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Two more weeks to catch HD online

This is how excited Frances Ashman is about HOPELESSLY DEVOTED being available online.

This is how excited Frances Ashman is about HOPELESSLY DEVOTED being available online.

It’s two whole weeks since Kate Tempest’s HOPELESSLY DEVOTED ended its autumn tour at London’s Roundhouse, and we’re missing Chess, Serena and Silver.

If you missed them too, don’t worry, the live stream is still available to watch on demand until 2 January 2015. So the sounds of Lock ‘em up and Kids can still be heard floating down the corridors at PPHQ.

Two more weeks to watch, so catch it whilst you can.

Then let us know what you thought of the show using the hashtag #KTHopelesslyDevoted.



This week we launch into the final leg of our HOPELESSLY DEVOTED tour after visiting 13 venues across the country from Manchester to Maidstone. We’re hugely excited to be finishing up at London’s Roundhouse, where tickets have been snapped up faster than widescreen TVs on Black Friday.

Don’t worry though, if you haven’t managed to bag yourself a ticket yet or if you just can’t make it down, we’ve got some exciting news for you. This Tuesday 2 December at 8pm GMT, we will be live streaming the performance of HOPELESSLY DEVOTED on The Roundhouse’s website here.

Having toured HOPELESSLY DEVOTED to 44 venues across the UK since 2013, we are thrilled to be giving audiences everywhere the opportunity to see Kate Tempest’s extraordinary play.

The performance will be available free on demand until 2 January 2015 here.

(Oh and if you’re desperate to see it in person we’ve just added an extra show, tomorrow Wednesday 3 December at 3pm. Tickets are selling fast so go go go here.)

HOPELESSLY DEVOTED runs at The Roundhouse until 6 December. Join the conversation online by tweeting @painesplough #KTHopelesslyDevoted.

See you at The Roundhouse – in person, or online.

Back on the road

After last week’s scary motorway smash sadly scuppered our Edinburgh shows, we’re excited to be back on the road for two last HOPELESSLY DEVOTED tour dates before we rock up at The Roundhouse next week.

London is a total sell-out, but if you failed to get your mitts on a ticket, fear not. Tonight and tomorrow the show is a mere train hop from town. We’ve even done the research for you and included a handy train guide below (we know you Londoners don’t like leaving Zone 2 but it’s lovely out there, really).

This evening we’re at the beautiful Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury. The show starts at 7:30pm. When you see this sign you’ll know you’ve arrived.


London Marylebone – Aylesbury
Max journey time: 1hr 12 mins
Min Journey time: 52 mins
Price for a return from £19.60 / £12.95 with YPR / £13 Network RC

Best trains to get:
OUTBOUND: 18:11 (arr 19:13)
RETURN: 21:32 (arr 22:35)

Tomorrow (Friday 28th) we’re in Kent at The Hazlitt Arts Centre in Maidstone, also at 7:30pm. Here’s a map showing places around Maidstone, which shows that places around Maidstone include – hey presto – London.


London Kings Cross or Victoria  – Maidstone
Max journey time: 1hr 7 mins
Min Journey time: 49 mins
Price for a return from: £20.40 / £13.45 with YPR / £13.45 Network RC

Best trains to get:
OUTBOUND: 18:16 (arr 19:05)
RETURN: 21:33 (arr 22:36)

Of course if you have the good fortune of living in Aylesbury or Maidstone, you can completely disregard all the train from London information and just take a lovely stroll to the theatre in the crisp autumnal air.

Either way, we hope to see you there.

Edinburgh shows cancelled

Bad news folks, we’ve had to cancel performances of HOPELESSLY DEVOTED tonight and tomorrow at Assembly Roxy in Edinburgh. We’re really sorry.

The van carrying the company back from Derby on Friday night broke down on the M1, and someone went into the back of it. Nobody was seriously hurt thankfully, but concussion has meant rest at doctor’s orders.

We’re really sad not to be in Edinburgh. We always relish our visits and were greatly looking forward to playing the Roxy. Anyone who bought tickets should contact the venue direct.

Thanks for your understanding. We hope the show will be back up and running in Aylesbury on Thursday.


So HOPELESSLY DEVOTED  has officially kicked off its Autumn tour and we’re super excited to have some brand new shots of the production and the brilliant cast to show you. Here’s a sneak peek.


To see the full album head to our Flickr.

HOPELESSLY DEVOTED is touring through November. Next up Pegasus Theatre, Oxford.

