Category Archive: General PP stuff

Open Auditions: London & Luton

Abdul Salis and Sian Reese-Williams in THE INITIATE - photo by Richard Davenport

Abdul Salis and Sian Reese-Williams in THE INITIATE – photo by Richard Davenport.

Monday 03 April, 1-4pm @ The Hat Factory, Luton LU1 2EY
Wednesday 05 April, 10am-5pm @ Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond TW9 2SA

After spending a lovely day meeting some fantastic Welsh actors last week with Theatr Clwyd we’re excited to announce our next round of open auditions in collaboration with our friends Revoluton Arts and the Orange Tree Theatre.

As usual, we’re looking to meet actors previously unknown to Paines Plough with a passion for new writing. You can apply in pairs for one of the dates from now until 10am on 21 March and then we’ll randomly select 15 duos to see in Luton and 30 duos for Richmond. We hope this means that everyone who wants to apply is able to, and that the selection process is fair to everyone.

In Luton, we’re only looking for actors who are originally from – or currently live – in Luton or wider Bedfordshire. If you’re not from Bedfordshire please do not apply for these open auditions.

Anyone is welcome to apply for the open auditions in Richmond.

Sounds good? This is how to apply…

– Find yourself a partner – we’re auditioning people in pairs.
– Pick your venue – we only want to meet Bedfordshire actors on 03 April so make sure you apply for the Orange Tree date if you’re not from or based in the area.
– Register by filling in this form by 10am on Tuesday 21 March. There’s no need to send in anything else in advance.
– If you are selected to audition, we’ll get in touch with you by Friday 24 March with an audition time – make sure you let us know if you can make it or not.
– If you’re not selected to audition this time, we will keep you on a waiting list and may offer you an audition if a slot becomes available.
– Once everything’s confirmed, please prepare a three-minute duologue from a play written in the last 15 years.
– On the day, all you need is your Spotlight or CV printout and your partner. Break a leg!

Some things to bear in mind:

– If you have auditioned for Paines Plough before, unfortunately we won’t be able to see you this time round.
– To give everyone a fair shot, agent or not, we only accept applications from actors so, if you have an agent, please apply using your own email address.
– Places are all allocated in advance. Due to high demand we normally can’t accommodate requests for a different time, and we will be unable to see people on a walk-up basis.
– If for any reason you can’t make your audition please let us know ASAP by emailing office@painesplough.com. If you don’t turn up to your audition without letting us know in advance, you won’t be able to apply for future Paines Plough Open Auditions.
– We can only accept applications made with this form before the deadline.
– Due to the large volume of people we’ll be seeing, we unfortunately won’t be able to offer feedback.
– We aren’t casting for a particular show at the moment – we just want to meet some new actors so that we can bear you in mind for future productions. So don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back from us after your audition.
– Check out our FAQs for more information about the application process and what to expect on the day, or ping us an email at office@painesplough.com if you’re not sure about anything.
– Don’t worry if you don’t live in the area – we try to hold as many Open Auditions as we can throughout the year all around the UK. Join our mailing list or keep an eye on our social media for details of the next ones…

Hope to see you there!

Team PP

You can download our FAQs here: Open Audition FAQs

Announcing Programme 2017

PP2016 Web Banner 2

Welcome to Programme 2017. Theatre. Everywhere.

Our Artistic Directors, James and George, unveiled #PP2017 today:

“We’re thrilled to present some of the UK’s most exciting playwrights on tour to more than 60 places across the UK and around the world in Paines Plough’s Programme 2017.

