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Announcing Programme 2017

PP2016 Web Banner 2

Welcome to Programme 2017. Theatre. Everywhere.

Our Artistic Directors, James and George, unveiled #PP2017 today:

“We’re thrilled to present some of the UK’s most exciting playwrights on tour to more than 60 places across the UK and around the world in Paines Plough’s Programme 2017.

Our pop-up Roundabout will again tour the UK with three world premieres in partnership with Theatr Clwyd and the Orange Tree. Elinor Cook’s OUT OF LOVE is a very funny, topical, heart-tugging exploration of female friendship spanning 30 years. We’re honoured to be premiering another of Elinor’s plays following TEN WEEKS in Programme 2016. Elinor was on attachment to Paines Plough through The Big Room in 2011 and has since won the George Devine Award and become one of the most vital, distinctive new voices in theatre. Roundabout will also host the World Premiere of Brad Birch’s new play BLACK MOUNTAIN, a nerve-jangling psychological thriller showcasing the style and comic brio that marks Brad out in the vanguard of Welsh playwrights. HOW TO BE A KID is a vivid new play for young people by Manchester’s Sarah McDonald-Hughes which tackles some big subjects with extraordinary lightness of touch and a lot of joyous dancing to Taylor Swift.

We are renewing our partnership with Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to again showcase new talent with the world premiere of Newcastle playwright Alison Carr’s HUSH, directed by Hannah Banister who was previously at Paines Plough as assistant director on THE ANGRY BRIGADE in 2014.

Nathan Bryon was awarded our inaugural Playwright Fellowship in 2015 and we’re delighted to be partnering with tiata fahodzi to present the world premiere of his debut play MIXED BRAIN. Future Paines Plough programmes will feature the work of this year’s Fellowship writer Sam Steiner, and Zia Ahmed who joins us supported by the Channel Four Playwrights Scheme.  

We are ceaselessly overwhelmed by the reaction to EVERY BRILLIANT THING as it tours the globe. In Programme 2017 we welcome our new brilliant thing James Rowland to perform the show on a second tour to Australia and New Zealand before returning home to the UK, while Jonny Donahoe continues in the role in North America. Sabrina Mahfouz’s euphoric UK Garage musical WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK returns for one very special night in the Roundhouse main space and Luke Norris’ Fringe First winner GROWTH takes off on a UK Tour. COME TO WHERE I’M FROM continues to celebrate locality with playwrights performing plays about their home towns in Middlesbrough, Glasgow and Gloucester. We’ll also be taking COME TO WHERE I’M FROM to Hull and we’re really excited to hear the stories from the city whilst in its inspiring year as City of Culture. You can continue to listen to plays from across the UK on the COME TO WHERE I’M FROM app. 

It’s our mission to take the best new theatre everywhere and with our productions appearing in all four corners of the UK, across the Atlantic, down under and on your smartphone there is something for everyone, everywhere in Programme 2017.”

A Paines Plough and Pentabus Theatre Company production
EVERY BRILLIANT THING
By Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe

Every Brilliant Thing Web Treated

The worldwide smash hit is back. After touring USA and Canada in January and February, EVERY BRILLIANT THING continues to Australia and New Zealand with James Rowland at the helm. Then we’re off on a 30-date UK and Ireland tour throughout May, June and July. Stay tuned for more international announcements throughout the year.

 

A Paines Plough production
GROWTH
By Luke Norris

Growth Web Treated

“It’s a lump in a bag of lumps. It’s fine.”

Tobes is young, free and having a ball. Off.

He’s successfully ignored his lump for two years but it’s starting to get in the way – cramping his style and, worse, affecting his sex life. So now there are pants to be dropped, and decisions to be made… It’s a real ball ache.

A comedy about growing up and manning up from critically acclaimed writer Luke Norris (So Here We Are, Royal Exchange; Goodbye To All That, Royal Court).

Winner of a Fringe First Award at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, GROWTH embarks on its second national tour through September and October.

