Monthly archives:

Roundabout casting annoucement

Here at PPHQ we’re very excited to announce the cast for our Roundabout season. The brilliant trio of Remy Beasley, Richard Corgan and Andy Rush will form an ensemble to perform LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY by Alan Harris, GROWTH by Luke Norris and I GOT SUPERPOWERS FOR MY BIRTHDAY by Katie Douglas which will premiere this August at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe before touring the UK. Full Roundabout dates here.

Remy Headshot

Remy Beasley

Remy is best known for playing Beyonce Evans in Sky1’s recent Welsh set comedy drama Stella, written by and starring Ruth Jones MBE (Gavin & Stacey), and recent stage credits include playing the lead role in the National Theatre Wales’ festive theatre-gig The Insatiable, Inflatable Candylion, created by Gruff Rhys, Wils Wilson and Tim Price.

Full credits:

Remy trained at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Theatre credits include THE INSATIABLE, INFLATABLE CANDYLION (National Theatre Wales), SYMPHONY (Nabokov/Vault Festival/Lyric Hammersmith/National Theatre Live), SILLY KINGS (National Theatre Wales), TAMING OF THE SHREW (Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre), LITTLE DOGS (Frantic Assembly/National Theatre Wales), NABOKOV FAIRYTALES (Nabokov), GASLIGHT (Clwyd Theatr Cymru), LOVE STEALS US FROM LONELINESS (National Theatre Wales), IT’S ABOUT TIME (Nabokov).

Television credits include GWAITH CARTREF (Fiction Factory), STELLA (Tidy Productions/Sky One), CRITICAL (Sky One), PERFECT SUMMER (BBC Wales Television).

Film credits include LOVE IS THICKER THAN WATER (Mulholland Pictures + Barnsbury Pictures).

Richard Corgan

Richard Corgan

Richard is also well known for his TV credits playing the lead role in BBC Wales’ drama Baker Boy as well the BBC medical drama Doctors.  Recent stage credits include TOM: A STORY OF TOM JONES THE MUSICAL (2015).

Full credits:

Richard trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Theatre credits include TOM: A STORY OF TOM JONES THE MUSICAL (NO:1 U.K. TOUR), MACBETH and THE CHANGELING (Barbican Theatre, Tobacco Factory) PRESS OK R&D (Royal National Theatre), THE MERCHANT OF VENICE (Singapore Repertory Theatre), GARDENING: FOR THE UNFULFILLED AND ALIENATED (Latitude Festival/Edinburgh Fringe, Fringe 1st winner), A PROVINCIAL LIFE (National Theatre Wales), TAMING OF THE SHREW (Sprite Productions), MACBETH (Sprite Productions), TWELFTH NIGHT (Sprite Productions), TAMING OF THE SHREW (The Globe), ROMEO & JULIET (LCM), FLOWERS FROM TUNISIA (Torch Theatre), BOEING BOEING (RCT) FROZEN, MERLIN AND THE CAVE OF DREAMS (Sherman Cymru), OTHELLO & CYRANO DE BERGERAC(Royal Opera House), THE LONG, THE SHORT AND THE TALL (Pleasance, Islington). WHITE DEVIL (Redgrave Theatre), NSFW (Waking Exploits).

Television credits include BAKER BOYS (BBC Wales), Series Regular in Doctors (BBC), CAUGHT IN THE WEB (BBC), THE B-WORD (BBC Wales), POBOL Y CWM (S4C), HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN’S 80TH BIRTHDAY PARTY AT THE PALACE (BBC, Live).

Film credits include CANARIES (Maple Dragon), DIANA (Ecosse Films), MAGPIE (Nowhere Fast Productions).

Radio Credits include: FOURSOME (BBC Radio 4), BLUE REMEMBERED HILLS (Christchurch Studios), GREAT ORMOND ST CHRISTMAS CAROL (LBC).

Andy Rush

Andy Rush

Andy will soon appear in ID2: Shadwell Army, (the sequel to cult 90s film I.D.) and recent stage credits include the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Lyric Hammersmith acclaimed production of TIPPING THE VELVET (2015). Paines Plough fans will recognise Andy from JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS.