Our pop-up Roundabout will again tour the UK with three world premieres in partnership with Theatr Clwyd and the Orange Tree. Elinor Cook’s OUT OF LOVE is a very funny, topical, heart-tugging exploration of female friendship spanning 30 years. We’re honoured to be premiering another of Elinor’s plays following TEN WEEKS in Programme 2016. Elinor was on attachment to Paines Plough through The Big Room in 2011 and has since won the George Devine Award and become one of the most vital, distinctive new voices in theatre. Roundabout will also host the World Premiere of Brad Birch’s new play BLACK MOUNTAIN, a nerve-jangling psychological thriller showcasing the style and comic brio that marks Brad out in the vanguard of Welsh playwrights. HOW TO BE A KID is a vivid new play for young people by Manchester’s Sarah McDonald-Hughes which tackles some big subjects with extraordinary lightness of touch and a lot of joyous dancing to Taylor Swift.

We are renewing our partnership with Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to again showcase new talent with the world premiere of Newcastle playwright Alison Carr’s HUSH, directed by Hannah Banister who was previously at Paines Plough as assistant director on THE ANGRY BRIGADE in 2014.

Nathan Bryon was awarded our inaugural Playwright Fellowship in 2015 and we’re delighted to be partnering with tiata fahodzi to present the world premiere of his debut play MIXED BRAIN. Future Paines Plough programmes will feature the work of this year’s Fellowship writer Sam Steiner, and Zia Ahmed who joins us supported by the Channel Four Playwrights Scheme.  

We are ceaselessly overwhelmed by the reaction to EVERY BRILLIANT THING as it tours the globe. In Programme 2017 we welcome our new brilliant thing James Rowland to perform the show on a second tour to Australia and New Zealand before returning home to the UK, while Jonny Donahoe continues in the role in North America. Sabrina Mahfouz’s euphoric UK Garage musical WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK returns for one very special night in the Roundhouse main space and Luke Norris’ Fringe First winner GROWTH takes off on a UK Tour. COME TO WHERE I’M FROM continues to celebrate locality with playwrights performing plays about their home towns in Middlesbrough, Glasgow and Gloucester. We’ll also be taking COME TO WHERE I’M FROM to Hull and we’re really excited to hear the stories from the city whilst in its inspiring year as City of Culture. You can continue to listen to plays from across the UK on the COME TO WHERE I’M FROM app. 

It’s our mission to take the best new theatre everywhere and with our productions appearing in all four corners of the UK, across the Atlantic, down under and on your smartphone there is something for everyone, everywhere in Programme 2017.”

A Paines Plough and Pentabus Theatre Company production
EVERY BRILLIANT THING
By Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe

Every Brilliant Thing Web Treated

The worldwide smash hit is back. After touring USA and Canada in January and February, EVERY BRILLIANT THING continues to Australia and New Zealand with James Rowland at the helm. Then we’re off on a 30-date UK and Ireland tour throughout May, June and July. Stay tuned for more international announcements throughout the year.

 

A Paines Plough production
GROWTH
By Luke Norris

Growth Web Treated

“It’s a lump in a bag of lumps. It’s fine.”

Tobes is young, free and having a ball. Off.

He’s successfully ignored his lump for two years but it’s starting to get in the way – cramping his style and, worse, affecting his sex life. So now there are pants to be dropped, and decisions to be made… It’s a real ball ache.

A comedy about growing up and manning up from critically acclaimed writer Luke Norris (So Here We Are, Royal Exchange; Goodbye To All That, Royal Court).

Winner of a Fringe First Award at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, GROWTH embarks on its second national tour through September and October.

“Achingly funny and tender… Of the hundreds of shows at the Fringe, few feel as necessary as this.”  ★★★★★ Financial Times

 

A Paines Plough, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and Gate Theatre production
HUSH
By Alison Carr

Hush Web Treated

A 999 call sets the wheels in motion. Nothing stays a secret forever. Especially in this town.

Sadie returns to the place she hates. Natalie tries to do the right thing. Josh can only hope. Three stories linked by guilt, secrets and a missing boy.

A dark, funny and often tender new play by rising star Alison Carr, writer of “bruising yet touching” (The Stage) Iris at Live Theatre.

HUSH will premiere at The Bute Theatre, Cardiff and Gate Theatre in London.