“Achingly funny and tender… Of the hundreds of shows at the Fringe, few feel as necessary as this.”  ★★★★★ Financial Times

 

A Paines Plough, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and Gate Theatre production
HUSH
By Alison Carr

Hush Web Treated

A 999 call sets the wheels in motion. Nothing stays a secret forever. Especially in this town.

Sadie returns to the place she hates. Natalie tries to do the right thing. Josh can only hope. Three stories linked by guilt, secrets and a missing boy.

A dark, funny and often tender new play by rising star Alison Carr, writer of “bruising yet touching” (The Stage) Iris at Live Theatre.

HUSH will premiere at The Bute Theatre, Cardiff and Gate Theatre in London.

 

A Paines Plough and tiata fahodzi production
MIXED BRAIN
By Nathan Bryon

Mixed Brain Web Treated

“One day we were playing football. One kid shouts ‘let’s do black v white’. My heart starts beating hoping someone dusts this dumb idea off. All the white kids go to one side, all the black kids go to the other, I try slip off. Another kid yells: ‘Nathan what team will you be on? You’re mixed…”

Star of Benidorm, writer for Rastamouse, 50% Jamaican, 50% British, 100% reppin’ Shepherd’s Bush. Nathan Bryon is many things. Mixed.

Welcome to his world. Part story, part stand-up, a show fusing Afro-Caribbean flair and British awkwardness in a searing, searching exploration of what it means to be mixed-race and mixed-experience today.

If you live in the middle does anywhere feel like home? Get in the mix. Learn a little, live a little, laugh a lot.

You’ll be able to catch MIXED BRAIN at festivals this summer. Stay tuned for details.

 

A Paines Plough and Latitude Festival production
WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK
By Sabrina Mahfouz

With A Little Bit Of Luck Web Treated

It’s 2001. Garage is the anthem. Nadia feels like it’s her time to shine.

A hot summer’s night of love promises endless possibilities. Swept up in drinking, dancing, hope, ambition, lust, greed… Nadia will make decisions that will determine the rest of her life.

Underscored by your favourite UK Garage bangers. This is theatre you can rave to.

Award-winning writer and poet Sabrina Mahfouz explores the legacy of a cultural movement that defined the hopes of a generation in a “generous, joyous and lyrical collision of gig and theatre” (★★★★ The Stage).

WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK returns to Roundhouse for one night only. Headlining the Last Word Festival you’ll also be able to see DJ Luck & MC Neat and Mighty Moe in an old school UK Garage night on Friday 9 June.

 

A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production
BLACK MOUNTAIN
By Brad Birch

Black Mountain Web Treated

Rebecca and Paul are running away. Away from memories and mistakes.

They’re trying to save their relationship. They need time and space. An isolated house in the country is the perfect place to work things out. They set themselves rules: they have to be honest, they have to listen and they have to be fair.

But you can’t run forever. Especially when you’re being followed.

BLACK MOUNTAIN is a tense psychological thriller about betrayal and forgiveness by winner of the Harold Pinter Commission Brad Birch.

BLACK MOUNTAIN will tour in Roundabout in September and October.

 

A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production
OUT OF LOVE

By Elinor Cook

Better Than She Should Be Web Treated

Lorna and Grace do everything together. They share crisps, cigarettes and crushes. That’s what happens when you’re best friends forever.

But when Lorna gets a place at University, and Grace gets pregnant, they suddenly find themselves in starkly different worlds. Can anything bridge the gap between them?

A tale of friendship, love and rivalry over thirty years from award-winning playwright Elinor Cook.

‘Intelligent and savagely funny’ The Times on Elinor Cook

OUT OF LOVE will tour in Roundabout in September and October.

 

A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production
HOW TO BE A KID
By Sarah McDonald-Hughes

How To Be A Kid Web Treated

Molly cooks. Molly does the dishes. Molly gets her little brother Joe ready for school. Molly is only 12, but she doesn’t feel much like a kid anymore.

Now Molly’s Mum is feeling better, maybe things will get back to normal. Can you help Molly learn how to be a kid again?

Join Molly, Joe and her Nan for a larger than life story of family, friends and fitting in.