Andy trained at Birmingham School of Acting. Theatre credits include TIPPING THE VELVET (Lyric Hammersmith), UNIDENTIFIED ITEM IN THE BAGGING AREA (Pink Snail Theatre Company), JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS (Paines Plough), MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (The Lamb Players), HELLO/GOODBYE (Hampstead Theatre), LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST (The Lamb Players), THE KITCHEN SINK (The Bush Theatre) SENSE (Made by Brick), ANNA KARENINA (The Arcola Theatre), ROMEO & JULIET (Cheltenham Everyman).

Television credits include WATERLOO ROAD (Headstrong Pictures), TOMMY COOPER – NOT LIKE THAT, LIKE THIS (Left Bank Pictures), WIZARDS VS ALIENS (BBC), NEW TRICKS (Wall to Wall).

Film credits include ID2: SHADWELL ARMY (Parrallax Pictures), HERE & NOW (Small But Tall Films Ltd).

We’ll be blogging from the rehearsal room soon with interviews from Remy, Richard, Andy and the rest of the creative team. Watch this space.


Fastest finger first: Open Auditions

We’re about to put out the call for our next round of Open Auditions in London.

If you want to get involved, simply send us an email to with ‘AUDITION MAILING LIST’ in the subject header. We email details to everyone on the list each time we announce new dates.

We’re one of the only companies who hold Open Auditions, and demand for places is really high. We had 1,350 actors apply for just 50 slots last time out, and the slots were snapped up within 10 minutes.

This inevitably means lots of disappointed people. We know some of you have applied multiple times and still not managed to get a slot. We’re really sorry about that; we wish we could see more people, but obviously time and space is finite.

We work it on a first-come-first-served basis. Next time out we have 90 slots available, so the first 90 emails we receive will get them. We keep the next 90 emails we receive on a waiting list in case of cancellations.

We think that’s a fair way of adminstering it, but if you’ve got a better idea that keep it fair and doesn’t make lots more work for our team here, we’d love to hear from you. We’re always up for hearing new ideas for making things better.

Open Auditions are our way of broadening our horizons when it comes to casting, and getting to meet actors we might not otherwise get to know. We split the PP team across three rooms and meet actors in pairs for a quick chat, and ask you to prepare a duologue from a play written in the last 15 years. At the end of the day we repair to the pub and talk about the actors who really caught our eye.

We’re not casting for anything specific, it’s just a chance for us to meet you, and for you to meet us. We employ around 50 actors per year, so of course we’ve got an eye on the productions we have coming up in the next year, and hoping to meet people who might be the right fit for one of our shows.

Three actors we met in Open Auditions have been cast in a PP productions: Ben Winger in JUICY FRUITS, Vivienne Gibbs in JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS and Rhys Isaac-Jones in NOT THE WORST PLACE. Many more have come in and met us for formal castings for shows off the back of a great Open Audition. We keep everyone’s details on file, and we look back on our notes on Open Auditions every time we cast a new show.

Vivienne Gibbs in rehearsal for JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS

It’s one of our favourite ways to spend a day, meeting lots of great people and watching extracts of brilliant new plays.

If you want to come along to the next one, sign up to the mailing list, keep an eye on our Twitter feed. Godpseed on the buzzer. And if you don’t get a place this time, please keep trying, we’d love to meet you at some stage.

Check out our top tips for Open Auditions

And here’s our Open Auditions FAQs.

Programme 2014

spacer As we celebrate 40 years of Paines Plough, we’re proud to present our biggest, boldest and furthest-reaching programme of work to date. Programme 2014 sees 10 productions touring to 50 places around the UK, featuring the work of 100 playwrights.

Drum roll please… welcome to Programme 2014.

spacer HOPELESSLY DEVOTED by Kate Tempest
spacer Following the success of her smash-hit debut WASTED, we premiered Kate Tempest‘s exhilarating new play HOPELESSLY DEVOTED on tour across the Midlands last Autumn, in co-production with Birmingham Repertory TheatreThis Spring it’s back – on tour nationwide and in London.

You lift my soul up. I ripped our lives down.