 

A Paines Plough and tiata fahodzi production
MIXED BRAIN
By Nathan Bryon

Mixed Brain Web Treated

“One day we were playing football. One kid shouts ‘let’s do black v white’. My heart starts beating hoping someone dusts this dumb idea off. All the white kids go to one side, all the black kids go to the other, I try slip off. Another kid yells: ‘Nathan what team will you be on? You’re mixed…”

Star of Benidorm, writer for Rastamouse, 50% Jamaican, 50% British, 100% reppin’ Shepherd’s Bush. Nathan Bryon is many things. Mixed.

Welcome to his world. Part story, part stand-up, a show fusing Afro-Caribbean flair and British awkwardness in a searing, searching exploration of what it means to be mixed-race and mixed-experience today.

If you live in the middle does anywhere feel like home? Get in the mix. Learn a little, live a little, laugh a lot.

You’ll be able to catch MIXED BRAIN at festivals this summer. Stay tuned for details.

 

A Paines Plough and Latitude Festival production
WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK
By Sabrina Mahfouz

With A Little Bit Of Luck Web Treated

It’s 2001. Garage is the anthem. Nadia feels like it’s her time to shine.

A hot summer’s night of love promises endless possibilities. Swept up in drinking, dancing, hope, ambition, lust, greed… Nadia will make decisions that will determine the rest of her life.

Underscored by your favourite UK Garage bangers. This is theatre you can rave to.

Award-winning writer and poet Sabrina Mahfouz explores the legacy of a cultural movement that defined the hopes of a generation in a “generous, joyous and lyrical collision of gig and theatre” (★★★★ The Stage).

WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK returns to Roundhouse for one night only. Headlining the Last Word Festival you’ll also be able to see DJ Luck & MC Neat and Mighty Moe in an old school UK Garage night on Friday 9 June.

 

A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production
BLACK MOUNTAIN
By Brad Birch

Black Mountain Web Treated

Rebecca and Paul are running away. Away from memories and mistakes.

They’re trying to save their relationship. They need time and space. An isolated house in the country is the perfect place to work things out. They set themselves rules: they have to be honest, they have to listen and they have to be fair.

But you can’t run forever. Especially when you’re being followed.

BLACK MOUNTAIN is a tense psychological thriller about betrayal and forgiveness by winner of the Harold Pinter Commission Brad Birch.

BLACK MOUNTAIN will tour in Roundabout in September and October.

 

A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production
OUT OF LOVE

By Elinor Cook

Better Than She Should Be Web Treated

Lorna and Grace do everything together. They share crisps, cigarettes and crushes. That’s what happens when you’re best friends forever.

But when Lorna gets a place at University, and Grace gets pregnant, they suddenly find themselves in starkly different worlds. Can anything bridge the gap between them?

A tale of friendship, love and rivalry over thirty years from award-winning playwright Elinor Cook.

‘Intelligent and savagely funny’ The Times on Elinor Cook

OUT OF LOVE will tour in Roundabout in September and October.

 

A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production
HOW TO BE A KID
By Sarah McDonald-Hughes

How To Be A Kid Web Treated

Molly cooks. Molly does the dishes. Molly gets her little brother Joe ready for school. Molly is only 12, but she doesn’t feel much like a kid anymore.

Now Molly’s Mum is feeling better, maybe things will get back to normal. Can you help Molly learn how to be a kid again?

Join Molly, Joe and her Nan for a larger than life story of family, friends and fitting in.

Warning: Contains dancing, chocolate cake and an epic car chase.

For ages 7+.

HOW TO BE A KID will tour in Roundabout in September and October.

 

COME TO WHERE I’M FROM

Come To Where I'm From Web Treated

COME TO WHERE I’M FROM is a collection of mini plays written by playwrights about the places they call home.

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

Now you can listen to this amazing collection of over 130 short plays through the COME TO WHERE I’M FROM app. Available for free here. Search the map for plays near you or find your favourite playwright in the plays index.

