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Guinness anyone?

Dublin's fair city

As recently reported, team PP spent some time up at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, where we were lucky enough to see an abundance of brilliant work. You can imagine my delight therefore when last week our joint AD James extended to me an invitation to the ABSOLUT Fringe Festival in Dublin, courtesy of the very lovely people at the Irish Theatre Institute. One week later,  I’m taking two days off from booking our spring tour of Kate Tempest’s WASTED, and boarding an Aer Lingus flight from London Gatwick, to see what Irish theatre has in store. Very excited indeed.

As Ireland’s largest multi-disciplinary arts festival, over 16 days the ABSOLUT Fringe Festival stages up to 525 events in over 40 venues, and is a platform for the best new, emerging Irish arts companies and a showcase for the best contemporary theatre. While I’m there, I’ll have the pleasure of attending the ITI’s Information Toolbox and Show in a Bag initiative, a platform for new small-scale artist led shows which promise to be daring and invigorating.

Historically, PP has enjoyed a great relationship with the Irish, and we’re always on the lookout for new writers to work with, and venues to tour to. You may remember our A Play, A Pie and A Pint season last year toured all five plays to Bewley’s Cafe Theatre, one of the venues at this year’s ABSOLUT Fringe. Artistic Director of Bewley’s, David Horan, directed IN THE PIPELINE by Gary Owen, and Belfast born Marie Jones wrote FLY ME TO THE MOON. We were also thrilled to take Mike Bartlett’s LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to this year’s Galway Arts Festival, and delving into our archive, you’ll see that we have recently produced plays by ace Irish playwrights Enda Walsh, Sebastian Barry and Hilary Fannin.

With a jam-packed schedule of new writing, Information Toolbox and Show in a Bag, I’ll report back fully next week on my Dublin adventure… if I ever make it out of the Guinness Factory, where I have been instructed by James to find time to have a pint. Yes boss!

Where we are this week

Here’s a quick update on where our A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT shows are this week:

FLY ME TO THE MOON by Marie Jones is at Bewley’s Cafe Theatre in Dublin. Click here for information and booking.

IN THE PIPELINE by Gary Owen is at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. Click here for information and booking.

THE UNCERTAINTY FILES by Linda McLean is at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. Click here for information and booking.

CALAIS by April De Angelis is at the Live Theatre in Newcastle. Click here for information and booking.

GOOD WITH PEOPLE by David Harrower is on a break before opening at Live Theatre in Newcastle next week. Click here to read the outstanding ****review in The Guardian.

We’ve been getting fantastic feedback from audiences all over the UK and Ireland for our A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT plays. Here are a few comments for THE UNCERTAINTY FILES by Linda McLean at the Live Theatre in Newcastle:

“A really thought provoking and engaging piece. Actors really inhabited the myriad characters in such a short time – very telling business with minimal props. Liked the “interview” style and very natural responses highly enjoyable.”  Karen, Lanchester

“Really interesting production. Would like to see it again. Liked the non usual.” Hazel, Newcastle

“I always love coming to the Live & I’m pleased you have new work from Paines Plough coming in – good to see excellent new writing venues joining together – will be keeping an eye out for future work (as always)” Jenny, Newcastle

We’ve also been interviewing the writers of all of our PPP plays. Here are some answers from April De Angelis, writer of CALAIS:

Is 45 minutes and max 3 actors easier or harder than 2 acts and a cast of ten? 

A one act play is definitely less slog than a two acter!

Should every play come with a complimentary pie and pint?

If every play in the universe came with a pie and a pint we’d get bored of the novelty and fatter as a constituency.

What is more scary, contemplating a blank sheet of paper, contemplating a deadline or contemplating the audience at the first performance?

The audience at a first night is the scariest. You can always tear up your writing at the end of the day..

In three words how do you feel about about the critics?

Critiscism ain’t art.

Do you agree with Thomas Edison that “Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration?”

Yes, mind you it’s an elusive 1%