Photos taken by Richard Lakos


Q & A with HOPELESSLY DEVOTED Director Stef O’Driscoll

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We caught up with HOPELESSLY DEVOTED director Stef O’Driscoll who gave us the scoop on the upcoming third national tour of Kate Tempest’s lyrically explosive tale of love and redemption.

So, it’s the third time round for HOPELESSLY DEVOTED. What is it about this play that connects with you, and why have you wanted to tell this story again and again?

It’s a beautiful, humane, important story about real people – women – who’ve made mistakes in their lives. This play is tragic and raw and it’s beautiful because there’s no sense of anyone playing the victim. These women are aware of their crimes and are in the process of dealing with them and what we actually explore is how you can love another and yourself again – how you can survive with the choices you made in life.

Just to give it some context, can you tell us a little about the play?

So, we follow the story of Chess and her inmate Serena. You get to see what they bring out of each other and how they’re there for one another. When Serena leaves, Chess has to go on her own journey, and music plays a key part in that when she starts a 12 week music rehabilitation course. Another reason why I love this play is the style of music. It’s a ‘musical’ but it’s cool, it’s contemporary, it’s raw – the lyrics are just insane. You really get to the very heart of Chess’ character, her story, her pain, her hopes and dreams and what she’s lived through – everything – through the music in this play.  And that’s exciting. It’s exciting that it’s three female characters – yet another thing that drew me to this. Three very strong female parts for three strong female performers. Have I said the word female enough?

But that’s important, though, isn’t it? It’s been a huge topic of conversation in the industry, of how we need more strong female parts to be written and performed.

Absolutely, and this has it in spades. And another thing that struck me – doing this the third time round – was the idea of children, and a woman’s role within motherhood. The play explores the tragedy that unfolds when kids are taken away from their mothers – for whatever reason – how all these women who can no longer be with their children have to cope. I think there’s a statistic about how it’s estimated that more than 17,240 children were separated from their mothers in 2010 by imprisonment. And I know I keep saying the word ‘humane’ – but what Kate Tempest does is write human beings at their absolute core. She makes any story universal, no matter the scenario – it’s love, betrayal, redemption – it’s all these things that we all feel and we all recognise and that’s why her stories connect with people. That’s why it hits you.

What’s different about the show this time round?

Firstly, we’ve got a completely new cast. I think when you do something again with a completely new cast, the best thing you can do is scrap anything that you’ve done before and try an entirely fresh approach. And each actress we’re working with has approached this from a completely different place. What they’re bringing to it this time round… I feel like it’s tonally different. It goes to a darker place. We’ve got a new team working on it and we’ve been trying to keep ourselves open to new discoveries. I’ve banned saying “when we did it last time” from the rehearsal room. I think it can be really disruptive, actually – and it’s difficult for me because I’ve done it before and I know, in my head, what worked. But to allow it to be fresh and exciting again, for a new journey to be found within this, I need to let go of that.

Any changes to the script?

Kate, like myself, is an absolute perfectionist. So every time we’ve looked at it – and this is the third time now – we’ve asked ourselves “What worked? What didn’t?” You learn so much by getting work out in front of an audience. And that’s the beauty of new writing – the writer is alive, so they can come into a rehearsal, they can make edits. And Kate’s gone and done that. The script is very, very tight – and we’re all very excited about the way the story unravels this time around, from what we’ve learned previously.

What has working on and developing this piece with Kate Tempest been like?

When you get someone with a phenomenal mind, who is equally down to earth, has a good soul and is just so honest with themselves – it’s a dream. It’s a dream come true. I feel like a brilliant creative relationship has been formed because she only strives for perfection and only wants the work to be the best it can be. To reach out to as many people as she can by telling these stories. No matter what form she touches, whether it’s a play, whether it’s a novel, poetry, music  – she has a way with words and I honestly feel like I’m working with today’s Shakespeare. It’s just a gift to be able to work with someone who just simply wants us to be able to connect with each other and understand one another a bit better; to have empathy for our fellow human. And I feel like that’s at the heart of this play. These women are human. They’ve made some mistakes and we should try to understand why it’s happened and what has failed them. Why are these women where they are in the first place? Is there anything we can do to prevent that in future? I think the simple idea of looking after one another a bit better is at the heart of her work .

Any final words?

There’s something really poignant that Kate said after she received letters from some inmates of a men’s prison. One of them wrote – prison isn’t so terrible when you’ve only known badness and lived a life doing bad things. It’s when you’ve experienced the good in the world that prison becomes a nightmare.  Because it’s the good things that you miss, and how you deal with filling that void.


