, and Jimmy McGhie‘s wry observational anecdotes were much to our liking in the comedy arena, as was the wildly-inappropriate-and-all-the-funnier-for-it Lee Nelson. We couldn’t see Subtrkt because he’s a man of mystery, but he sounded great. Los Campesinos struck a blow for the liberation of fun by continuing their  set acoustically when someone officious pulled the plug on them, and Guy Garvey showed Bon Iver how it’s done with a barnstorming headline set. “So throw those curtains wide! One day like this a year’d see me right!” And so it would. Especially if it continued with arm-flailing dancing to Guilty Pleasures, a sensational DJ set from Shy FX and our legendary Car Park Disco until sunrise. Or in this instance until some jobsworth security guards shut us down. Boo. Hiss.

Bernd (in the hat) watching Reg from backstage

Sunday comes too soon at Latitude. It always does. But what’s this orange ball in the sky? Should we be worried? No, we should buy cider and sit on the grass and listen to Ben Howard. That’s what we should do. Matthew Bourne on the lake, Daughter in the woods, a sensory out-of-body experience in Curious Directive’s enchanting Olfactory…a bounty of epicurean delights. Alabama Shakes got us shaking, Buena Vista Social Club proved we can still be shaking when we’re 70, and Wild Beasts smashed it in the Word Arena. Off to the woods for a final jig to Norman Jay, then the traditional bop in the Performer’s Bar to bring down the curtain on another magical mystery tour through the enchanted fields and forests of Henham Park.

And so the sad trudge to the car on Monday morning, sleep deprived and malnourished, resplendent in damp clothes from the Mud by Jackson Pollock range and fearing the onset of trench foot. The A12 is at a standstill. It’s raining apologetically. There is glitter absolutely everywhere. Has anyone got any nurofen?

All hail Latitude. The greatest festival in the world. Thank you to all who sailed in her. We loved performing for you, we loved partying with you, we miss your glittered faces and ludicrous head gear. We are counting down the days uintil we commune with you again.

And meantime, you can reminisce with our Latitude Spotify Playlist or buy THE 8TH album, or leave a comment to tell us your Latitude tales.

Latitude Survival Guide

Hmm... it's not looking promising

Undaunted by record-breaking summer rainfalls, we’re pulling on our wellies, donning shades and sou’westers and pumping up the volume on our Spotify playlist in preparation for Paines Plough’s sixth consecutive Latitude Festival appearance.

Whereas our weekly Tuesday morning company meetings are generally spent discussing production updates or budgets or tour schedules, this week we gave Latitude virgins Mark and Sarah a shopping list to ensure they’re fully kitted out for their Latitude debut.

And as hardened veterans, we thought we’d share our insights with you too, in case you need some assistance in planning what to pack. Just collate the following items, and you’ll be all set up for the best weekend of your lives:

1. Tent (obvs)
2. Wellies (really quite essential this year)
3. All manner of waterprooofs
4. Thermals
5. Nurofen
6. Hand sanitizer (we’re sticklers for hygeine)
7. Beer
8. Bottled water (in case you run out of beer and need hydrating)
9. Cherry tomatoes (bite sized nutrition)
10. Babybel cheeses (snackage)
11. Peperami sausages (more snackage)
12. Suncream (ever the optimists)
13. A silly hat (de rigeur)
14. Loo roll

Have we missed anything? Let us know by posting a comment.

See you on the A12.

Yeah!

Latituuuuuude!

It’s fast approaching our favourite weekend of the year.

PPHQ is in the grip of anticipatory and preparatory fervour ahead of our sixth consecutive Latitude Festival. And. We. Can’t. Wait. Yeeeaaaah!

(A little excitable, as you can see)

Okay, deep breath, we need to reserve some energy for our legendary late night car-park discos.

But yup, we’re off to the beautiful Henham Park tomorrow to once again partake in the multifarious delights of the nation’s greatest arts festival.

