Category Archive: Growth

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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Programme 2016

Here we go… the grand unveiling of our Programme 2016 in all its glory. A host of new plays from red hot writers hitting the road to the four corners of our green and pleasant land.

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Here’s a snapshot:

ROUNDABOUT features a new rep of three brand new plays by Katie Douglas, Alan Harris and Luke Norris at Summerhall in Edinburgh and on tour to Kent, Cornwall, Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire, Staffordshire, Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.

The world premiere of BROKEN BISCUITS by Tom Wells opens with our co-producers Live Theatre in Newcastle prior to a UK Tour.

WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK by Sabrina Mahfouz tours to 29 venues nationwide.

EVERY BRILLIANT THING is back on home soil by popular demand following an international tour.

COME TO WHERE I’M FROM comes to London with a week of live events across the capital featuring 30 playwrights.

Elinor Cook’s TEN WEEKS opens in London tonight.

Our transatlantic collaboration with legendary New York company Naked Angels sees two new radio plays by Nathan Bryon and Lucy Gillespie released as free to listen downloads.

Here’s what James & George have to say about it all:

“We’re raring to hit the road to the four corners of the UK with this cracking programme of new plays from some of the most exciting writers around. Roundabout will pop-up across the country with comedies from Luke Norris and Alan Harris, a superhero tale for children from Katie Douglas and a host of events from international visiting companies and local community groups, bringing a festival feel to every place it visits. We’re honoured to be working with talents as innovative as Sabrina Mahfouz – whose UK Garage musical is theatre you can rave to – and Tom Wells whose heart-warming new play will delight fans of his previous Paines Plough hit Jumpers For Goalposts. With Every Brilliant Thing returning to the UK after an international tour, London stories in Come To Where I’m From and new plays from Elinor Cook, Nathan Bryon, Lucy Gillespie, there’s a play for everyone, everywhere in Programme 2016.”

Paines Plough presents
ROUNDABOUT
2016 sees the return of Roundabout, our award-winning pop-up theatre. The all new Roundabout programme will preview from 19 – 24 July at Hackney Showroom in London before taking up residency once again at Summerhall during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and then touring nationwide.

Roundabout will tour nationwide in partnership with The Lowry, Hall For Cornwall, Margate Theatre Royal, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, Brewery Arts Centre, Barnsley Civic, Appetite Stoke-on-Trent and Revoluton, Marsh Farm Estate in Luton.

In rep will be three World Premieres…

A Paines Plough, Sherman Cymru and Theatr Clwyd production
LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY
By Alan Harris

A deliciously quirky comedy from Alan Harris about two teenagers in Merthyr Tydfil who fall in love in Tesco but face a fight to save their parents from self-destruction.

LLT 466

A Paines Plough production
GROWTH
By Luke Norris

A very funny new play from Luke Norris about a 20-something who tries to ignore a lump until it’s almost too late.

GROW 466

A Paines Plough and Half Moon production
I GOT SUPERPOWERS FOR MY BIRTHDAY
By Katie Douglas

An epic superhero quest for ages 7 to 11-year-olds from Katie Douglas.

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PLUS… Roundabout will again host a programme of visiting companies at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe and on tour, and see the return of EARLIER / LATER, Paines Plough’s early morning and late night series of one-off shows, events, workshops and more.

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

The brand new play from JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS writer Tom Wells. A hilarious and heart-warming tale of three teenagers dreaming of rock ‘n’ roll stardom.

BB 466

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

Our hit UK Garage musical is back in our rehearsal room and getting set to hit the road to 29 venues nationwide. This is theatre you can rave to.

WALBOL 466

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

Our worldwide hit show is back on home soil in Edinburgh and on a UK tour this Autumn.

EBT 466

A Paines Plough and Tamasha production
COME TO WHERE I’M FROM: LONDON

Since 2010 more than 100 playwrights have written plays about the place they call home as part of our nationwide project, but never in London… until now…

CTWIF 466

A Paines Plough and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama production
TEN WEEKS
by Elinor Cook

Elinor Cook’s electrifying new play about the Alpha course transfers to The Gate in Notting Hill following its Cardiff premiere.