Warning: Contains dancing, chocolate cake and an epic car chase.

For ages 7+.

HOW TO BE A KID will tour in Roundabout in September and October.

 

COME TO WHERE I’M FROM

Come To Where I'm From Web Treated

COME TO WHERE I’M FROM is a collection of mini plays written by playwrights about the places they call home.

Since 2010, writers from across the UK have returned to their home towns to pen plays about the places that shaped them. At theatres from Bristol to Belfast, Cardiff to Coventry and Nottingham to Newcastle, these plays are performed by the playwrights themselves, coming home to tell their tale.

Now you can listen to this amazing collection of over 130 short plays through the COME TO WHERE I’M FROM app. Available for free here. Search the map for plays near you or find your favourite playwright in the plays index.

You’ll find a huge range of playwrights from Olivier Award winners to first timers reading their own plays about home towns stretching from Edinburgh to Ipswich to the Isle of Wight.

A theatrical tapestry of the UK, woven by writers asking if home is really where the heart is.

In 2017 we will be hosting CTWIF events in the following places:

Middlesbrough Theatre on 16 March
Hull Truck Theatre on 24 May
Tron Theatre, Glasgow on 25 May
Fountain Inn, Gloucester on on 6 July

“A reminder of the enormous tug that place has on us all.” The Guardian

“Conjures an intimacy between us that burns as bright and as potent as striking a match” Exeunt

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So there you have it. Programme 2017. Theatre. Everywhere.

Let us know what you think on #PP2017

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NEW: 2017

We’re very pleased to announce that once again we will be working with the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. As part of NEW: 2017 we’ve jointly commissioned writer Alison Carr to write a play for their graduating actors in 2017. The plays will run alongside commissions from the Royal Court and Sherman Theatre. They’ll open in Cardiff and then transfer to The Gate in London.

Dates:

Tues 28 – Fri 31 March
Richard Burton Theatre & Bute Theatre, Cardiff

Tues 4 – Sat 8 April
Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, London

We’re also very excited that Alison’s new play will be directed by Hannah Banister who was the Assistant Director on our production of James Graham’s THE ANGRY BRIGADE in 2015.

Our past productions with RWCMD have been:

TEN WEEKS by Elinor Cook (2016)
GROWTH by Luke Norris (2015)
BLISTER by Laura Lomas (2014)

Alison Carr, Writer

Alison Carr

Alison’s theatre credits include: CLOTHES SWAP THEATRE PARTY (Forward Theatre Project); FAT ALICE (Traverse Theatre); A WONDROUS PLACE (Northern Spirit, tour); NEVER RAINS BUT IT POURS (Theatre503); THE GIRLS FROM POPPYFIELD CLOSE, CLINT (Live Theatre) and CAN CAUSE DEATH starring Olivier Award-winning actor David Bradley (Forward Theatre Project at the National Theatre, Northern Stage & Latitude Festival).

Alison has also worked with theatres and companies including Paines Plough, nabokov, Old Vic New Voices, New Writing North and 5065 Lift.

Radio credits include Afternoon Drama DOLLY WOULD (BBC Radio 4) and YACKETY YAK (The Verb, BBC Radio 3).

In 2013, Alison was awarded the Live Theatre/Empty Space Bursary Award to develop her play THE SOAKING OF VERA SHRIMP. The play opened at Live Theatre in September 2014 and was subsequently produced by Live Theatre in association with Rosie & Me at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015.

Alison is a member of The Traverse Fifty and last year completed a 6-month attachment with Monkeywood Theatre.

Alison’s first full-length play commission IRIS opened at Live Theatre, Newcastle in April 2016 (directed by Max Roberts). Most recently, Alison was shortlisted for the Theatre503 Playwriting Award for her play CATERPILLAR.

hannah-banister-low-res

Hannah Banister

Hannah is a freelance theatre director who is most excited about working on ambitious projects which have at the heart of them an extraordinary story. She loves new writing, re-imagined classics, comedy, sketch comedy, verbatim, non-fiction, adventure, fantasy. Anything you might consider to be a bit rock and roll in theatre.

