Monthly archives:

Claire’s farewell for now…

Well, this is even harder than I thought…my official ‘farewell Paines Plough’ blog.

Summing up how brilliant and varied my time here has been, in just a few words is hard to do.  After first hearing about Paines Plough at University I’ve always wanted to work for the company and fulfilling this ambition has been far more enjoyable and educational than I could have hoped.  Since arriving bright eyed and bushy tailed in November 2010 I’ve had the pleasure to do all of this and much more:

19 productions
1 mega Arts Council NPO application
11 sets of management accounts
3 Christmas parties

1 Latitude Festival
countless miles on trains all over the UK
2 Roundabout seasons
…and eaten 5 times my body weight in cake (sometimes those 4 flights of stairs are a blessing!)

I’ve been genuinely privileged to have worked with a host of wonderfully talented and brilliant people from the Board to designers, actors and stage managers to producers and administrators.  At the helm of all this brilliance are the two most passionate, inspiring and visionary people that I have had the pleasure of working with: James Grieve and George Perrin.  You can’t help but want to do your absolute best and work as hard as possible when you’re playing a part in bringing to life the innovative work that they strive to produce.

Of course I’ve also been lucky enough to spend my working days with other such awesome people as Tara, Hanna, Natalie and Sean.  It’s a total cliché but also very true that it’s like a family; and that’s why it’s so much harder to leave.  There have been lots of tears in the last couple of weeks!

Now it’s time for new pastures though and I’m very excited to be working with the Community and Education Company at the Belgrade Theatre, continuing to create exciting and relevant new work with and for the communities of Coventry.  I’ll be keeping a keen eye on what Paines Plough gets up to next, from up in the Midlands.

Thank you to everyone who has made my time with Paines Plough so memorable and enjoyable. It’s a small world and I hope to see or work with you again very soon.

You Cannot Go Forward From Where You Are Right Now impresses in Edinburgh

It’s been a busy week for A Play, A Pie and A Pint. On Monday we introduced Leo Butler’s JUICY FRUITS to the audience at Oran Mor in Glasgow, Tuesday saw YOU CANNOT GO FORWARD FROM WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW‘s first performance at the Traverse in Edinburgh, and on Wednesday, DIG rolled into the Manchester Royal Exchange.

Katie Douglas’s DIG goes from strength to strength, with each city it visits falling for it. It’s been particularly great today to see people tweeting comments to the Royal Exchange, saying how much they loved the show and encouraging others to go and experience the laughter and tears that the play provokes too. Brenda, Tommy and Dean will be at the Belgrade Theatre next week – Coventry, you’re in for a treat.

With the traffic so bad she was worried she wouldn't get to the Traverse in time to get her Scotch pie...

Meanwhile, YOU CANNOT GO FORWARD FROM WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW has also made rather a good impression on its Edinburgh audiences. Here’s what they’re saying:

‘a clever and imaginative piece of short theatre…well worth setting the satnav for the Traverse Theatre and catching it’ Edinburgh Spotlight

‘funny, intelligent and observant’ Edinburgh Guide

‘You might expect the writers of the successful A Play A Pie and A Pint lunchtime offerings to have rather modest ambitions… Not so David Watson…Watson’s handling of the fragmentary structure is sure and confident, and his writing is remarkably idiomatic.’ Edinburgh Reporter

We were also delighted to see another 2 minute youtube review, as blogger Eve Nicol filed her report on YOU CANNOT GO FORWARD. We can’t wait to see what she makes of JUICY FRUITS!

If you’ve seen one of the plays, we’d love to know what you thought. You can leave a comment here, tweet us @painesplough or drop us a line on our facebook page.

And if you haven’t seen any of them yet – what are you waiting for?!

DIG racks up the stars

Stuart Porter (Tommy), Louise Ludgate (Brenda) and Simon Macallum (Dean)

The reviews are rolling in for DIG and the critics are suitably wowed by Katie Douglas’s sizzling drama, currently at Edinburgh’s Traverse before touring to Manchester Royal Exchange and The Belgrade, Coventry.

Here’s a snapshot:

“Politicians talk about the need to “get Britain back to work”, but it takes a small masterpiece like this latest play by Katie Douglas to dig below the surface of the words, into the infinite layers of pain that ripple outward from a man abruptly bereft, by forces far beyond his control, of his key role as family provider..this rich and shattering slice of lunchtime drama.”
The Scotsman ★★★★

“Gripping, funny and extremely moving…A thoroughly affecting piece of theatre”
Edinburgh Guide ★★★★

“Tight and emotionally-charged…builds to its powerful conclusion, Dig deftly uncovers the emotions which lie hidden beneath the surface of our everyday lives; and the hope which can often be found growing there.”
Edinburgh Spotlight

“Moving, very incisive…For a 45 minute long play “Dig” packs a lot of punch. The pies are good, too.”
Lothian Life ★★★★

“Devastatingly effective. From hilarity to chilling suspense, Katie Douglas’s script controls the atmosphere in the room precisely.”
Edinburgh Evening News ★★★★

Catch it while you can…

A Play, A Pie and A Pint: Week 1

Our rehearsal flat: not a bad place to go to work.

I’ve learnt a new word this week.

DREICH: Scottish word, meaning miserable cold gloomy weather.

To be fair, it’s only dreich about three quarters of the time, occasionally there’s some beautiful sunshine bouncing off the autumnal leaves of the Botanical Gardens across from Òran Mór. But more often, it’s dreich.

So inside, at 5 Sanda Street, where it’s warmer and considerably drier than the streets of the West End of Glasgow, we’re cracking on with the serious business of rehearsing DIG.

I say serious business – there’s been an awful lot of laughter coming out of that rehearsal room this week. There have also been some raised voices during particularly intense sections of dialogue; the hurried tapping of writer Katie’s laptop as she tweaks and re-writes scenes; voices discussing the back stories of three characters who are waiting to be fully realised; all interspersed with guffaws and giggles as our wonderful cast get to know the play and the family they’ll be sharing with audiences in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and Coventry.

Over the weekend they’ll be learning the script and preparing for what promises to be a very busy second week of rehearsals. It’s strange to think that this time next week we’ll be only a couple of days away from the first performance of this year’s A Play, A Pie and A Pint.

I can’t wait.