HOPELESSLY DEVOTED opens at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre at 7.30pm tonight, before winging its way to venues nationwide. Catch it.

View the full tour schedule.

View rehearsal snaps.

View the trailer.

Join the conversation online:

#KTHopelesslyDevoted @painesplough  

Rehearsal shots – HOPELESSLY DEVOTED

Lyrical fireworks and soulful music drift through the doors at PP HQ with a notable urgency that marks the final week of rehearsals for Kate Tempest’s HOPELESSLY DEVOTED.

And the air at HQ is crackling with excitement as the team prepare for the show’s opening night in Lincoln next Thursday, 6 November 2014 and its third national tour.

To find out when the show will be winging its way to a venue near you, check out the full list of tour dates here.

And to get you geared up, here are a few rehearsal snaps with our new cast below…


Photos: Richard Lakos

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To see the full set, visit our Flickr page. To view the trailer, click here.

Join the conversation online:

#KTHopelesslyDevoted @painesplough

Introducing the new cast of HOPELESSLY DEVOTED

As the sound of live music once again fills our office, we’re absolutely thrilled to be welcoming a new cast to Kate Tempest’s HOPELESSLY DEVOTED which heads into rehearsals this week ahead of its Autumn Tour.


Theatre includes: Perseverance Drive (The Bush Theatre); This May Hurt a Bit (Out Of Joint); Our Ajax (Southwark Playhouse); People (National Theatre); The Rubber Room (TS Eliot Exchange/Old Vic New Voices); Bang Bang Bang (Out of Joint/Royal Court); After the Accident (The Brewery/Soho Theatre); In The Blood (Finborough Theatre); Pornography (Tricycle Theatre then Traverse Theatre/Birmingham Rep); Cockroach (National Theatre of Scotland/Traverse Theatre); Macbeth (Royal Shakespeare Company); Macbett (Royal Shakespeare Company); The Winter’s Tale & Pericles (Royal Shakespeare Company/Davidson Liberal Arts College NC USA). Film includes: The Ones Below (Cuba Pictures); Nil By Mouth (SE8 Group). Television includes: Birds of Feather (Retort/ITV); Mayday (Kudos Film & TV Ltd/BBC); The Reckoning (Helter Skelter Ltd/ITV); Dr Who (BBC Wales); Law and Order:UK (Kudos Ltd/ITV); Missing (Leopardrama/BBC); Trial and Retribution (La Plante Productions/ITV); Gunrush (ITV Productions). Radio includes: Behind Closed Doors: Excluded (BBC Radio 4).


Sheila trained at Weekend Arts College. Theatre includes: The Lightning Child (Globe Theatre); Ghost Town (Pilot Theatre – Tour); Klook’s Last Stand (Park Theatre); Rachel (Finborogh Theatre) Sheila is also a musician, songwriter and composer.


Theatre Includes: Song of Songs (RSC); Re-Charged (Clean Break Theatre Company); Speechless (Shared Experience); Jo Turners Come and Gone (Young Vic); Twelfth Night, Here Lies Mary Splindler (RSC); Death and the Kings Horseman (National Theatre); Bullet Proof Soul (Birmingham Rep). TV includes: Consuming Passion (BBC4); W10 London (Kudos). Film includes: Apples and Oranges (CH4/IWC Media).

HOPELESSLY DEVOTED kicks off at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre on 6th November. Here’s the full line up for the tour:

6 November – Lincoln Performing Arts Centre

7 November – School of English Theatre, Sheffield

9 November – The Edge Theatre & Arts Centre, Manchester

11 November – The Electric Theatre, Surrey

13 – 14 November - Pegasus Theatre, Oxford

16 November – Nottingham New Theatre, Nottingham

17 November – The Gulbenkian, Kent

18 November – Cast, Doncaster

19 November – The Maltings, Berwick-Upon-Tweed

20 November – Arts Centre Washington, Newcastle

21 November – Derby Theatre, Derby

24 – 25 November – Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh

27 November – Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Buckinghamshire

28 November – Hazlitt Arts Centre, Kent

1 – 6 December – Roundhouse, London

Highlights: PP at Latitude 2014

Let’s be honest – we were off to a shaky start. Panic slowly started to overtake camp as Producers everywhere frantically held their phones in all manner of positions in an attempt to obtain signal. We quickly realised that we would just have to resort to old school methods of communication and any plans to work that weekend (ha!) just had to be forgotten.

What a shame.