Chess is in prison. Facing a lengthy sentence, her cell mate, Serena, becomes her soul mate. But when Serena is given parole, Chess faces total isolation.

Hope comes in the form of a music producer looking for a reason to love music again. She finds a powerful voice in Chess. But to harness her talent, Chess must first face her past.

Lyrical fireworks. Live music. A story of love and redemption.

“OUTSTANDING”                   ★★★★★ The Public Reviews


spacer BLISTER by Laura Lomas
spacer In co-production with Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Gate TheatreBLISTER is a tender, poignant new play by Laura Lomas.

If I could give you all the blood in my body…go back…make it undone…undo what happened, I would do.

An ordinary summer’s day.

Liam is about to make a decision he will spend a life time regretting.

One day. One mistake.

Seven lives sent spiralling.

From service stations to sea fronts, BLISTER examines one moment and its ripple effects through a galaxy of lives.


spacer Blister by Laura Lomas
spacer NOT THE WORST PLACE by Sam Burns
spacer A beautiful, touching debut play by Sam Burns – nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn prizeNOT THE WORST PLACE tackles our conflicting emotions about the place we call home. In co-production with Clwyd Theatre Cymru and Sherman Cymru.

I ain’t got a city named for me…The swans have though, haven’t they. They got a city named for them.

Seventeen-year-old Emma dreams of travelling adventures beyond her Swansea home. Rhys, her idle boyfriend, has other plans for them.

Camped out on Swansea seafront, they must confront the difficult question of what it takes to leave the place that shaped everything they are.

A story about what happens when life gets in the way of your dreams.


spacer Not the Worst Place by Sam Burns
spacer AN INTERVENTION by Mike Bartlett
spacer Paines Plough and Watford Palace Theatre present the world première of AN INTERVENTION – a new play by Mike Bartlett, Olivier award-winning author of LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

Two friends.

One of them went on the anti-war protest, shouted their lungs out, then got horrendously and staggeringly drunk.

The other stayed at home, watched TV for a bit, and thought about the future.

A touching, funny play about what happens when you hate your best friend.


spacer EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan
spacer Last summer saw us tour Duncan Macmillan‘s EVERY BRILLIANT THING to Ludlow Fringe Festival and Ledbury Poetry Festival. We’re delighted to be bringing the show back this year, in co-production with Pentabus Theatre.

You’re six years old. Mum’s in hospital. Dad says she’s ‘done something stupid’. She finds it hard to be happy.

So you start to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Everything that’s worth living for.

1. Ice Cream
2. Kung Fu Movies
3. Burning Things
4. Laughing so hard you shoot milk out your nose
5. Construction cranes
6. Me

Soon, the list will take on a life of its own.

A new play about depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love.

The performance of Every Brilliant Thing involves members of the audience, making each night unique.

Based on true and untrue stories.


spacer LUNGS by Duncan Macmillan
spacer Last year, our production of Duncan Macmillan’s critically acclaimed LUNGS was broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and we’re thrilled to be including it as part of our Roundabout Season this year, in co-production with Sheffield Theatres.

could fly to New York and back every day for seven years and still not leave a carbon footprint as big as if I have a child. Ten thousand tonnes of CO2. That’s the weight of the Eiffel Tower. I’d be giving birth to the Eiffel Tower.

In a time of global anxiety, terrorism, erratic weather and political unrest, a young couple want a child but are running out of time. If they over think it, they’ll never do it. But if they rush, it could be a disaster.

They want to have a child for the right reasons. Except, what exactly are the right reasons? And what will be the first to destruct – the planet or the relationship?

A play about the different types of love we feel in a lifetime.


spacer Lungs by Duncan MacMillan
spacer OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL by Dennis Kelly
spacer Dennis Kelly headlines our Roundabout Season this year with OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL, a hilarious play about mischief and mayhem, in co-production with Half Moon.

Once, there were two terrible twins called Holly and Sean, who gave their Head teacher a nervous breakdown.

The twins were extremely pleased with themselves. That is, until the new Head Teacher arrived. For you see, the new Head Teacher was – a Troll. That’s right.

And this Troll Head Teacher soon created all kinds of mad new rules for the pupils and teachers.

