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Sean’s Fringe Essentials

It’s the biggest arts festival on the planet. Three and a half weeks of theatre, dance, spoken word, comedy, cabaret, circus, exhibitions and music. At times the fringe can be as bonkers as it is breathtaking but ultimately, it’s the most exciting, surprising and unforgettable month on the theatrical calendar.

Half of Team PP moved north of the border last weekend so are already getting into the swing of all things fringe. With the other half speedily following this week before the unveiling of our Roundabout Auditorium at Summerhall here’s our #edfringe essentials to help see you through the month:

EdFringe Guide

You can pick them up everywhere, they’re free and contain EVERYTHING you need to plan your time in Edinburgh. No messing about, just get one.

Pac-a-mac/Emergency Poncho

Not God’s gift to fashion but after a couple of days running between performances/pubs/parties in the rain one minute and blazing sunshine the next a pac-a-mac will be your new best friend. Portable, practical and most importantly- not porous. Trust.


Late nights, early mornings, and the fast food/coffee/alcohol diet all take their toll. Get a vitamin hit to help stave off the dreaded FringeFlu. (Alternatively you could just eat plenty of fruit and veg, but who’s got time for that?)

Healthy (ish) sustenance

There’s only so many burgers you can eat in a week. We know. We’ve tried.* We like 10 to 10 in Delhi on Nicholson Street for it’s curries and cushions (what more do you need?) and The Potting Shed on Potterow serves food in plant pots and has a pretty impressive cocktail list- our favorite? Rosie and Gin.

*If you do want a burger we can safely say that the Summerhall one has kept us fueled during tech.


We’ll be spending most of our time at The Royal Dick in Summerhall. A playlist of soulful classics, veterinary related art all over the shop and their own gin distillery (not to mention the aforementioned burger). Festival win.

(We also like Brass Monkey on Drummond Street, The Trav Bar and The Fiddler’s Arms on Grassmarket)


Wandering up Arthur’s Seat is a must for the epic views across the city and to get an hour away from flyering and the relentless festival pace. Whatever you do, don’t leave it until the last day when you’re knackered, hungover and the rain’s lashing down because you’ll hate every minute. No one wants that. Especially not Arthur.

What are your top tips for getting through the festival? A Black Medicine coffee? An Elephant and Bagel? Or just red bull, pro plus and a diet coke? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting at us.

See you in Edinburgh!

ROUNDABOUT Rehearsal Photos

With half our team already in Scotland’s capital, building and tech-ing and line-learning and generally perfecting Roundabout Season 2014 to an inch of its life in the lead-up to next Sunday’s launch, here are a few snaps of our talented team hard at work.


All images by Richard Davenport

For the full set, visit our Flickr page.

Catch Paines Plough’s Roundabout @ Summerhall, Edinburgh, from 2 – 23 August 2014. 

Join the online conversation with: #RoundaboutPP @painesplough 

Countdown to Edinburgh…

Last week brought the launch of the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe programme and we were eagerly checking the post box that morning for our copy of the Fringe brochure. When it did arrive there was an instant scramble over the single copy as we all wanted to take a peek at the wealth of shows on offer this year.

And Paines Plough will be taking a show up to the Fringe this year as well – David Harrower ’s Good With People directed by Paines Plough co-artistic director George Perrin, designed by Ben Stones and starring Blythe Duff. The production will be playing at the Traverse Theatre between 4th-26th August as part of a double-bill with David Greig’s The Letter of Last Resort. The play originally started life back in 2010 as part of our A Play, A Pie and A Pint season at Òran Mór, so it is exciting to have it return. And as a play set in Scotland from a Scottish writer, Edinburgh seems its natural home.

If you are interested in seeing Good With People you can book through the Traverse website or call the box office on 0131 228 1404. And of course you can also book through the Edinburgh Fringe website.

So the countdown to the Edinburgh Fringe has finally begun – we can’t wait!

Announcing Programme 2012

We’re super excited to announce our full Programme 2012 today.

We’re presenting 11 productions in 44 places across the country from Edinburgh to The Isle of Wight.