You’ll find a huge range of playwrights from Olivier Award winners to first timers reading their own plays about home towns stretching from Edinburgh to Ipswich to the Isle of Wight.

A theatrical tapestry of the UK, woven by writers asking if home is really where the heart is.

In 2017 we will be hosting CTWIF events in the following places:

Middlesbrough Theatre on 16 March
Hull Truck Theatre on 24 May
Tron Theatre, Glasgow on 25 May
Fountain Inn, Gloucester on on 6 July

“A reminder of the enormous tug that place has on us all.” The Guardian

“Conjures an intimacy between us that burns as bright and as potent as striking a match” Exeunt

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So there you have it. Programme 2017. Theatre. Everywhere.

Let us know what you think on #PP2017

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Recruitment: Company Stage Manager for Roundabout 2017

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​​We’re in search of a dedicated and friendly Company Stage Manager to join us on the  touring dream that is ROUNDABOUT and be a part of Team PP this year. Sound like something you’d be up for (or know someone who would)? Have a read below for details:

COMPANY STAGE MANAGER on the book

THE NATIONWIDE ROUNDABOUT TOUR 2017

To apply please email a CV and brief cover letter to harriet@painesplough.com.

Application deadline: Tuesday 14 February

Interviews: Thursday 16 and Friday 17 February


Dates:

Rehearsals, London: 8 May – 18 June
Tech and previews, Theatre Clwyd, Mold: 19 June – 16 July
Rehearsals, London: 17 – 30 July
Edinburgh Festival: 31 July – 28 August
UK Tour: 4 September – 29 October
Kendal, Margate, Lincoln, Luton, Poole, Salford, Stoke-on-Trent
Further UK: 22 Jan – 11 March 2017


About Roundabout:

“A beautifully designed masterpiece in engineering…a significant breakthrough in theatre technology.” Theatre Building of the Year 2015 -The Stage Awards

Roundabout is Paines Plough’s pop-up in-the-round theatre. It offers a unique 360 degree theatre experience with 168 -seats wrapped around the stage, state-of-the-art LED lighting and surround sound. Roundabout flat packs into a lorry and pops-up across the UK bringing the nation’s best playwrights and a thrilling atmosphere to audiences everywhere.

This year Roundabout will host three brand new plays co-produced by Paines Plough, Theatre Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre, previewing at Theatre Clwyd and premiering at the Edinburgh Festival before heading out on an eight week UK tour funded by Art Council England’s Strategic Touring fund followed by a further run in early 2017.

In Edinburgh, together with the Paines Plough programme, Roundabout will host world class companies from the UK and internationally as part of the Festival.

At each tour venue, alongside Paines Plough’s productions, Roundabout will present a mini-festival of local led community events, alongside professional work, from a baby sensory class to a local business AGM, a stand up comedian or a local band. Roundabout will empower communities to think of the theatre as their space and aim to encourage new audiences from some of the most underserved areas of the UK through its doors.


Job Purpose:

1. To support the Director and manage the Roundabout 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.
2. To operate all Paines Plough shows.
3. To support the Producer and with the Technical Stage Managers act as joint venue manager for Roundabout on tour, ensuring that a safe, tidy and welcoming environment is provided for all audiences.


Key Responsibilities (including but not limited to):

COMPANY

• To support and manage the Roundabout company during rehearsals, production, in Edinburgh and on tour.
• To send out weekly and daily calls and rehearsal and tour schedules as appropriate.

PRODUCTIONS

• Operate of all 3 Paines Plough productions within the Roundabout as per weekly touring schedule drawn up by the Production Manager & Producer and as mutually agreed.
• 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 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.
• In conjunction and liaison with the Technical Stage Managers, to complete any day to day maintenance that may be required of the set, props, furniture and dressing for the productions 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.
• To deliver rehearsal and show reports for all Roundabout productions to Paines Plough staff, co-producers and the creative team.