TW 466

Paines Plough and Naked Angels present
BILAL’S BIRTHDAY by Nathan Bryon
322 DAYS by Lucy Gillespie

Our transatlantic partnership with New York legends Naked Angels has resulted in these two cracking radio plays from rising US star Lucy Gillespie and our very own Playwright Fellow Nathan Bryon.

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Woop. And there’s lots more to come including a mega programme of visiting companies, one-off shows, events, workshops and fun stuff in Roundabout, the return of EARLIER/LATER, festival appearances, more tour dates, and probably other stuff we think up as we go along too.

But for now, welcome to Programme 2016. We hope you like it.

#PP2016

GROWTH: What’s it been like in rehearsals?

With one final performance of  GROWTH at The Gate to go we caught up with Jonny and Ellie from the cast to hear what it’s been like rehearsing Luke Norris’ brilliant new play.

Growth Cast edit

“Rehearsals for Growth have been a treat. A good balanced mix of competitive, nail biting 6 Square, complete with a friendly leader board and blood, sweat and tears rehearsing, it’s all been a joy. Sean lays out such a relaxed and comfortable environment to work in that the platform for taking risks and experimenting with the text and character has been such an easy process. Every single cast member is amazing to work with. Nina Shenkman, a bundle of joy, high spirits and sheer oddness. Mel Stevens, energy packed, idea driven and an exciting actress to watch. Oliver Morgan-Thomas, genuinely one the nicest guys I know and I honestly think this is one of his best performances. Sam Ward, whose laugh makes anyone laugh based on its volume and sheer brilliance is warm and keen both as two fabulous characters. Ellie Heydon brings so much to rehearsals its infectious and gives such a beautiful performance. Above all, 6 Square will forever been a game I always come second in. Frustrating I know but Hey you win some you lose some.” Jonny

growth

“The biggest challenge with a play like Growth that is so topically essential is finding a way to express the subject matter sensitively, accurately, and most important in a way that is going to reach out to our audience. It seems bizarre to me that in our 21st century world discussing genital health is still seen as some sort of taboo. So here we are giving it a voice on stage, through the wonderful words of Luke Norris.

For most of us here at RWCMD this is the first time we’ve worked with new writing so to have the writer in the room, still making changes as the words come out our mouths, is electric. There is something so exciting about the collaborative journey and to have Luke in the room gives such an integral perspective.

Our rehearsals began with a week around the table uniting the play, fuelled by a never ending pile of oranges provided by Sean. Here we worked out the changes in gear throughout the scenes in order to help us navigate our way through with clarity and focus in week 2. And so when we jumped up on our feet we were already able to feel the peaks and troughs of the journey of the scene, with nudges in the right(er) direction by Sean.

With the play on its feet and the foundations in place we’ve just been hunting for detail the last few weeks. Every single run seems to reveal something new and I find myself cracking up at moments I hadn’t noticed before, and still giggling at lines I know like the back of my hand. Most of us are playing two characters throughout the play so watching the shift between each scene has also been super cool.

But now the hardest part of rehearsal: keeping on top of the 6-square leader board. We bookend every day squatting over metre squares defending them from the dreaded ball. The tournament has become pretty intense in the last few days. Not sure everyone is going to survive but if that helps cut out the competition you’ve got to make sacrifices sometimes. No clear indication of champion yet but watch this space…” Ellie

6 square leader board

 

Introducing the cast of Growth

This week we’re super excited to be kicking off rehearsals for GROWTH by Luke Norris at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, directed by our very own Associate Director Sean Linnen.

GROWTH will run at The Richard Burton Theatre 31 March – 3 April and at The Gate Theatre 7, 9, 10 April.

Aaaaaaand introducing our lovely cast:

Ellie Heydon (Alys and Melanie)

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Theatre includes: LONGING (Richard Burton Theatre Company), A CUCKOO IN THE NEST (Richard Burton Theatre Company), STRANGE ORCHESTRA (Richard Burton Theatre Company), THE WINTER’S TALE (Richard Burton Theatre Company), THE CHILDRENS HOUR (Richard Burton Theatre Company), DYSPHORIA (LAMDA), WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING (Hurtwood Acting Company). Rehearsed Readings include: KING LEAR (RWCMD), CYMBELINE (LAMDA), THE THREE SISTERS (LAMDA). Site Specific includes: QUIXOTE (Elan Frantoio).