Can Holly and Sean save the day and stop the Troll from eating their class mates and teachers? Can naughtiness be restored to its rightful place? Will brussels sprouts and peanut butter be taken off the menu?

The only way to find out is to come along and be outrageously entertained by this colourfully comic adventure.


spacer Our Teacher's a Troll by Dennis Kelly
spacer THE ANGRY BRIGADE by James Graham
spacer In co-production with Drum Theatre Plymouth, we’re very excited to present THE ANGRY BRIGADE, a bold new play by James Graham, writer of sell-out smash hit THIS HOUSE.

…its government has declared a vicious class war.

A one-sided war…

We have started to fight back…

…with bombs.

Against a backdrop of Tory cuts, high unemployment and the deregulated economy of 1970s Britain, a young urban guerrilla group mobilises: The Angry Brigade.

Their targets: MPs. Embassies. Police. Pageant Queens.

A world of order is shattered by anarchy. The rules have changed. An uprising has begun. No one is exempt.

As a special police squad hunt the home-grown terrorists whose identities shocked the nation, James Graham’s heart-stopping thriller lures us into a frenzied world that looks much like our own.


spacer The Angry Brigade by James Graham
spacer COME TO WHERE I’M FROM by 100 playwrights
spacer COME TO WHERE I’M FROM is our writer-led theatrical tapestry of the UK.Since 2010, 100 playwrights from across the UK have returned to their home towns to write plays about the places that shaped them.

Our 5-year project to weave a theatrical tapestry of the UK culminates with a three day installation at London’s South Bank Centre and the launch of a smart phone app.

An interactive map of the UK allows listeners to hear tales of home from over 100 of the UK’s finest playwrights. A free-to-download smart phone app offers a playwright’s travel guide to Britain.


spacer Come to Where I'm From
spacer Programme 2014 began with Tom Wells‘ acclaimed football rom-com JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS at the Bush Theatre. In co-production wiith Watford Palace Theatre and Hull Truck Theatre, JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS toured nationwide in 2013.

I’m not asking you to win. I’m asking you to just: chuck your face at it, have a, have a fucking good go at it. And then we’ll. Yeah. We’ll see.

Luke wants Danny, but Danny’s got a secret. Joe wants to play second fiddle, but Geoff wants a headline gig. Viv just wants to beat the lesbians to the league title. Game on.

A hilarious and heart-warming story about football, friendship and finding your way from Tom Wells, winner of the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright 2012 for the smash hit comedy THE KITCHEN SINK (★★★★★ The Daily Telegraph).


All images by Phoebe Cheong



Review of the Year 2013

Our Programme 2013 saw us produce new work by 15 playwrights across 8 productions touring to 44 towns and cities nationwide.

We send love and thanks to all who came to see a PP show this year, and we hope you’ll join us in 2014 as we celebrate our 40th Anniversary with a stellar programme of new plays on tour.

Meantime, here’s a quick lowdown on the year that was…

WASTED by Kate Tempest
Back by popular demand, WASTED completed our inaugural CAMPUS tour of Student Unions before a second sold-out run at London’s Roundhouse, where we live streamed a performance for the first time.

“Ingenious…funny and true.”
★★★★ The Guardian

“A slender, wistful three-way play that’s as seductive as smoke.”
★★★★ Time Out

You still have one more day to catch the live stream if you missed it!

LUNGS by Duncan Macmillan
Our co-production with Sheffield Theatres of Duncan Macmillan’s award-winning, much-loved LUNGS was broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

“The most beautiful… shattering play of the year.”
★★★★★ Sunday Express

GOOD WITH PEOPLE by David Harrower
First co-produced by Paines Plough and Òran Mór as part of A Play, A Pie and A Pint in 2010, GOOD WITH PEOPLE made it all the way to 59E59 Theatres in New York in 2013.

“Harrower’s beautiful, deceptive wisp of a play…Duff and Scott-Ramsay are perfection.”
Ben Brantley, New York Times

On home soil, we took COME TO WHERE I’M FROM – our theatrical tapestry of the UK, woven by writers asking if home is really where the heart is – to Plymouth and Leeds this year.