ON TOUR

• As directed by the Producer and in conjunction with the Technical Stage Managers take responsibility for the Roundabout site whilst on the road including maintenance and site dressing.
• To take joint responsibility with the Technical Stage Managers on all aspects of the Roundabout Auditorium whilst on the road.
• To be responsible for the set up of the company dressing room whilst on the road.
• To strictly monitor and adhere to the weekly schedules as provided by the Producer.
• To be jointly responsible with the TSM’s for the daily power-up and power-down of the Roundabout.
• With the Producer be the first point of contact for the venue FOH and brief FOH staff at each tour venue (not Edinburgh) and in conjunction with the Technical Stage Managers liaise day to day with the FOH at each tour venue to ensure the smooth running of the shows and Roundabout auditorium.
• 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
• To liaise with visiting companies, if required by the Producer
• 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

SCHEDULES

• To strictly monitor and adhere to the weekly schedules as provided by the Producer
• With the Director and Assistant Director manage the rehearsal schedule
• With the Director and Producer manage the schedule and running of technical rehearsals.

BUDGET

• To manage the petty cash budget within the parameters set by the Producer.

EDINBURGH

• Cover the running/operate of additional Paines Plough productions in Roundabout in Edinburgh in the event of Stage Management absence.

GENERAL

• 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 the Producer may allocate
• Be in attendance at post-show discussions, press/photo calls and interviews for the Insights programme as notified


Person Specification

This is an ideal role for someone who is passionate about new plays and looking to gain experience in a senior, multifaceted Stage Management role. The Roundabout CSM will work across multiple departments with core staff, the creative team, FOH personnel, Roundabout’s Technical Stage Managers and venue technical teams whilst developing venue management skills in tandem. The role will play a crucial part in the smooth delivery of Roundabout with the CSM working at the heart of Paines Plough.

Essential:

• A passion for theatre and in particular, new-writing
• Previous experience of the role, preferably within a similar-sized venue or production company
• 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

 Desirable:

• First Aid trained


Salary and Subsistence

Rehearsals: £447.50p/w
Tech, Previews and on tour: £550p/w
Relocation allowance in Mold: £95p/w, plus accommodation
Per Diem in Edinburgh: £20p/d, plus accommodation
Subsistence on tour: £282.70p/w

To apply please email a CV and brief cover letter to harriet@painesplough.com with the subject heading: ROUNDABOUT CSM APPLICATION

Application deadline: Tuesday 14 February

Interview dates: Thursday 16 and Friday 17 February

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

You can download the full job description here.

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For those of you who haven’t seen a Stage Manager before… here’s the brilliant Caitlin, last year’s Roundabout CSM.

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Happy Christmas from Team PP

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The Fringe First winning Roundabout cast (Richard Corgan, Andy Rush and Remy Beasley)

It’s been a bumper year for us here at PPHQ but it’s time to close our doors for 2016. We’ve had a brilliant year, thanks for being part of it. We’ll be back in the new year with another packed programme.

If you miss us…

COME TO WHERE I’M FROM:

You can download our COME TO WHERE I’M FROM app from the App Store. It’s completely free and features nearly 150 short audio plays from writers from all corners of the UK.

Download here.

EVERY BRILLIANT THING:

When EVERY BRILLIANT THING played in New York last year HBO made a film that’s airing on Boxing Day. How cool is that? 8pm if you’re in the US or watch it on demand here.

You can see the trailer here.

Festive opening hours:

Just so you know, we will be closing the office and rehearsal room from 5pm on 16 December 2016 until 10am on 03 January 2017. Please direct any enquiries to office@painesplough.com or leave a message on 020 7240 4533 and we will respond as soon as possible on our return.

In the meantime, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – we can’t wait to see you again in 2017.

We’re recruiting… university placements

Sadly, we’re coming to the end of a fabulous three months with our current university placements Sonia Martins and Charlotte Young who are back to the text books in the new year.

