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A New Brilliant Thing: James Rowland

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We’re excited to announce a new face of EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe. Actor and comedian James Rowland will play the part of the narrator for international dates in Australia and New Zealand in 2017 (and maybe a few dates closer to home too, stay tuned).The original brilliant thing Jonny Donahoe will continue in the role he has now performed a staggering 229 times in three different continents. Jonny will be taking the show to North America while James is the other side of the planet in the Antipodes.

So there will be two brilliant things. Brilliant!

We’ll announce full worldwide tour dates for EVERY BRILLIANT THING with our full Programme 2017 in the New Year, and my word have we got some treats in store for you.

But for now we can reveal James and EVERY BRILLIANT THING will appear at Adelaide Festival which was announced today.

If you follow us on Twitter @painesplough we’ll let slip some more international tour dates in the next few weeks.

We’re thrilled to welcome James to Team PP. His one man show in Edinburgh this year TEAM VIKING was our favouritest thing, and we’re honoured to be working with an actor of James’ calibre.

Biography:

James has performed in Theatre, Radio and Television. Recently he has done lots of immersive theatre including The Crystal Maze, Heist and You Once Said Yes. He has also performed musical comedy under the stage name ‘James Rowland’ and is a member of the cabaret band The Idiot Circus. He performed his debut storytelling show Team Viking in London and Edinburgh and won The Origins Award (Vault Festival, 2016).

#EveryBrilliantThing

Bring Every Brilliant Thing to your town

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Jonny Donahoe in Every Brilliant Thing (cred. Thread Design)

Calling anyone who programmes a theatre space anywhere in the UK… how do you fancy having EVERY BRILLIANT THING come to visit?

After its third sell-out run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe our co-production with Pentabus Theatre CompanyEVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe, embarks on another national tour… and we’ve got space for one last tour date.

We’re looking for a cool place to pitch up on Sunday 11 September 2016. Would your venue like to host EVERY BRILLIANT THING that night?

If so please contact sofia@painesplough.com ASAP.

#RoundaboutPP Social Media Call

Roundabout audience Rich Lakos

Calling all bloggers, tweeters, instagrammers, snapchatters, vine stars, social media conversation starters and digital trendsetters…

#RoundaboutPP Social Media Call
Friday 5 August 2016/ 10:00am
Roundabout @ Summerhall
Edinburgh EH9 1PL

If you write or talk about theatre online, this is for you. It’s a chance to have a nose around our groundbreaking, award-winning pop-up theatre, hear about our new programme of shows and events and meet Team PP and the people behind the shows at #RoundaboutPP this Fringe.

Bring your camera, phone, tablet and thumbs to blog, take photos and video. Live tweet or fire questions at anyone from producers to stage management to artistic directors. Anything goes – it’s a chance for you to see behind the scenes and get some exclusive content.

Here’s the schedule:

10:00/     Team PP welcome you to #RoundaboutPP with a swag bag.

10:05/     Joint Artistic Directors James & George introduce the Roundabout programme 2016.

10:10/     A sneak peek at our brand new shows: LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY, GROWTH and I GOT SUPERPOWERS FOR MY BIRTHDAY.

10:15/     Our Visiting Companies and Earlier/Later gang introduce their shows.

10:20/    A chance to explore Roundabout and take photos and video.

10:30/     Team PP, Visiting Companies and Earlier/Later artists will be hanging out in the Summerhall courtyard and will be on hand for interviews or to answer any questions you may have.

If you would like to come along please contact jack@painesplough.com with your name and a link to your website, blog or wherever you cover theatre online. Please include your Twitter and/or Instagram handle so we can follow you. We’ll be back in touch to confirm your place. Spaces are limited so get in quick – we hope to accommodate as many of you as possible.

Any questions, hit us up @painesplough.

If you know anyone who would be interested in coming along please pass this on them, the more the merrier!

We very much hope you can join us.

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Roundabout audience Rich Lakos

This summer Roundabout returns to Summerhall for Edinburgh Festival Fringe August 5-28. Roundabout will host up to 10 shows a day for 24 days. 225 productions in total. That’s nearly 300 hours of top notch entertainment with 37,800 tickets available.

And that’s just the beginning. After Edinburgh, Roundabout tours the nation stopping off at Margate, Eccles, Kendal, Barnsley, Stoke-on-Trent, Lincoln and Luton.