Check out some insights from our playwrights here.

In partnership with Pentabus, we premiered Duncan MacMillan’s EVERY BRILLIANT THING at Ludlow Fringe Festival and Ledbury Poetry Festival last summer.

Here’s what audiences had to say:

“Altogether so human, so relatable…it uplifts and enlightens, exploring the joy and endless possibility of humanity.”

SEA WALL by Simon Stephens
Andrew Scott reprised his acclaimed performance for an exclusive seven nights only in Simon Stephens’ SEA WALL at The Shed at The National Theatre.

“One of the most devastating 30 minutes you are ever likely to experience in the theatre.”
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

“As engaging and devastating a piece of theatre as you’re likely to find….”
★★★★★ Independent

Following the huge success of WASTED, we were reunited with performance poet Kate Tempest for HOPELESSLY DEVOTED, which opened with our co-producers at Birmingham Rep and toured the Midlands in September-October. HOPELESSLY DEVOTED will return for a Spring 2014 tour.

“The play sings and soars, a little shard of lyrical brilliance… startlingly beautiful.”
★★★★ The Times

“Outstanding… The writing is fantastic, with just the right balance of spoken word, song and dialogue.”
★★★★★ The Public Reviews

And some words from our Tweeters:

“Absolutely loved #HopelesslyDevoted. Now that’s the theatre that gets my blood pumping.”

And last but certainly not least, Tom Wells’ infectiously funny, critically acclaimed football rom-com JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS, which we co-produced with Watford Palace Theatre and Hull Truck.

“The perfect winter-warmer…blissfully funny…deeply affecting”
★★★★★ Daily Telegraph

“Wells has given us another winner…Unreservedly recommended.”
★★★★★ Independent

“A razor sharp, beautifully human script that brings to life characters that every one of us will know, but whom rarely get to claim their space within gay culture.”
★★★★★ Attitude Magazine

And on the Twittersphere:

“Jumpers for Goalposts. One of the best pieces of theatre I’ve seen this year. Am totally speechless.”

Playing at The Bush Theatre until 4 January 2014. Book tickets here.

It’s been a wonderful year of theatre (and cake!) and there’s no denying we couldn’t have had as much without you (and cake!) coming along for the ride.

So – keep eating cake, and we wish you all a merry Christmas! Catch you next year?

Team PP x

Cupcake? :)

JFG Insights-2nd week at The Bush

We’ve settled right in here in W12.  Shepherds Bush has everything: cafés, caffs, restaurants, markets, gyms, convenience stores, and humming away behind it, glowing like a docked spacecraft, is the Westfield Shopping Centre.  It has its own gravity force and sucks us in after matinees, relieves us of fifteen quid for our ‘quick bite to eat’ and makes us buy clothes that we don’t need.  DAMN YOU, Westfield (and thank you for your nice Byron burgers and shakes).

Fortunately, the café/bar at the Bush is properly lovely.  There’s a reading room with a huge collection of plays on the old shelves (it used to be the local library), including the ones that have recently been playing.  You can sit there with your fat sausage roll and good coffee and relax.

It’s not been that relaxing, really; London isn’t set up for that, and it’s better to just drink plenty of coffee and hurl yourself into the maelstrom.  Have fun and sleep when you die (or, better, in January).  Margaret Thatcher only needed four hours sleep per night whilst she was PM; Andy Rush needs even less, and he’s not busy smashing the Unions.  Phil and I were knackered after a 2-show Saturday and an evening at Blacks and Madame Jojo’s (50s hits/Northern Soul), but Duracell Rush wasn’t done; no, he held an impromptu limbo competition in the middle of Soho afterwards.

Andy Rush doing what he does best!

The shows themselves come thick and fast.  Whilst we’re waiting to go on we can hear and feel the anticipation from the packed houses.  There are people we know at every performance – friends, family, loves, casting and industry folk – along with the dozens who have queued for tickets and put their hands in their pockets to come and see our play.  We look each other in the eye as we line up after Amy gives us the ‘Stand by’ call, backs are patted, hands are shaken, a quick hug, one more daub of mud and then we’re out there.  We want to give them all a ‘Press Night’.