She has directed THIS IS ART by Charlene James at Proud Archivist in Haggerston and was a finalist for the JMK young Directors’ award 2014.

Her other work as a Director includes STRINGS (in development), I KILLED RASPUTIN by Richard Herring (Assembly), GARDENING FOR THE UNFULFILLED AND ALIENATED (Pleasance, Fringe First Award Winner), CRIMBLE (Old Red Lion), TRAPP (Old Vic) and BEST MEN (Southwark Playhouse). As Associate Director, her credits include PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), THE ABSENCE OF WAR (Headlong), TIGER COUNTRY (Hampstead Theatre), ANOTHER COUNTRY (Trafalgar Studios). As assistant director her credits include THE ANGRY BRIGADE (Paines Plough, The Bush, Theatre Royal Plymouth), THE TEMPEST (The Globe Theatre), LONGING (Hampstead Theatre) and JUMPY (Royal Court Theatre and West End).

#RWCMDNEW17

GROWTH: What’s it been like in rehearsals?

With one final performance of  GROWTH at The Gate to go we caught up with Jonny and Ellie from the cast to hear what it’s been like rehearsing Luke Norris’ brilliant new play.

Growth Cast edit

“Rehearsals for Growth have been a treat. A good balanced mix of competitive, nail biting 6 Square, complete with a friendly leader board and blood, sweat and tears rehearsing, it’s all been a joy. Sean lays out such a relaxed and comfortable environment to work in that the platform for taking risks and experimenting with the text and character has been such an easy process. Every single cast member is amazing to work with. Nina Shenkman, a bundle of joy, high spirits and sheer oddness. Mel Stevens, energy packed, idea driven and an exciting actress to watch. Oliver Morgan-Thomas, genuinely one the nicest guys I know and I honestly think this is one of his best performances. Sam Ward, whose laugh makes anyone laugh based on its volume and sheer brilliance is warm and keen both as two fabulous characters. Ellie Heydon brings so much to rehearsals its infectious and gives such a beautiful performance. Above all, 6 Square will forever been a game I always come second in. Frustrating I know but Hey you win some you lose some.” Jonny

growth

“The biggest challenge with a play like Growth that is so topically essential is finding a way to express the subject matter sensitively, accurately, and most important in a way that is going to reach out to our audience. It seems bizarre to me that in our 21st century world discussing genital health is still seen as some sort of taboo. So here we are giving it a voice on stage, through the wonderful words of Luke Norris.

For most of us here at RWCMD this is the first time we’ve worked with new writing so to have the writer in the room, still making changes as the words come out our mouths, is electric. There is something so exciting about the collaborative journey and to have Luke in the room gives such an integral perspective.

Our rehearsals began with a week around the table uniting the play, fuelled by a never ending pile of oranges provided by Sean. Here we worked out the changes in gear throughout the scenes in order to help us navigate our way through with clarity and focus in week 2. And so when we jumped up on our feet we were already able to feel the peaks and troughs of the journey of the scene, with nudges in the right(er) direction by Sean.

With the play on its feet and the foundations in place we’ve just been hunting for detail the last few weeks. Every single run seems to reveal something new and I find myself cracking up at moments I hadn’t noticed before, and still giggling at lines I know like the back of my hand. Most of us are playing two characters throughout the play so watching the shift between each scene has also been super cool.

But now the hardest part of rehearsal: keeping on top of the 6-square leader board. We bookend every day squatting over metre squares defending them from the dreaded ball. The tournament has become pretty intense in the last few days. Not sure everyone is going to survive but if that helps cut out the competition you’ve got to make sacrifices sometimes. No clear indication of champion yet but watch this space…” Ellie

6 square leader board

 

Introducing the cast of Growth

This week we’re super excited to be kicking off rehearsals for GROWTH by Luke Norris at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, directed by our very own Associate Director Sean Linnen.

GROWTH will run at The Richard Burton Theatre 31 March – 3 April and at The Gate Theatre 7, 9, 10 April.