We’re excited to announce our full Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme including three world premières. Joint Artistic Directors James and George told us what to expect:

“We’re thrilled this cracking programme of new plays from some of the most exciting writers around will tour across the UK this summer and autumn. Roundabout will bring a festival feel to every place it visits with a host of locally curated and created shows and events alongside our own work. An offbeat love story from Alan Harris and an unflinching, side-splitting comedy from Luke Norris, join Katie Douglas’ superhero quest for children in an eclectic, fun-filled collection of new plays in our portable, pop-up theatre. In Edinburgh we’re honoured to present a programme of outstanding visiting work ranging from Stacey Gregg’s Irish Times Award Winning new play SCORCH to the hit Off-Broadway song cycle GHOST QUARTET.”

Our three world premières are LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY by Alan Harris, GROWTH by Luke Norris and I GOT SUPERPOWERS FOR MY BIRTHDAY by Katie Douglas.


 

Paines Plough, Sherman Cymru & Theatr Clywd present
LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY by Alan Harris
Time 13:35 Dates Aug 5, 7, 10, 17, 24, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28.

This is a boy meets girl story. Son of a Polish taxidermist meets daughter of a failing ice cream salesman. In Tesco. An offbeat love story about trying to fit in from acclaimed writer Alan Harris.

Tickets here.

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Paines Plough present
GROWTH by Luke Norris
Time
13:35 Dates Aug 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27.

Tobes is young, free and having a ball. Off. It’s seriously cramping his style so there are pants to be dropped and decisions to be made. A comedy about growing up and manning up from rising star Luke Norris.

Tickets here.

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Paines Plough & Half Moon present
I GOT SUPERPOWERS FOR MY BIRTHDAY by Katie Douglas
Time
11:00 Dates Aug 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21.

Ethan, William and Fiona discover they have superpowers on their 13th birthday, just in time to save the world. Join our heroes on a magical quest for ages 7+ from acclaimed writer Katie Douglas.

Tickets here.

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Paines Plough and Pentabus present
EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe
Time
15.35 Dates Aug 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28.

The worldwide smash hit is back. A play about depression and the lengths we go to for loved ones. ★★★★ “Heart-wrenching, hilarious… possibly one of the funniest plays you will ever see” (The Guardian). “Captivating” (New York Times).

Tickets here.

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EARLIER / LATER
Time
10:00 & 22:30 Dates Aug 5-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-28.

A series of early morning and late night one-off shows and events. Coffee and croissants with readings, talks, workshops, debates, insights and special guests. Get your fix of fresh ideas, brave new work and rip-roaring performances. These will be announced on our Twitter @painesplough and tickets will be available via Summerhall.

Now fully announced, see the full programme here.

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Prime Cut productions presents
SCORCH by Stacey Gregg
Time
18:05 Dates Aug 6-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-29.

A story of first love through the eyes of a gender-curious teen inspired by recent court cases, lost amidst the headlines. Winner of the prestigious Best New Play at the 2015 Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards. ★★★★ ‘High quality’ (The Irish Times).

Tickets here.

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Walrus presents
LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS by Sam Steiner
Time
12:10 Dates Aug 6-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-29.

Walrus’ award-winning sell out show returns to Edinburgh. The average person says 123,205,750 words in a lifetime. But what if there were a limit? Oliver and Bernadette are about to find out. A play about what we say and how we say it. ‘About as promising as debuts get’ (Time Out). ★★★★ ‘It’s bright, light and sharp – a rom-com with smarts’ (WhatsOnStage).

Tickets here.

Lemons Beth 1 (cred. Giulia Delprato)


Jonny & the Baptists
EAT THE POOR
Time
19.35 Dates Aug 6-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-29.

In 2009, David Cameron forgot how many houses he owned. Within five years, homelessness doubled. A riotous musical epic about inequality, friendship and betrayal. ★★★★ ‘Rallying… gigglesome wordplay’ (Guardian). ★★★★ ‘Wickedly amusing’ (Times).

Tickets here.

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Katie Bonna and Paul Jellis in association with SOHO Theatre present
ALL THE THINGS I LIED ABOUT by Katie Bonna
Time
16:40 Dates Aug 6-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-29.

