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The story behind FINDING HOME

FINDING HOME is Cecilia Knapp’s spoken word theatre coming-of-age story that maps the journey of a young girl from Brighton to the tenements of East London as a 20 ¬something. This Sunday 23rd at 10am she will perform it in ROUNDABOUT as part of our EARLIER/LATER programme. Here she tells us a little about the journey behind her brilliant show…


Somewhere in the sky over Algeria that I realised how far I’d come. From sitting on my friend Maria’s sofa in Walthamstow drinking wine from the petrol station and starting to write my story, to that moment, up there in the air.

I’ve been writing spoken word poetry for the last 5 years and performing around London and the UK. I write about life and experience. I write as a way to deal with things. One day, I started to write about a bike ride I’d had along the canal in Tower Hamlets on the way to a depressing pub job I had for a year whilst I was at university. What I thought was going to be a standard 3 minute poem soon began to turn into something very different and I started writing the story of my life, a series of flashbacks experienced whilst cycling down that canal. I wrote about relationships, friendships, place, family and the loss of my Brother 3 years ago. I realised I was writing a one woman spoken word theatre piece.


After a year, some Arts Council funding, a lot of red pen and rehearsal and the acquirement of an incredible creative team, I was on the way to Johannesburg to perform my one woman show Finding Home. I’d be performing it at Rise up and Walk Festival, an international youth arts festival which ran for three days at Joberg theatre and featured everything from dance to stand up, hip hop to feminist theatre. And my little show. My story of growing up in Brighton in a single parent household with my Dad, of moving to London, of love, loss and reconciliation.


As I stepped off the plane, and out into arrivals, I couldn’t help but feel  completely overwhelmed that writing had brought me to this point. What followed over the next week was a series of exchanges and conversations with some of the most interesting, compassionate and talented people I have ever met. Fellow artists at the festival shared my conviction in the need for creative expression and passion for the arts. We spoke about how it should be everyone’s imperative to enable young people to participate in creativity no matter what their background or circumstance. It was affirming and mobilising to share these ideas with people who lived on a different continent to me. On the second day of my trip, we drove out to the largest township in Johannesburg, Soweto, to run a workshop with local young people. We shared ideas, questions we wanted to ask society and our individual stories. We learnt from each other in sharing each other’s truths and experiences and writing together.

Finding Home is my coming of age story. But beyond my background, circumstance and location, it is a story about learning to love yourself in spite of how hard life can make things for you. It’s about finding home within yourself and I think that no matter where you’re from, that idea is universal. I spoke about this with my new friends and fellow writers and performers in South Africa and about the power that stories have. How in telling your story, you are opening up the door for empathy, understanding and discovery. How stories allow us to transcend and explore each other’s lives. How they help you make sense of the world. My trip to Johannesburg confirmed this. And that’s why I wanted to write Finding Home. To reconcile my past in the hope that others will look into it to and see parallels of their own lives. That there’ll be some hope to find within it.


I want my story to reach as many people as possible. Last week it was in Johannesburg, and this week it’s back in the UK, this time at the majestic Edinburgh Fringe, where, in a similar way to Rise up and Walk Festival, artists come together and share their creative contributions to the world. Where they express and collaborate and comment and change the world through art. I can’t quite believe that when I sat on that sofa in Walthamstow over a year ago and put pen to paper, what would come out was this piece of work. That it has already taken me so far. But it was a story I felt needed to be told. So, I’m going to need some people to hear it. I’ll be at Paines Plough’s venue The Roundabout in Summerhall this Sunday 23rd August at 10am and I’d love to share my story with you. Grab a coffee and come and settle in. Fellow writer and performer Jack Rooke will also be sharing some of his one man show Good Grief afterwards which has received very deserved 5 star reviews and has just been nominated for an Total Theatre Award. Jack confronts and explores grief and the loss of his Father in a brave, innovative and refreshing way. It’s funny and beautiful and important. So come down and see us both. I’d say that’s a pretty lush way to spend a morning. See you there.

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FINDING HOME on in Roundabout @ Summerhall, 23rd August at 10am. It is directed by Paines Plough Associate Director Stef O’Driscoll, produced by Liz Counsell and was developed with support from the Roundhouse and Rich Mix.


Stellar line-up for EARLIER/LATER

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Ten years ago Mark Ravenhill launched PP’s hugely influential late-night playwright’s salon LATER. We’re reviving its renegade spirit in Edinburgh this year with EARLIER / LATER – a series of early morning and late night one-off events in  ROUNDABOUT @ SUMMERHALL 2015.