However, this does mean that we’re on the lookout for some more brilliant students who want to learn about how a theatre company works from the inside to join Team PP’s Production and Administration Departments.

Does that sound like you? Great. Here’s some more info on how to get involved…

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WHAT WOULD I BE DOING?

You can choose to join either the Administration or Production Department supporting the teams on everything from open auditions and literary submissions to marketing meetings and play text proofing.

Have a look at the sample job descriptions on our website for more of an idea but do bear in mind that these can be flexible depending on your particular fields of interest and Paines Plough’s current needs.

“There’s not really a better place to be… They gave me a platform where I could grow as an artist and a theatre-maker, and I wouldn’t be going to New York without them.”

Hugo Timbrell, Production Placement 2015-16
Hugo is now managing the New Works Lab at Playwrights Horizons

WHEN WOULD I BE DOING IT?

– Placements last three months and you will be in PPHQ 3-5 days per week, subject to your personal study requirements, 10am-6pm with a one-hour break for lunch.

– We offer £10 per day worked to cover travel expenses, as well as occasional theatre trips and touring opportunities.

– You must be over 18 and in full- or part-time study. We don’t mind what you’re studying as long as you have a love of theatre and an interest in learning about new writing and touring.

HOW DO I APPLY?

Please send a CV and short (no more than one page) covering letter detailing your experience, why you are interested in Paines Plough and what you hope to gain from the placement to simone@painesplough.com.

Application deadline 10am on Monday 12 December
Interviews Thursday 15 December
Placement dates Three consecutive months within the period January-July 2017, 3-5 days per week

If these dates are not quite suitable for your course, please do send in your application anyway as we will be open to discussing alternatives.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Website maintenance

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Unfortunately we’re having some issues with our website. We’re blaming the cold weather but it’s probably something to do with words like ‘server’ and ‘hosting’. We’re working to have the website back up and running as soon as possible. Sorry for any inconvenience caused in the meantime.

The good news is our blog is still holding strong so we’ve tried to put as much information here as possible. Below we’ve got our tour dates until the end of the year and links to recent announcements. If there’s any PP information you need urgently you can ring the office on 020 7240 4533 and we’ll do our best to help you out.

A Paines Plough and Live Theatre production
BROKEN BISCUITS
by Tom Wells

08-12 November
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
01723 370541
sjt.uk.com

15-19 November
Crucible Studio, Sheffield Theatres
0114 249 6000
sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

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

29 November – 03 December
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
0121 236 4455
birmingham-rep.co.uk

 

A Paines Plough, Sherman Theatre and Theatr Clywd production
LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY
by Alan Harris

2-12 November
Theatr Clwyd, Mold
01352 701521
www.theatrclywd.com

15-19 November
Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
029 2064 6900
www.shermantheatre.co.uk

 

Recent announcements:

Every Brilliant Thing will tour internationally in 2017
Zia Ahmed will be on attachment at PP in 2017 as part of Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme

We’ll be posting updates on Twitter and Facebook.

Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme: Zia Ahmed

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Writer and poet Zia Ahmed (cred. Alex Nicolaou)

We’re delighted to announce that Zia Ahmed will be on attachment with us in 2017 as a recipient of the Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme.

We worked with Zia earlier this year when, alongside Tamasha, we commissioned him to write a short play about where he calls home, North West London, for our COME TO WHERE I’M FROM series. The short play which was first performed at Tricycle Theatre on Monday 27 June moved us in such a way that we knew we had to work with Zia again.

Joint Artistic Directors James and George said:

“We’re thrilled Zia’s singular talent has been recognised by this prestigious award and that we get to hang out with him for the next year as a result. We’ve been Zia fans for a few years as audience members for his singular spoken word performances. The originality of Zia’s writing, his flair for storytelling, his linguistic dynamism, his natural dry humour combine in one of the most original voices we’ve heard, and we can’t wait to see what he writes over the next year. We’d like to thank the panel for backing Zia, and look forward to supporting him over the next year and welcoming him to Team PP.”