Fringe First winner Katie Bonna (Dirty Great Love Story) confronts humanity’s obsession with lying. ‘Simultaneously restores your faith in human nature and the Fringe.’ ★★★★ (Telegraph). ‘Laughs are frequent, unsignalled… brilliant.’ ★★★★ (Times).

Tickets here.

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Ghost Quartet presents
GHOST QUARTET
Time
21:00 Dates Aug 6-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-29.

Ghost Quartet is a haunted song cycle about love, death, and whisky. A raucous chamber musical from Dave Malloy, composer of the Broadway-bound Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.

Tickets here.

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Fly By Night Productions presents
DES CLARKE’S ALL STAR COMEDY IN AID OF STV CHILDREN’S APPEAL
Time
14:00, 17:00 & 20:00 Dates Aug 16.

Des Clarke hosts the recording of an exciting new stand-up TV series featuring the comedy stars of today and tomorrow. Proceeds to the STV Children’s Appeal.

Tickets here.

Des Clarke

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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

Programme 2016: Part 1

We’re striding into 2016 with an armful of fantastic new plays alongside some returning favourites touring to destinations from Margate to Melbourne.

There’s a whole lot still to come so keep your eyes peeled for future announcements, but right now we’re ready to unveil a globe-trotting, dancefloor filling, airwaves rocking start to Programme 2016…

EVERY BRILLIANT THING

A year ago our co-production with Pentabus Theatre Company, EVERY BRILLIANT THING was in snowy New York City in the middle of a 16 week run Off-Broadway at Barrow Street Theatre.

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In the ensuing 2015 Jonny Donahoe performed Duncan Macmillan’s extraordinary play 147 times in 63 venues from Machynlleth to Jersey Opera House to Drumnadrochit on the banks of Loch Ness.

2016’s adventures begin with a trip Down Under. We’re honoured to have been invited to the Perth International Festival where we kick off an international tour that takes in Melbourne, Wellington and South Carolina.

Click here for details of international dates so far in 2016.

And never fear compatriots, EVERY BRILLIANT THING will be back on home soil soon…

#EveryBrilliantThing


 

TEN WEEKS

Elinor Cook won the prestigious George Devine Award whilst on attachment to PP in 2013 and we’re hugely proud to present her new play in co-production with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama…

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TEN WEEKS
By Elinor Cook
Directed by Kate Wasserberg

First things first, I just want to say to all of you –
Well done.
You’ve shown a lot of courage walking in here tonight.
You have.
Don’t forget that.

Ten weeks, ten commandments, a ten million pound turnover.

It’s Week One of a dizzyingly popular crash course in Christianity. There’s pizza, live music, lively debate and – sometimes – there’s insurrection.

A new play about faith, community and capitalism.

22-25 March Richard Burton Theatre, RWCMD, Cardiff
30 March-1 April The Gate Theatre, London

#TenWeeks


 

WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK

Our UK Garage musical premiered at co-producer Latitude Festival and had them dancing in the aisles all night long. Now you can get your rave on, wherever you are…

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WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK
By Sabrina Mahfouz
Directed by Stef O’Driscoll

I want to be iconic. I want to be beautiful, reckless, feared, hated, ahead of the times. I want to be different, I want to be dangerous…

2001. Raves. Revision. Re-election.

Nadia is swept up in one hot summer’s night of love that promises endless possibilities. Drinking, dancing, hope, ambition, lust, greed… and decisions that will determine the rest of her life.

Rhythmically underscored by a live mix of old school UK Garage, award-winning writer Sabrina Mahfouz explores the legacy of a cultural movement that defined the hopes of a generation.

2015. Re-wind.

Running Time: 60 minutes (no interval)
Age Guidance: 14+

“Fist-pumping euphoria… crackles with a rare and unexpected life.” The Stage
“Gorgeous genre-melding music and theatre.” Exeunt
“The same fizzing energy of the best club nights… marks Mahfouz out as a unique theatrical voice.” The Public Reviews

#WithALittleBitOfLuck


 

322 DAYS

Today Naked Angels released the first of our brand new podcast plays on Naked Radio. Have a listen to it here or download it on iTunes.

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322 DAYS
By Lucy Gillespie
Directed by Sean Linnen

Gemma and Weston are two young, beating hearts from different places and different worlds. Their relationship fragments over the internet as they try to stay connected in an over-connected world.

Navigating adolescence, they can neither embrace each other or the separate lives they lead and their virtual intimacy hinders them from fully connecting with the everyday world around them.