We’ve put together a smashing line-up including an unmissable show from the Royal Court, performances from Roundhouse Resident Artists and alumni Sophie Rose, Cecilia Knapp, Yolanda Mercy and Caleb Femi, a poetry battle of epic proportions presented by Luke Wright, SAVE THE MALE – headlined by pop-punk poet Brigitte Aphrodite, comedians Jack Rooke and Lynn Ruth Miller (she’s 81 by the way – expect swearing), new-writing champions Poleroid Theatre, the final leg of Josie Long‘s side splitting Alternative Reality Tour and a dangerously dark physical comedy from Encounter Productions.

Music, poetry, theatre and comedy – we’ve got it all, so if you’re looking for us at 10am or 10:30pm just head to ROUNDABOUT, we’ll be hanging out there. Bring croissants or beer. Here’s the programme in full:

12 August, 10:00


COME TO WHERE I’M FROM is a theatrical tapestry of the UK, woven by writers asking if home is really where the heart is. Since 2010, more than 100 playwrights from across the UK have written plays about the places that shaped them.

Now we’ve invited Edinburgh’s finest to pen plays about Auld Reekie. At this very special one-off show they will perform those plays themselves.

For the line-up of writers, keep an eye on @painesplough and #PPEarlier


Royal Court
Written by an anonymous woman
Performed by an unprepared man
14, 21 August, 10:00
10, 15, 19 August, 22:30

Manwatching Image

So I think it’s fair to say that most women almost definitely do masturbate. We just wait to discuss it until we’re in an oddly anonymous but public situation like this one.”

A funny, frank, and occasionally explicit insight into heterosexual female desire, read out loud by a man.

Each show begins with a male comedian being given a script they have never seen before. They will read the script for the first time, out-loud live in front of an audience; all about what one woman thinks about when she thinks about sex and men.

Performers will include comedians James Acaster, Marcus Brigstocke and Nick Helm. More to be announced.

This piece is a work-in-progress being piloted at the Edinburgh Festival. It is being developed in collaboration with the Royal Court Theatre.

With direction and dramaturgy by Lucy Morrison, and dramaturgical input from Ryan Nobel, Lisa Heledd Jones, and Christopher Brett Bailey.
Special thanks to previous performers Tim Key, Mike Wozniak and Nathaniel Martello-White.


Roundhouse Young Artist
ON THE EDGE OF ME by Yolanda Mercy
13 August, 10:00

on the edge of me - picture

ON THE EDGE OF ME is a relatable dark comedy, exploring themes of graduate blues, love, anxiety, JSA and mental health. Follow Remi (a recent university graduate), as she confronts life as she knows it, through the medium of Live literature, theatre and storytelling with YOU the audience as the centre piece!


The Good Grief Project
14 August, 22:30

Save The Male

Save The Male is a comedy, poetry and music showcase raising awareness of male suicide prevention charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), who exist to tackle the statistic of suicide being the single biggest killer of young men in the UK & Scotland.

Curated by comedian Jack Rooke and poet Cecilia Knapp, Save The Male’s aim is to encourage more of us to engage in creative expression as an outlet when times get tough. Whether it’s writing lyrics, performing poems or even doodling (Jack likes to draw moustaches on the attractive cast of Hollyoaks in the TV Guide.)

This Roundabout performance features Brigitte Aphrodite, Jack Rooke and some very special guests.

For info on Save The Male visit and for info on CALM visit


17 August, 22:30

Luke Wright

A spoken word quick-fire starring Elvis McGonagall, Rob Auton, Jemima Foxtrot, John Osborne, Luke Wright and more. Each poet has to respond to the piece performed by the previous performer. Expect linguistic gymnastics, breath-taking salvos and a fair bit of crow-barring. Laughs and tears and all the rest, in a never-to-be-repeated show.


SXWKS / Roundhouse Resident Artist
19 August, 10:00

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SXWKS present, Still Dreaming, a submersion into the intangible substance of dreams through words and music. An amalgamation of the various artistic disciplines within SXWKS creating one unique experience that will stay with you long after the show. See features from Roundhouse Poetry Slam Winner 2015, Caleb Femi and Shortlisted Young Poet Laureate Jolade. A show not to be missed.


