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General Management Workshop

Last month we held our first General Management workshop here at Paines Plough, meeting lots of people eager to learn the in-and-outs of being a General Manager. We had such a great time that we couldn’t wait to do another, and meet those of you who weren’t able to make it the first time around.

Therefore, we are delighted to invite you to our next General Management workshop.

Here at Paines Plough we are always looking for ways to demystify the way we go about commissioning, producing and touring new plays in order to provide support for theatre makers at any stage of their careers.

This workshop is a chance for anyone interested in working in the theatre industry as a General Manager, or in Finance and Administration, to find out more about the profession. Does that sound like you?

Fantastic. You’re in the right place.

The evening will be a discussion and Q&A with members of the theatre community that work in General Management. Full panel to be confirmed.

The event will take place on Tuesday 17 May, 6.30-8.30pm, with registration from 6pm, in the Paines Plough Rehearsal Room. We are located on 4th Floor, 43 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4DN. There will be drinks and a chance to get to know everyone before and after the workshop.

If you would like to register for a place just email Charlotte at with the following information by 10am this Friday 06 May:

  • Your name.
  • Current role and where you work, if applicable.
  • A few sentences on why you’d like to attend this workshop.

Looking forward to meeting you all soon.


What do you do all day? General Manager



Hello! Can you give us a brief overview of your career so far?

Hello! I have been a very lucky lady and have worked in some incredible places across London and the UK for most of my career – I had a wonderful university placement with Northern Broadsides, worked at the Brisbane Arts Festival and took a show to Edinburgh in my teens. I have dipped my toe in casting at Soho Theatre with the wonderful Nadine, spent three inspiring years at the Lyric Hammersmith (a place I still embarrassingly class as my second home – most of them don’t know who I am now) moving from Admin Assistant to Finance Manager, and a while at Curtis Brown delving into the big bad agency world and now I’m here.

How did you end up in your current role?

I have been a Paines Plough fan ever since I saw Dennis Kelly’s AFTER THE END at the Leicester Haymarket back in 2005 when I was a theatre obsessed teenager – so when the role of General Manager at my favourite theatre company came up naturally I jumped at the chance (after some confidence boosting from a very treasured past colleague) – there is something quite wonderful about being a super fan of the company you work for, it also comes in quite handy most of the time.

A huge part of where I am now is also about me making the most of work placements, keeping in touch with people I have met in the industry along the way and CRUCIALLY working hard. It does pay off.

What are your main responsibilities within Team PP?

Generally managing most things – this includes staff – their welfare and their to-do lists, the offices, the finances, the contracts, and the fundraising amongst lots of other things.

I often say to people its ‘the unglamorous but essential’ side of theatre e.g paying the creative people who make the theatre.

What do you think are the essential skills needed to be a successful General Manger?

My top five:
– Organisation
– Patience
– Passion for the work
– An eye for numbers
– A ‘YES’ attitude

Real talk – what’s the least enjoyable part of your job?

Panic hoovering the floor before a Board meeting after a pastry based Taste Tuesday!

What’s the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?

There are so many – I am very grateful to be surrounded by many talented people and friends in this industry and here are a few things some of them have said to me that have stuck:
‘Being nice to people will get you far’ and ‘Do something that scares you everyday’

So press send on that email NOW!

And one piece of advice from you to someone who aspires to be a General Manager?

Where are you?! I want to meet you!

Paines Plough offer work placements in our Admin and Production offices throughout the year. If you’re interested, you can download more information here.

A hello from our new General Manager


So it’s already the end of my fourth week at Paines Plough’s HQ as the new General Manager – how time flies in theatre company land.

The past four weeks have been jam packed with budgets, wages, IT conundrums, getting to know the superb Paines Plough team and their extended family, endless mint tea drinking and more importantly my first Paines Plough Press Night/initiation – watching the very wonderful Hopelessly Devoted at Birmingham Rep.

This may sound like a pitch for a sub-standard rom-com movie but after seeing  Paines Plough’s production of Dennis Kelly’s AFTER THE END at the Leicester Haymarket Theatre in 2005 I was smitten with the company and have been a huge fan ever since, so this job is very much a dream come true.

I’m particularly excited to be starting this role as we go into Paines Plough’s 40th year which is looking to be a very special one indeed (Keep an eye on our blog for more news on this soon!) – to have the chance to work and learn from such a talented team and be a pivotal part of the pioneering work Paines Plough produce .

As I am not an award winning playwright let’s finish with a Tim Vine joke:

“I rang my mother the other day and told her I’d spent my life savings on purchasing a small theatre on the outskirts of London.”