When a secret is uncovered and reveals a schism at the centre of their relationship, a deep emotional distance threatens to overwhelm their physical distance and put their future plans in jeopardy.

322 Days is a play about being together and being apart.

#322Days
www.painesplough.com

Recorded at the Lyric Hammersmith on Friday 4th December 2015, this play was made possible by the kind support of the Lyric Hammersmith.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the next episode, BILAL’S BIRTHDAY, by The Big Room Fellow Nathan Bryon, next month.

What an exciting start to 2016 – and with even more to come! We can’t wait to get more shows on the road…

– Team PP x

 

Trainee Thursday: Bhavini

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6 months ago I found out that I was going be the Trainee Administrator at Paines Plough for a year funded through Creative Access, a charity that provide internships in the creative industries for ethnic minorities. Now I’m in the thick of my traineeship thinking ‘My word – 6 months already’!

I will always remember my first day, seeing Roundabout getting built in the High House in Thurrock, so excited to be there and see the workings of innovative geniuses get put together, meeting my colleagues for the first time and having absolutely no idea how enriched, busy and fabulous my life was going to become through working with Paines Plough. I’ve learned a helluva lot and have so much yet to learn, I have no idea where to start in my 6-month reflection; it’s all a bit much to fit in this humble space.

Working with such an intelligent and ambitious team has definitely pushed me and developed my skills as a professional and individual. It’s enriching and such an important experience to have – Paines Plough really value and nurture positive growth and I really value that in Paines Plough. We make great and inspiring work that goes all over the place. Hearing the reception we get in different pockets of the country always reinforces my belief in the power of theatre and storytelling.

I don’t usually do this but earlier this year I made a New Year’s resolution to see a lot more of this beautiful island – it is almost poetry that I managed to bag a yearlong internship with a theatre company that tours. I’ve been to see theatre all over the place and it’s been fantastic (although majorly gutted, as was the rest of the office that we didn’t go to the magical Highlands and Islands tour of EVERY BRILLIANT THING with James!). Experiencing both Latitude and Edinburgh the first time this summer was unforgettable. In all honesty I wasn’t expecting any of this. It has made my year so special.

One of my most favourite projects to work on so far has been the Paines Plough Open Auditions. I really admire and enjoy that we spend a few days a year meeting and getting to know as many actors as possible. I’ve really gotten a kick out of co-ordinating the Open Auditions for The Lowry and The Actors Centre (such a busy and fun day!) and am really excited to do the next round.

Looking forward I’m so excited to continue my work with Paines Plough and continue being part of an industry I admire so much. The work that Paines Plough does is SO important and I still occasionally have moments when I ask myself ‘Am I really here?’

In the wider sense of being a Creative Access intern, I am so grateful that I am a member of a movement to achieve more diversity within the creative industries and aim to use that as one of the driving forces of my work in Paines Plough and the subsidised theatre industry.

So bring on the next 6 months! Who knows what it will bring? Sign up to our fabulous newsletter on our homepage to find out ;).

B x

Goodbye from Natalie…

Last month we bid a fond farewell to our wonderful Administrator, Natalie, as she took up an incredible new role as General Manager of Coney. Sobs rang out all over the office this morning as her goodbye blog arrived in our inboxes. Here, in her own words, she has summed up her time with us. Sad as we are, we know it’s not really au revoir, just à bientôt…

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What an incredible two years it’s been. It’s hard to know where to begin and I won’t be able to cover everything that I’d like to. So, I’ll just share some of my fondest memories from my time at Paines Plough in the hope that it’ll highlight how much of an incredible company and inspiring team they are to work for and with.

My very first PP show was Duncan Macmillan’s EVERY BRILLIANT THING. I travelled with Alex Wood our playwright-in-residence at the time, where we found ourselves in the lovely little village of Ledbury at The Market Theatre. It was so close to where my mum lives (out in the regions) that my brother came along. I remember introducing him to both Alex and George and instantaneously thinking, “wow this is really cool, my family can see our work where they are and where I’m from, we travel to them”. Coming from an area with limited access to the arts and a low-income family, I immediately saw how important and impactful touring theatre and new writing was, and knew that I had made it into the right company.