Following our previous festival hits MURDER AT GOBBLERS’ WOOD (07), CRAZYLOVE/SHOOT GET TREASURE REPEAT (08), TRACES (09), TINY VOLCANOES (10) and WASTED (11), we’re making a departure from the theatre tent to headline the Film and Music Arena with THE 8TH.

Paul Heaton and Ché Walker’s sensational soul opera closes its sell-out national tour with an all-guns-blazing festival finale at 9:30pm on Thursday night.

THE 8TH features an all-star ensemble cast including Simon Aldred (Cherry Ghost), Gareth David (Los Campesinos!), Jacqui Abbott (Beautiful South) and Reg E Cathey (Norman Wilson in HBO’s The Wire) and in true last-night-of-the-tour style they’re all bang up for a stellar finale.

So get there early and get down the front. Then wave your hands in the air.

Reg E Cathey in THE 8TH. Thursday, 9:30PM, Film & Music Arena. Be there.

There’s a whole heap of stuff we’re excited about seeing at Latitude. Pretty much the whole lip-licking theatre line-up for starters, plus the largest collection of performance poets in Europe, dance on the lake, funny people telling jokes, all manner of weirdness, and of course some mighty fine musical maestros.

As an outlet for our excitement, we’ve put together our collective LATITUDE playlist. We’ve shared it on Spotify – our music channel of choice (they don’t sponsor us to say that, but if they’d like to they can contact us here)  – so that you too can share in our festival spirit.

Have a listen to our highlights and let us know what we’re missing by making your own recommendations by leaving a comment.

And if for whatever reason you’re not going to Latitude* you can recreate the experience by listening to THE 8TH at home**.  The studio album and exclusive DVD is now available to buy from HMV, Fopp, Amazon and Play.com and you can listen on Spotify.

* Firstly, take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror. What could you possibly be doing this weekend that would mean you’d miss Latitude?

** To fully recreate the festival experience, stand in a puddle whilst listening.

London calling

This time last year I wrote a blog about our decision not to produce work in London for two years. It started an interesting debate in the comments section.

In 2010 and 2011, we toured to 69 places around the UK, but London wasn’t one of them. We wanted to reaffirm Paines Plough’s historic commitment to touring far and wide, in pursuit of being a truly national theatre of new plays.

But you’ll have noticed we’ve landed in the capital in a big way in 2012. Our London Season this year sees seven productions across town. In true Paines Plough style they’re well spread out so you can see our work in your local theatre whether you’re in Southfields, Shoreditch or Sloane Square.

Despite some claims to the contrary, we’ve never been anti-London. Everyone who works at PP lives in London, so it’s our home town and we love it. And it has always been our plan to produce work here. We just wanted to get out and about a bit first.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the demand for our work to be seen in London, and we’re very proud to be presenting a wide range of top class new plays across 2012 in a year that sees the world’s focus on our city.

Our London Season map - seven shows across the city

Our London Season started with LOVE, LOVE, LOVE at The Royal Court, which had previously toured to 18 different venues from Plymouth to Glasgow.

Kate Tempest’s WASTED spent two weeks at The Roundhouse and also popped up in Deptford, Earlsfield and Redbridge as part of a 26 venue nationwide tour.

This week we’ve got two new shows in town. SMITHEREENS by Sean Buckley is a co-production with Rose Bruford College, performed by the Third Year Acting students. It’s already been seen in Zone 5 in Sidcup, and it’s in Zone 1 at Soho Theatre all this week.

And we made our debut at The Barbican with Paul Heaton and Che Walker’s THE 8TH, a stunning soul opera we first made with Manchester International Festival last year and which goes out on tour to Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Birmingham before headlining The Film & Music Arena at Latitude next week.

Then in September the Roundabour Season lands at Shoreditch Town Hall. Three new plays by Duncan Macmillan, Nick Payne and Penelope Skinner performed by a single ensemble of actors in rep within our unique portable in-the-round auditorium. Co-produced with Sheffield Theatres, the Roundabout Season premiered in Sheffield last year.