Aaaaaaand introducing our lovely cast:

Ellie Heydon (Alys and Melanie)

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Theatre includes: LONGING (Richard Burton Theatre Company), A CUCKOO IN THE NEST (Richard Burton Theatre Company), STRANGE ORCHESTRA (Richard Burton Theatre Company), THE WINTER’S TALE (Richard Burton Theatre Company), THE CHILDRENS HOUR (Richard Burton Theatre Company), DYSPHORIA (LAMDA), WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING (Hurtwood Acting Company). Rehearsed Readings include: KING LEAR (RWCMD), CYMBELINE (LAMDA), THE THREE SISTERS (LAMDA). Site Specific includes: QUIXOTE (Elan Frantoio).

Jonny Holden (Tobes)

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Theatre includes: DOGVILLE (Richard Burton Theatre Company), MAGIC TOYSHOP (Theatre Yolo) MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (RWCMD), THE WINTER’S TALE (Richard Burton Theatre Company), SPRING AWAKENING (John Donnelly), THE CHOSEN ROOM (NYMT). Radio includes: UNDER MILK WOOD (Richard Burton Theatre Company). Rehearsed Readings include: THE SEAGUL (Richard Burton Theatre Company).

Oliver Morgan-Thomas (Beau and John)

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Theatre includes: THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN (Richard Burton Theatre Company), UNITY 1918 (Richard Burton Theatre Company), STRANGE ORCHESTRA (Richard Burton Theatre Company),A CUCKOO IN THE NEST (Richard Burton Theatre Company), MERCY FUR (Theatre lolo/ Company of Sirens), PATAGONIA THE JOURNEY /Y DEATH (National Youth Theatre of Wales). Short film credits include: THE ORISON WELLS COMPLEX (BBC Wales It’s My Shout Productions), BUDDHA BOY (BBC Wales It’s My Shout Productions). Radio credits include: UNDER MILKWOOD (Richard Burton Theatre Company). Rehearsed Readings include: KING LEAR (Rwcmd), VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE (rwcmd). Site Specific includes: PASSION IN PORT TALBOT (National Theatre Wales/ Wildworks).

Nina Shenkman (Beth and Frances)

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Theatre includes: MERCHANT OF VENICE (RWCMD), THE BIG NIL (Another Story Theatre), CONTRACTIONS (Parapet Theatre), FADE (DugOut Theatre), COVER (DugOut Theatre), FESTEN (Leeds University Theatre Group), OTHELLO (DugOut Theatre), THE SEAGULL (Igrat Theatre Laboratories).

Melanie Stevens (Ellen and Ruthie)

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Theatre includes: STRANGE ORCHESTRA (Richard Burton Theatre Company), THE MIRACLE (Richard Burton Theatre Company), THE WINTERS TALE (Richard Burton Theatre Company), COMETS (Undeb Theatre Company). Rehearsed Readings include: BLOOD (Bare Fiction), MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (RWCMD), A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE (RWCMD). Film includes: A DANCE WITH DEATH (441 Films), NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: RESURRECTION (North Bank Entertainment).

Sam Ward (Moff and Stuart)

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Theatre includes: THE CRIPPLE OF INNISHMAAN (Richard Burton Theatre Company), UNITY 1918 (Richard Burton Theatre Company), DOGVILLE (Richard Burton Theatre Company), MERCURY FUR (Company of Sirens), CUCKOO IN THE NEST (Richard Burton Theatre Company), MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (RWCMD). Short Films include: CATAWAMPUS (DotMOV), FUNDAY (Keri Collins), EDNA’S BENCH (BBC Cymru, It’s My Shout Productions).

Catching up with the cast of BLISTER

The talented cast of BLISTER – the electrifying new play Laura Lomas – have been hard at work these past few weeks at RWCMD, with the brilliant Stef O’Driscoll.