I joined PP as the Admin and Finance Assistant in 2013 through Creative Access, a charity who provide year-long traineeships in the creative industries for people of BAME backgrounds. This marked the beginning of my career in the arts. Without this opportunity, I’d probably be in an industry that I’m not passionate about, struggling to find my way in. Paines Plough were the first theatre organisation to partner with Creative Access, actively addressing lack of diversity in the industry. Unafraid and open – two major qualities that extend way beyond their work.

Watching an intimate dress rehearsal of Andrew Scott in SEA WALL over the bridge in one of the rehearsal studios at The National was a truly unforgettable experience.

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I didn’t know what was happening to me when I watched for those 30 minutes, no more than a metre away from him, sucked into his performance and trying really hard to hold floods of tears back. This had never happened to me watching a play before.

Valuable lessons learned:
– I’ll never get left behind in a hotel in Hull after press night again.
– Even though you’ve planned for everyone to meet at the station in good time to catch your train, you’ll always need to run for it #touringPPstyle.
– Pork scratchings vary in taste and texture from region to region. Scottish pubs don’t stock them.
– How to change florescent strip lights and chargers.
– I still can’t do puns…
– Accents, canoeing, ‘being in the lift’ mimes, street dance, the odd prank call and cake really help when you all need a little group pick me up.

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COME TO WHERE I’M FROM at the Southbank Centre was a beautiful installation and interactive map designed by Amy Cook, where audiences and passersby could pop in and listen to plays by writers from all over the UK, for free.

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Invitation to interact with the space, watch some of the writers read their plays live and to hang out with a beer in an open space is my kind of art. This was a lovely weekend.

Touring from all corners of the UK from the Isle of Eigg to Ipswich, Liverpool to Lyme Regis and Newport to Nottingham involves a lot of trains…

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ROUNDABOUT is by far my favourite thing to have been involved in. From its launch in Edinburgh in 2014 to its current Autumn tour, THE HUMAN EAR to LUNGS, Visitor Services to the Street Team, and tea dances in Margate to TORYCORE, the breadth of what Roundabout can do and give is phenomenal.

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EVERY BRILLIANT THING in New York and my (and Francesca’s) first ever trip to the US! We had a whirlwind of five days in New York during the opening at Barrow Street Theatre last December.

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It was very surreal to think how it was only a year before that I was in Ledbury with an audience of 30 to then being Off-Broadway with an American audience of 250! And of course we visited the amazing sights, hung out with Jonny and ate a lot of meat…

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My Paines Plough round-up in numbers:

17 productions

3 Arts Council Annual Reports

1 Big fat 40th anniversary year

2 ROUNDABOUT seasons

2 Edinburghs

2 Latitude festivals

1 Bestival

1 European festival… Wiesbaden

10,220 miles commuted to and from PPHQ by bike

And a lot of miles travelled up and down the country.

And of course there are the people that make all this happen and I’m so privileged to have worked with such a driven and dedicated team. Under the Artistic Directorship of James and George, I’ve constantly been inspired and driven by their vision and resilience. Working with Hanna and Francesca has been like attending free producing workshops everyday, Aysha has shown me how brilliant being a General Manager is and I take from her into what I do now with Coney, Bhavini and Rachel are the two amazing trainees who like me joined PP though Creative Access; all together they are an incredibly strong, fearless and focused team. I’ve also been lucky enough to work with Claire, Tara, Bene, Bernd and Sean. Paines Plough attracts the most amazing people and I’m just happy to have been a part of the family. Thank you for having me.

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For now its goodbye from me as I retire to the red cupboard with my digestive biscuit tin, muji pens and a new picture to hang on the wall…

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Natalie x

Every Brilliant Thing: Review Round Up

EVERY BRILLIANT THING has been zig-zagging its way across the country this Autumn from the Highlands of Scotland to the coast of Brighton. The tour is coming to an end and once again we’ve been bowled over by the overwhelming response to the show.