The Roundabout Auditorium pitches up in Shoreditch this Autumn

So seven shows across London in 2012 for you to enjoy. We’re thrilled to be camped in the city, but we’re also proud that all the work we’re presenting in London has been seen outside the capital first, by people from Cambridge to Cardiff to Canterbury. More people saw LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and WASTED outside London than saw the shows in town, and that’s an important barometer for us. So moving forward we’ll keep popping up in the city, but our focus will remain on the whole country.

Let us know what you think by posting a comment.

PS – We’re also producing a show this year called LONDON, that’s not playing in London. Call us obtuse, but we kind of like that.

THE 8TH tour announced

We’re very excited to announce today that we’re taking our 2011 co-production with Manchester International Festival THE 8TH by Paul Heaton and book by Ché Walker back on the road again later this year presented by SJM Concerts.

Reg E Cathey in THE 8TH at The Manchester International Festival 2011

“Victim of an overdose or recipient of bullet
Just the harvest of the finger or the wrist
It’s the needle or the trigger, the 8th could push or pull it
As long as folk believe that he exists”
One of Manchester’s greatest songwriters Paul Heaton (The Beautiful South, The Housemartins), premieres an epic new pop song, THE 8TH, in a thrilling live show.
Joined onstage by his band and a host of special guests, Heaton transports you to a destitute neighbourhood where the seven deadly sins unfurl. From the seven an eighth is born – a new and thoroughly modern sin that imprisons all who cross its path.
THE 8TH’s book is written by Ché Walker who previously worked with us here at PP on Crazy Love back in 2007 and is directed by our very own Joint Artistic Director George Perrin.
So here’s where it’s heading:
Thursday 5th July @ Barbican Centre, London
Tuesday 10th July @ Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
Wednesday 11th July @ St. Paul’s Church, Birmingham
Thursday 12th July@ Latitude Festival
With a cast including US hit TV show The Wire‘s Reg E Cathey it’s sure to be a hot ticket this Summer. So for more details on the show and how to book tickets check out THE 8TH page on our website

Confessions of a Trainee Producer

Chrissy Jay
Photograph: Elyse Marks

Joining Paines Plough in the last week of June, I was nervous to say the least. Almost 9 months of study at Birkbeck on the MA Creative Producing had given me the tools to do the job of Trainee Producer, but I knew putting them into practice would be the time to see how much I had really learned.

Just over two months later, with two productions under our belt, I am finally feeling like a Producer. There have been so many highlights, the day that Tara handed WASTED to me and said to ‘run with it’ perhaps being the highest of all (and the most terrifying). The chance to work with a stellar cast, creative team and the inimitable Kate Tempest has been beyond all my hopes for this secondment. Their energy, enthusiasm and passion for the play saw us all through a very muddy Latitude and ensured we came out smiling. It is only the beginning of the story for WASTED, which will tour from February 2012, I am so proud to have been a part of the team that got it off the ground.

On to other highlights; seeing THE 8TH on stage, in all its glory at Manchester International Festival, after a fraught opening night; the pleasure of supporting playwrights in workshopping their plays through The Big Room and the chance to hear James & George talk with such passion about theatre, new writing and their hopes for the future of Paines Plough has left me inspired and raring to go.

Well, there are still three weeks left here and plenty to be getting on with. This weekend I am very much looking forward to the Open Auditions, before heading off for a few days of theatre saturation in Edinburgh at the end of the month (any recommendations let me know!) and continuing work on WASTED, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and the ROUNDABOUT SEASON.

WASTED photos now online

We’ve just uploaded loads of publicity, rehearsal and productions shots of WASTED by Kate Tempest to our Flickr photostream. Check them out:

Production shots

Rehearsal shots

Publicity shots

Big shout out to the briliant photographers who took them – Elyse Marks, Richard Davenport, Gavin Mitchell and our very own Mathy & Fran.