As we open the show in Cardiff tomorrow, Tuesday 1 April, we caught up with the cast for a round-up of all things BLISTER. Here’s what they had to share:

Mark Newsome:

I have really enjoyed working on this show – working with new writing has been fantastic and you really have the freedom to do what you want to do. Creating a character that’s never been portrayed before is a great opportunity for an actor and you don’t feel pressure to do something that’s ‘right’.

However it also comes with it’s challenges! We had a re-write quite soon before going into tech, but that’s also quite exciting. You don’t have time to panic, you just have to do it and for me that’s quite exhilarating.

Working with Stef has been fantastic. Because she’s so cool and down to earth, you get along with her very easily and that makes rehearsals much more fun – and you need that as some scenes are quite heavy. She’s really helped me go deep and find detail in everything I do. She’s brilliant. We love her.

Hope you enjoy the show!

Here are some rehearsal snaps from the last few weeks:

 

#BlisterPlay @painesplough

Introducing the cast of BLISTER by Laura Lomas

We’re delighted that BLISTER,  the gripping new play by Laura Lomas, begins rehearsals today at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Introducing the talented cast:

Mari Izzard, Robin Willingham, Mark  Newsome, Rebecca Durbin, Tessie Orange-Turner, Jay Worley and Danny Mellor.

 

Some exciting times ahead. Great to get the ball rolling on this co-production with RWCMD and the Gate Theatre. For full production details, click here.

Join us online: @painesplough #BlisterPlay

What we’ve been seeing at the theatre

We’ve had a brilliant few months at the theatre this spring. Fighting the urge to end every working day with wine in the sun on our office roof, we’ve been royally rewarded.

Having devoured the lion’s share of Hampstead’s World Premieres season – including Rona Munro’s LITTLE EAGLES, Filter and the RSC’s SILENCE, David Eldridge’s THE STOCK DA’WA and BELONGINGS by Morgan Lloyd Malcom – we’re booking up for AMERICAN TRADE by Tarell Alvin McCraney and eagerly awaiting the next season of downstairs plays.

Brilliant, but been and gone, were BOY ON A SWING by Joe Harbot at the Arcola, WASTWATER by Simon Stephens at the Royal Court Theatre, SUNDAY MORNING AT THE CENTRE OF THE WORLD by Louis de Bernières at Southwark Playhouse, PRECIOUS LITTLE TALENT by Ella Hickson at Trafalgar 2, CHEKHOV IN HELL by Dan Rebellato in a Plymouth Drum production at Soho Theatre, ELEKTRA in a new version by Nick Payne at The Gate and SOLD by Suzie Miller at Theatre 503.

If you’re quick you can still catch MANY MOONS by Alice Birch at Theatre 503, I AM THE WIND by Jon Fosse (in a translation by Simon Stephens) at the Young Vic, IN A FOREST DARK AND DEEP by Neil LaBute at the Vaudeville and DO WE LOOK LIKE REFUGEES? By Alecky Blythe at Riverside Studios – all of which we saw and enjoyed.

This month we’ve booked for Anya Reiss’ THE ACID TEST and Penelope Skinner’s THE VILLAGE BIKE at the Royal Court, The Bush’s WHERE’S MY SEAT? by Deirdre Kinahan, Jack Thorne and Tom Wells, Anthony Neilson’s REALISM at Soho Theatre, Arinze Kene’s LITTLE BABY JESUS at Oval House and LONDON ROAD by Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork at the NT.

Also worth catching are the NT’s THE CHERRY ORCHARD, Mike Leigh’s ECSTASY at the Duchess, Little Bulb’s OPERATION GREENFIELD at Soho, Molly Naylor’s WHENEVER I GET BLOWN UP I THINK OF YOU at BAC, the RSC’s KING LEAR and FLARE PATH at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

We’ve even managed to sneak out of the office to see the graduating acting showcases of RADA, East 15 and Central as well as having the great pleasure of listening to Paule Constable giving the annual Edward Gordon Craig Lecture.

That said, there’s loads we’ve missed that we would have loved to see. There’s only five of us here at PP which means there’s only so much we can get to. But if there’s anything coming up that you think we’d be mad to miss, let us know by posting a comment below and we’ll get booking.