“Are you having me on?!” she cried

“Well I can give you an audition, but I can’t promise anything” I replied.

Let the good theatre times roll…

Aysha x

Job opportunity for a General Manager…

Here’s a message from our Associate Company, Forward  Theatre, who are looking for a new General Manager. . .

In November we were lucky enough to find out that we had been successful with a funding bid to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation for a Shared General Manager with nabokov, Theatre Uncut and Pieces Productions to work across our four companies full-time for the next 2 years. As four emerging companies we identified both a mutual need for a General Manager and a mutual problem in sustaining one when we all only require someone part-time. It is a common challenge emerging companies also find with Producers; holding on to them without being able to offer full time hours or salary means they soon get snapped up for full-time roles.

One of the things I have never liked about theatre is the sense of competition in the industry. Understandably every new theatre company wants to make their individual mark, but there is a lot to be said for collaboration and supporting one another in other ways than just co-productions. Instead of pitting ourselves against one another, why are we not realising that we are stronger together? Of course we are not the first set of theatre companies to do this and we certainly won’t be the last. We were greatly inspired by Lincolnshire One Venues who are 10 arts organisations who achieved collective NPO status from the Arts Council through sharing resources, core staff and space. What is exciting for us about this new partnership is the possibilities it offers for us to expand on working together over the next 2 years. By sharing a core member of staff we hope to identify other ways to share and collaborate on resources and to develop more of a combined business model moving forward. One concern we had was that our new recruit may find it a little lonely in an office with us each coming in and out but them being the only permanent feature. Excitingly, Paines Plough have agreed that our GM can be based at their office alongside their staff. As each company involved in the partnership are Associate Companies of Paines Plough, this allows us to all be more integrated into our mentor company and will allow the GM to be supported by having a friendly team of employees around them.

We are thrilled that Paul Hamlyn Foundation have made the decision to support our new venture. As an Artistic Director of a young theatre company, I have spent the last 4 years managing the company administration, tax, accounts and day to day tasks on top of finding time to do what I really love about having a theatre a company; being an Artistic leader. To know that I can now work alongside a General Manager to lead the company is such an exciting prospect. FTP are having our first programming meeting of the year on Thursday to decide on productions to make in 2013/2014 which don’t have to work around when I am not freelancing or when I have the capacity to produce and manage projects. Hurray!

So how do I apply I hear you cry?! Well we are all uploaded on Arts Jobs Online, Ideas Tap and Arts Council England website or hey why not download from here:


£23,000 per annum
Full-time 2-year fixed term contract
Supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Four of the UK’s most vibrant and dynamic theatre companies have joined forces and are recruiting a shared new post – General Manager.

Forward Theatre Project, nabokov, Pieces Productions and Theatre Uncut are at the forefront of creating new work nationwide and internationally. This pioneering new post is an opportunity for a General Manager to work across all four companies to help us realise our ambitious plans to extend our range of artistic work, collaborations, digital content and audience reach over the next two years.

With a wide range of work presented across diverse platforms, we need a General Manager to ensure that four of Britain’s most exciting emerging companies run like clockwork.

General Manager is a senior position, necessary to ensure the smooth operational management and delivery of the companies’ activities. The General Manager will work closely with the artistic and producing teams from each company.

Forward Theatre Project Artistic Director: Charlotte Bennett nabokov Artistic Director: Joe Murphy Theatre Uncut Artistic Directors: Hannah Price and Emma Callander Pieces Productions Artistic Directors: Clare Lizzimore and David Watson.

The General Manager will work:

–    2 days a week for Forward Theatre Project
–    1.5 days a week for Nabokov Theatre
–    1 day a week for Theatre Uncut
–    0.5 days a week for Pieces Productions

To apply please read the job description and complete the application process, including submitting an equal opportunities form, all of which can be downloaded here:

Closing date: Friday 1st February

Email applications to

Interviews will be held on Saturday 16th February.

We look forward to reading your application.

Charlotte Bennett
Artistic Director
Forward Theatre Project

We’re recruiting a General Manager

Check out the Guardian Jobs section for our advert for a new General Manager.

We’re looking for an outstanding individual to come and join our amazing team, based on Aldwych in the heart of Central London. You’ll be the best at what you do and have a passion for new writing and touring.

At Paines Plough we believe passionately in what we do – we work hard, but we relish coming into work every day and have a lot of fun along the way. If you think you’d fit right in, we want to hear from you.

To apply, download the application pack below and tell us why you’re the missing piece in the PP jigsaw by 6pm on Friday 6 August.

General Manager Job Pack 2010