Some stuff you already know about, like Matt Hartley‘s SIXTY FIVE MILES which we co-produced earlier in the year with our friends at Hull Truck, and the two shows we have currently running in London – Mike Bartlett‘s LOVE, LOVE, LOVE at The Royal Court and Kate Tempest’s WASTED at The Roundhouse.

In addition we’ve lined up some real treats for you, wherever you live. WASTED continues its tour to festivals in Brighton and York. There’s a national tour of our Manchester International Festival smash hit soul opera THE 8TH by Paul Heaton & Che Walker culminating with a very special performance at The Latitude Festival. Simon Stephens’ LONDON opens its tour at Salisbury Playhouse in a co-production with both Salisbury and Live Theatre, Newcastle.

For the first time in three years, we’re presenting a season of work across London, all of which has premiered outside the capital. Love, Love, Love is currently running at the Royal Court. Wasted visits the Roundhouse. The 8th opens its tour at The Barbican. And we’re thrilled to be bringing our Roundabout Season to to town in the Autumn. Three new plays by Duncan Macmillan, Nick Payne and Penelope Skinner will be presented in our own purpose built portable in-the-round Roundabout auditorium at Shoreditch Town Hall.

Also we’re bringing back our 2009 hit GOOD WITH PEOPLE by David Harrower for The Edinburgh Festival. A new series of Come to Where I’m From will include playwrights from Brighton, Cheltenham, Chipping Norton and the Isle Of Wight; and we’re delighted to again be working with the students at Rose Bruford College on Sean Buckley’s SMITHEREENS.

Here’s a note from James & George:

“We’re hugely proud to announce our third annual programme of work as Paines Plough’s Artistic Directors.

“Our passion for new plays continues to grow thanks to the extraordinary playwrights that lie at the heart of our company. This year we’re presenting work by a huge range of writers, from Olivier Award winners to the stars of the future.writers who between them have won 2 Oliviers, 3 George Devine Awards, 2 Bruntwood Awards and a host of other accolades, whilst continuing to identify and support the stars of the future.

“We believe everyone should have the chance to see outstanding new plays, no matter where they live, so our commitment to national touring deepens this year with visits to over 40 different UK villages, towns and cities. We’re piloting new touring circuits The Local, Neighbourhood and Campus to make sure our unique brand of new plays reach every corner of the UK.

“After two years working outside the capital, we’ve been overwhelmed by the demand for our work to be seen in London. In response we’ve put together a London Season of productions, all of which have already been seen on tour. In typical Paines Plough style they’re spread right across the city so audiences can experience the work in their local theatre – whether that’s Shoreditch Town Hall, the Barbican, the Royal Court, the Roundhouse or the Albany, amongst others.

“As ever, we’re working in partnership across the programme, and are delighted to be working with old friends as well as new – including the National Theatre, Manchester International Festival, the Roundhouse, Birmingham Rep, Sheffield Theatres, Latitude Festival, National Student Drama Festival, Salisbury Playhouse and Live Theatre Newcastle.

“With these partners, we’re presenting astounding new plays by world class playwrights in places nationwide for people everywhere. We’re priveleged and excited to do so, and look forward to welcoming people to a Paines Plough show in their local theatre.”

So there you have it: Programme 2012. We hope you’re as excited by it as we are.

My first two days with Paines Plough

I’m Fiona, the new intern at Paines Plough. It’s only my second day but it has already been both exciting and exhausting. I only say exhausting because when I arrived on Tuesday morning the lift up to our fourth floor offices was being fixed. Mainly it has been very exciting. I spent most of my first day trying to reckon with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival Guide so that when our Producer, Tara, goes up next week, she can fit every possible show into the 72 hours she is in the city.  I’ve met all the lovely people in the office but have only met one half of the artistic directing team that are George Perrin and James Grieve (I met George who was very nice to me). I was also lucky enough to sit in on their company meeting yesterday to hear all about the exciting new projects coming up including A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT. The second play from this series, Gary Owen’ s IN THE PIPELINE, directed by David Horan Artistic director of Bewley’s Theatre Cafe, is starting rehearsals on Monday.