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Here’s a round-up of some of our favourite tweets and reviews so far…

“crisp and dynamic… never will two performances be the same” ★★★★★ Fix Magazine

“…builds a wonderful feeling of inclusivity… with its ordinary, everyday drops of happiness” ★★★★ Broadsheet Boutique  

“Uplifting, honest, and surprising. Not to be missed.” ★★★★ Intermission Bristol

“as far as evenings go, this is a practically perfect piece of theatre.” Bristol 24/7

“moving, funny, sad and highly enjoyable; the actor was energetic, enthusiastic and full of emotional understanding” Spalding Today

“beautifully written” Guide2Bristol

“guaranteed to make you laugh out loud and keep your eyes brimming…” Bristol Post

“Jonny Donahoe is ebullience incarnate.” StageTalk Magazine

“told with such tenderness and humanness that it makes you very, very pleased to be alive.” Weston SuperMum

“a show that covers aging, music, depression, love and much more”  Theatre Bristol Writers

#EveryBrilliantThing was just a bit gorgeous tonight. Loved it A photo posted by holly (@hollsenberg) on

“A lovely warm glow of a work.” The Reviews Hub

One of the best things about touring is seeing the response to shows that we bring to audiences – we love nothing more than sitting in the office and reading through reviews and hearing what people thought!

Find out where the show will be arriving in the final few weeks and grab your tickets here.

And don’t forget to let us know what you think using the hashtag #EveryBrilliantThing or sending us a tweet – we’re @painesplough.

We’re off to… Stoke

Roundabout arrives at Appetite in Stoke-on-Trent today on the final stop of the year (sob!). Tonight’s performance of EVERY BRILLIANT THING is sold out, but fear not as we have a plethora of plays and specially programmed one-off events that you can still grab tickets for.

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For those of you coming to join us, our friends at Appetite have compiled a compendium of what to see, do, eat, and drink while you’re in town.

Must see

Stoke-on-Trent (otherwise called The Potteries) is having something of a ceramics renaissance at the mo, so whilst you’re here check out the British Ceramics Biennial, in full swing over in the grand surroundings of the former Spode Factory. A 5 minute walk from the train station, you’ll find the latest in cutting edge ceramic art.

In the City Centre, check out Entrepreneurs, an artist led shop with a public exhibition space upstairs. And just down from Roundabout (opposite the beautiful Bethesda Chapel) you’ll also stumble upon a fauno-tastic new mural (below) by graffiti artist Faunographic, commissioned by Entrepreneurs for Appetite’s Big Feast.

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Also in Piccadilly there’s contemporary art gallery Airspace currently featuring the exhibition ‘Icon’.

If you have time why not stroll along the canal to Burslem and have cup a tea in the recently renovated Middleport Pottery, the home of the world-famous Burleigh, soon to be seen on BBC’s The Great British Pottery Thrown Down, or take a factory tour at The Emma Bridgewater Factory.

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If you’re feeling historical why not pop your head into the famous Staffordshire Hoard exhibition at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. If you’re with kids or fancy a splash around, on Festival Park just outside the City Centre, you’ll also find the epic Waterworld.

Where to stay

The Quality Hotel is in stumbling distance of the City Centre and there’s also the Great Western Moat House Hotel just a little further away.

Where to eat

In Hanley head to Cafe Zest, café by day and bistro by night or The Exchange, which does burgers and typical pub fare. There’s also Roberto’s for Italian, The Church Bar and Restaurant for upscale British food and Peter’s Tavern for authentic Czech food.A little outside the City Centre there’s also the fantastic Med Bar for authentic Italian.

While you’re here of course don’t miss the world famous Staffordshire oatcake! For the ultimate hot crispy oatcake head to the Oatie Mostons stand, 2 mins from Roundabout, and ask for a cheese and bacon. Warning: only get the large if you’re feeling ravenous!

Where to drink

Stoke’s home to some great pubs. Why not try The Holy Inadequate in Etruria or The Bulls Head in Burslem, the brewery tap of the local Titanic Brewery.

There’s also the reputedly haunted The Leopard in Burslem if you’re feeling spooky or the cosy surroundings of The Glebe in Stoke just 5 mins from the station.

In Hanley there’s the recently opened Bottle Craft which has a tasting room, The Exchange bar and the historic Coachmakers Arms. If you like your ale real, The Hop Inn in Newcastle is 2015 winner of Potteries CAMRA pub of the year.

Where to get coffee

Try tsp. for great coffee, cupcakes and nice surroundings down in Piccadilly in Hanley, also featuring murals by local artist Eight.bit. There’s also the Spitfire Café at the Mitchell Arts Centre a little further down the road and Blondies Twisted Tea Room, in the centre of Hanley. Hang out at The Bread in Common café at the British Ceramics Biennial, run by community arts company B-Arts, it’s a great place to chill and munch on some fantastic bread made in their unique bread oven.