We then geared up to face our true adversaries: mosquitoes. My legs are living proof that the war that raged between Man and Mosquito was not without its casualties… But  spurred on with the promise of back up on its way (in the form of insect repellent) it wasn’t long before Latitude’s magic began to take over, and as glitter was donned and sprinkled and more or less bathed in, our first world problems began to fade away…

So – collectively – we give you, our LATITUDE 2014 experience.

Hopelessly Devoted –  Thursday night kicked off  in the Theatre Tent with our production of Kate Tempest’s HOPELESSLY DEVOTED officially opening the festival. As always, nowhere will you find a theatre audience quite like a Latitude crowd – and the cast, creatives and the PP Team as a whole only had to feed off their incredible energy and good vibes to get off to a good start. A what a start it was.

Booker T and the MG’s – Hearing the legendary Green Onions in the sunshine with a cold cider in hand was a glorious moment only to be topped by Booker T’s cover of Jimi Hendrix’s famous track Hey Joe. A definite tick box moment.

Hollie Cook v Guilty Pleasures – Team PP was divided on Friday night as some danced the night away to the all too familiar cheesy classics in the comedy tent. As half the team screamed at the top of their lungs to the parts they knew of Bon Jovi’s ”Livin’ On A Prayer”, the rest found solace in the form of dub reggae singer Hollie Cook and skanked the night away.

James Grieve’s Camp Fires- Each night, whether rain or shine, armed with sheer determination the PP camp ended its evenings with a camp-fire made by the hands of Paines Plough’s very own Bear Grylls. By the final evening , with the help of some firelighters, the fire was up and running in record time.

Kate Tempest - This gig was off the chain. PP held the fort in front of the left-hand speaker and skanked out hard to Kate’s solo album Everybody Down.  The energy and heart smacked us in the face as we watched a group of ridiculously talented musicians do what they love. If you haven’t heard this album yet, what’s going on? It came out on Big Dada Records in May, so – and our bias aside – we unreservedly recommend it.

Kelis – Wow. This talented lady’s bluesy tones were spell-binding. With a mixture of her popular songs including a more calypso version of Milkshake alongside new tracks of her album Food, Kelis’s set was effortless.

Kids Area –  Whether you have kids or you are just a big kid yourself there was plenty of fun to be had in the Kids Area. Highlights included making our own willow head dresses at the marvelous Spinney Hollow and having maybe a bit too much fun on the Helter Skelter.  (A word of advice to future Latituders – you’re never too old. Never).

Kwabs  Another musical highlight (props to Tom, music recommender extraordinaire). With a voice both technically and emotionally impressive, it was one of those rare moments of witnessing a beautiful old soul shining through a young body. He smashed it – and certainly gained loyal fans in us.  

Nils Frahm – Sunday started with impish German ivory tinkler Nils Frahm taking to the sylvan i-Arena stage. “This is my first gig in the English forest,” he says, before displacing woodland animals for miles around with distorted bass that judders through the subs and gives everyone face palpitations. The hauntingly beautiful piano music combined with heavy synthesiser sounds was magical as we sat in the sun for a whole 45 minutes without saying anything…Well, until I informed everyone I could feel the bass in my face.

MJ Cole – The festival ended on a high as MJ Cole played us out to some of the best old school garage we’d heard in a long time.  None of that commercial “I’ll bring you flowers in the pouring rain” business. PP raved in our usual spot and this highlight may be responsible for Bene’s current knee injury. Has she gone to the doctors yet?

In summary:


Yet another extraordinary, inspiring, magical weekend at Latitude, and after a couple of days back in the office, there definitely has been an influx of new acts added to the PP Spotify playlist.


Thank you Latitude.

Same time next year?

Wiesbaden – photo round-up

As we arm ourselves with sun-cream, waterproofs and glitter in our preparations to cause mayhem with  HOPELESSLY DEVOTED at Latitude Festival this week, we thought to look back at our recent international adventures at the Wiesbaden Festival of New Plays in Germany, where HOPELESSLY DEVOTED was the UK’s representative.

On arrival in Frankfurt, we were greeted by the lovely festival team, before making our way to Wiesbaden where countries from all around Europe were showcasing their work in some of the most stunning theatres around. We were placed in The Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden,a majestic building established in 1894.

It was a great chance for all of us to experience some brilliant and unique productions by other visiting companies and engage with different styles and approaches from around the continent. Following a warmly received (*live German translated) show, we held a Q&A with cast and creatives, and in true PP fashion, later carried on these conversations at the Festival bar.

So, here’s our cheeky visual round-up.

Hallo Deutschland!

Back on home soil


Next stop: Latitude, Suffolk. See you there?