Jonny Holden (Tobes)

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Theatre includes: DOGVILLE (Richard Burton Theatre Company), MAGIC TOYSHOP (Theatre Yolo) MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (RWCMD), THE WINTER’S TALE (Richard Burton Theatre Company), SPRING AWAKENING (John Donnelly), THE CHOSEN ROOM (NYMT). Radio includes: UNDER MILK WOOD (Richard Burton Theatre Company). Rehearsed Readings include: THE SEAGUL (Richard Burton Theatre Company).

Oliver Morgan-Thomas (Beau and John)

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Theatre includes: THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN (Richard Burton Theatre Company), UNITY 1918 (Richard Burton Theatre Company), STRANGE ORCHESTRA (Richard Burton Theatre Company),A CUCKOO IN THE NEST (Richard Burton Theatre Company), MERCY FUR (Theatre lolo/ Company of Sirens), PATAGONIA THE JOURNEY /Y DEATH (National Youth Theatre of Wales). Short film credits include: THE ORISON WELLS COMPLEX (BBC Wales It’s My Shout Productions), BUDDHA BOY (BBC Wales It’s My Shout Productions). Radio credits include: UNDER MILKWOOD (Richard Burton Theatre Company). Rehearsed Readings include: KING LEAR (Rwcmd), VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE (rwcmd). Site Specific includes: PASSION IN PORT TALBOT (National Theatre Wales/ Wildworks).

Nina Shenkman (Beth and Frances)

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Theatre includes: MERCHANT OF VENICE (RWCMD), THE BIG NIL (Another Story Theatre), CONTRACTIONS (Parapet Theatre), FADE (DugOut Theatre), COVER (DugOut Theatre), FESTEN (Leeds University Theatre Group), OTHELLO (DugOut Theatre), THE SEAGULL (Igrat Theatre Laboratories).

Melanie Stevens (Ellen and Ruthie)

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Theatre includes: STRANGE ORCHESTRA (Richard Burton Theatre Company), THE MIRACLE (Richard Burton Theatre Company), THE WINTERS TALE (Richard Burton Theatre Company), COMETS (Undeb Theatre Company). Rehearsed Readings include: BLOOD (Bare Fiction), MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (RWCMD), A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE (RWCMD). Film includes: A DANCE WITH DEATH (441 Films), NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: RESURRECTION (North Bank Entertainment).

Sam Ward (Moff and Stuart)

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Theatre includes: THE CRIPPLE OF INNISHMAAN (Richard Burton Theatre Company), UNITY 1918 (Richard Burton Theatre Company), DOGVILLE (Richard Burton Theatre Company), MERCURY FUR (Company of Sirens), CUCKOO IN THE NEST (Richard Burton Theatre Company), MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (RWCMD). Short Films include: CATAWAMPUS (DotMOV), FUNDAY (Keri Collins), EDNA’S BENCH (BBC Cymru, It’s My Shout Productions).

Luke Norris premiere kicks off 2015

new-group
Drum roll and crashing cymbals, here’s our first new show for Programme 2015…

We’re once again joining forces with Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to premiere a brand new play especially commissioned for their company of graduating actors. And we’ve snared an outstanding  scribe to write it.

GROWTH by Luke Norris will premiere in the beautiful Richard Burton Theatre at RWCMD in Cardiff on 31 March 2015 before transferring to The Gate in London’s Notting Hill.

The show will be directed by our Trainee Artistic Director Sean Linnen, and will star the faces of the future in their final show in training.

We’re thrilled to be working with Luke, whose play GOODBYE TO ALL THAT we loved at The Royal Court in 2012. Luke is also an actor. He’s in A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, which is just about the best thing we’ve seen since, well, time.

We’re once again teaming up with RWCMD following the success of last year’s premiere of Laura Lomas’ BLISTER, directed by Stef O’Driscoll. We’ve worked with loads of Royal Welsh graduates over the last few years including Lizzy Watts, Scott Arthur and Rosie Wyatt, so we’re big fans.

What a cracking way to kick off the New Year. There’s lots more to come in Programme 2015, stay tuned.