We caught up with Zia on the news:

“I am chuffed to bits to have been picked as one of the writers on the Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme.  

The bursary will afford me time and space to progress to the next stage of my writing. To be in residency at Paines Plough makes this even more exciting and it feels like the perfect place to develop as a writer especially after being part of Come To Where I’m From where local stories met national + global + personal met political to create a wide ranging, moving and changing map of the UK.

I’m looking forward to spending the year with Paines Plough and immersing myself in this world. Whether spoken word or theatre, for me it all comes down to stories and I can’t wait to start exploring all the different ways of telling them.”

You can listen to Zia’s COME TO WHERE I’M FROM, and 130 other short audio plays, for free on our app available for download here.

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Happy #InternationalStageManagersDay

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TSM Callum Thomson in action (cred. Caitlin O’Reilly)

We want to say thanks. Thanks to the Stage Managers. The Stage Mangers who help us everyday.

Who help us build Roundabout.
Who cue our shows.
Who set Tickle Me Elmo in the right place every night.
Who organise rehearsal schedules.
Who facilitate garage raves.
Who spike our floors.
Who drive tour vans up and down the UK.
Who listen to endless line runs.
Who make sure all the Every Brilliant Thing list entries are just right.
Who fix things that are broken.
Who make sure we don’t lose our costume. Even the fiddly bits.
Who send us funny show reports after a tiring days work.
Who make it possible for us to do what we do.

We couldn’t do it without you.

Thank you to all the Stage Managers we have worked with in 2016, in alphabetical order because we thought you’d like that: Hamish Ellis, Rachel Hendry, Carrie Hitchman, Charlotte McBrearty, Caitlin O’Reilly, Ben Pavey, Callum Thomson and Aimee Woods.

Introducing our new Playwright Fellowship & Trainee Director

Here at PPHQ we find nothing more exciting than supporting talented people to develop their craft. We are therefore pleased to announce that we have two exceptional young artists joining Team PP. Our second Paines Plough Playwright Fellowship is awarded to Sam Steiner and the new Paines Plough and Birmingham Repertory Theatre Trainee Director bursary goes to Anna Himali Howard.

Sam Steiner

Sam Steiner pic

Our Joint Artistic Directors James and George saw Sam’s debut play LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS last year: “From the hundreds of new plays we’ve seen and read in the past year, Lemons stood out for us as the work of a singular talent. We are thrilled to welcome Sam to Paines Plough as the recipient of our Playwright Fellowship 2016. With the generous support of Jon and NoraLee Sedmak and a Paines Plough alumnus playwright, we look forward to supporting Sam in the next stage of what promises to be a great career.” Sam’s debut won three awards at the National Student Drama Festival prior to an acclaimed, sold out run at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015. You can catch it this year in Edinburgh at Roundabout @ Summerhall.

Anna Himali Howard

Anna Himali Howard

We’re very excited to be joining forces with Birmingham REP to provide this bursary supported by another Paines Plough alumnus playwright. “Anna Himali Howard is a real talent with a brilliant and imaginative theatre brain. We are hugely excited to welcome her to our team. We [James and George] were both fortunate to receive training opportunities that made our careers possible – not least from Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s Artistic Director Roxana Silbert – and we are delighted to now be in a position to offer some support to the next generation of theatre directors and the artistic directors of the future.” Anna will be the Assistant Director for our three Roundabout shows this year: LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY, GROWTH and I GOT SUPERPOWERS FOR MY BIRTHDAY.

We’ll have blogs from both Anna and Sam coming soon as Anna lets us know what’s going on in the rehearsal room and Sam checks in from Barcelona where he’ll be attending the annual l’Obrador d’estiu playwriting conference.

What do you do all day? Administrator

PP Administrator Simone Ibbett-Brown.

PP Administrator Simone Ibbett-Brown.

Name: Simone Ibbett-Brown
Job Title: Administrator

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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