The Good Grief Project
20 August, 10:00

Jack Rooke & Lynn Ruth Miller Image 2

Jack Rooke is a 21-year-old comedian who writes about grief. Lynn Ruth Miller is an acclaimed 81-year-old comedian who talks about death. Together the two of them are gonna sit down, laugh and have an open chat about all the things we’re too scared to talk about, whilst performing extracts from Jack’s debut comedy-theatre show ‘Good Grief’ and Lynn’s new comedy hour ‘Get A Grip’.

For more information visit


Poleroid Theatre
20 August, 22:30

Write it Mic It Image

Poleroid Theatre are back in Edinburgh this Summer with WRITE IT : MIC IT, their legendary Open ‘Write’ Platform. After two years of sold out nights in Hackney and Manchester, Poleroid head to the Roundabout for one night only with an eclectic mix of new material from some of the UK’s most exciting emerging playwrights, comedians & performance poets. Fresh from debuting their new play Plastic by Kenneth Emson at Latitude Festival 2015 and nominated for three Off-West End Theatre Awards in 2014, Poleroid Theatre is working to discover and develop the contemporary image of emerging artists in the UK and give this talent a platform through eclectic, fast-paced and immediate theatre.


Roundhouse / Sophie Rose
21 August, 22:30

1. Happy jenga smash QV_CN LARGE

A show about blue plastic bags and wearing shoes that don’t fit.

Squeezed between tight jeans, jenga block flats and clip-on earrings, a young woman is making bad decisions and an old man is eating too much cheese.

They’re sharing biscuits on an inflatable sofa; something has to pop.

Fast, physical and full of anarchic poetry, shards of life collide in this powerful story of punishment and rescue.

Free hobnobs.

An exciting new voice in spoken word theatre, co-produced by Roundhouse.

‘Bold, brave and very special’ (Polarbear, spoken word artist)


Josie Long with Show and Tell
22 August, 22:30

Alternative Reality Tour Imag

Where is the fucking joy? It’s summer. It’s supposed to be like in films. It’s supposed to be magical. Beautiful sunsets and whirlwind romances; the promise of friendship, adventure, discovery, love and fun. The days last forever because school’s out forever.

So why isn’t it here? What do we get instead? Every day we are reminded that this country is miserable, skint and exhausted. That this is just the way it is and that we deserve it. That there’s no other way and we can’t change it. We’re all in it together. It’s the plan. We are tired, we are angry and we are bored.

We are all better than this.

We are coming to your town in August. We are going to bring something strange, fun and unexpected. Led by the multi award-winning comedian Josie Long, we are a group of performers, musicians and people who make things happen and we want to make something unforgettable.

We want another type of life. We want it to be better. We want a summer that doesn’t end.

The summer 2015 Alternative Reality Tour finishes up in Edinburgh on August 22nd.


FINDING HOME by Cecilia Knapp
23 August, 10:00

Finding Home

Along the cycle paths, alleyways and canals of London comes a spoken word theatre coming¬-of-age story that maps the journey of a young girl from Brighton to the tenements of East London as a 20 ¬something.

Writer and performer Cecilia Knapp’s debut piece is a journey through flashbacks to her father singing, her mum’s cassette tapes in the car and the sound of the sea. Cecilia explores loss and circumstance in an attempt to reconcile her past, telling stories and reflecting on the characters she meets along the way who help her make sense of the world, and realise that things can be ok in the wake of it all.

Supported by Arts Council England and Roundhouse, London, with an original soundtrack from world champion beatboxer and double bass musician Bellatrix and sound design by Chris Redmond (Tongue Fu) and direction by Stef O’Driscoll (Kate Tempest’s Hopelessly Devoted).


Encounter Productions
23 August, 22:30

IHCP Image

“I Heart Catherine Pistachio is outrageous and it is deplorable but it is also a fucking sickening tragedy performed as if a sinkhole is about to bury us all…fucking great.” (Megan Vaughan)

Following sold-out runs at Soho Theatre, London and the Sophiensaele, Berlin, Dance and Theatre combine in the latest show from Encounter.

Directed by Jen Malarkey, with writer Lee Mattinson and movement director Simone Coxall,I Heart Catherine Pistachio is a dangerously dark physical comedy about a square-eyed young girl stuck in a suburban swamp of abuse.


EARLIER/LATER shows will be listed daily outside ROUNDABOUT and announced at 11am and 5pm on Twitter so keep your beady eyes on @painesplough because you never know, we might just have a few extra events up our sleeves…

#RoundaboutPP #PPEarlier / #PPLater