JFG Bush Dressing Room

The standard we’ve set ourselves is high.  Of course we have – it’s a matter of professional and personal pride, but the closeness of the audience and the writing itself demands it.  This space keeps you honest and you get found out if your energy or concentration slips by a degree.  In two scenes I am sitting on the bench downstage left, only a couple of feet from the front row, close enough to nick their Werthers.  The other night I heard a guy whisper the end of one of Viv’s lines before she’d said it herself.  It seems people have come back to see us for a second or even a third time.

Audience at the Bush awaiting show-time

James came in last week to watch the show.  It was a decent enough performance but the running time was long – a sure sign that some moments are being indulged.  He gave us some important notes: keep listening to each other, stop ‘performing’ it, and tell the story for the first time, every time, with simplicity and clarity.  An audience can tell when you start to fall in love (a bit) with your lines and gradually you can hear less belly in the laughter and more shuffling in the quiet parts.

Weird things happen when you’ve been doing a show for a while.  Phil had a funny turn during one show (not just intentionally funny, which he always is) and scrambled a couple of his lines: ‘slim prickings’ were on offer in his library, and we had to smirk when he declared that, at Luke’s parents’ cookery weekend, ‘you tell posh people how to whisk.’  At the start of scene 4 Viv takes the team through the current league table and complex results permutations.  Last Wednesday, much to our surprise, she produced the ball pump (makeshift pointer) as usual but also a pair of granny glasses, which she conducted the scene in.  Some actors work from the inside – out, and some rely on props and costume to add depth to their character.  Well, it worked for Alec Guinness!  I’m considering where I might incorporate a stovepipe hat…

The inevitable xmas jumpers...

Oh yeah, Gary Lineker came to watch the other night.  The Gary Lineker who presents MOTD and SPOTY and does the crisps ads and has a celebritmodelactresstvpersonality wife and once babbed himself during a game?  No, not him.  It was the Gary Lineker who scored 48 goals for his country (England’s second top scorer), is still a hero in Barcelona, where he won domestic and European trophies and scored a hat-trick in an El Classico game (he also learned to speak Spanish fluently). The Gary Lineker who won the Golden Boot in the ’86 World Cup and nearly took us to the Final at Italia ’90.  The authentic football legend?  Him.

Gary Lineker with Barely Athletic

His theatrical connection goes back some way too.  A play was written in 1991 called ‘An Evening With Gary Lineker’ and was later adapted for telly, with the man himself making a cameo appearance.  He also guested as ‘God’ in Spamalot in the West End (albeit via video), and a few months ago, he shocked the stage world with a reply to a Simon Stephens tweet.  A theatre bromance has since blossomed between the two and Stephens and his wife accompanied the Linekers last Wednesday.  It was thrilling to have them in, and quite surreal.

But amongst all this – the rush, the gush, the three quid coffees, the booze, the talk, the photos, the celebrities, the hype, the noise, the buzz and the bollocks – we’re clear why we’re here: to tell the story of 3 gay lads, a bossy lesbian and a young widower who are fighting battles which most know nothing about.  Like everyone.


Critics are jumping for JUMPERS

We’re thrilled at the reception to Tom Wells’ JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS, currently running at The Bush Theatre until the 4 January 2014.

Alongside earning a place in The Daily Telegraph’s ‘Best Plays On Now‘, here’s a round-up of what else reviewers had to say:

“Wells has written a razor sharp, beautifully human script that brings to life characters that every one of us will know, but whom rarely get to claim their space within gay culture”
★★★★★ Attitude Magazine

“The perfect winter-warmer…blissfully funny…deeply affecting”
★★★★★ Daily Telegraph

“Wells has given us another winner…Unreservedly recommended.”
★★★★★ Independent

“You won’t know whether to laugh or cry (you’ll probably do both).”
★★★★★ Public Reviews

“Truly exceptional…sparkly with wit…What you witness is an honest portrait of two people finding their way into each other’s hearts… an utterly charming must see”
★★★★  What’

“James Grieve’s delicate direction, which milks every awkward moment with cringe worthy results, is complemented by a cast that balance emotive performances with physical comedy”
★★★★ Official London Theatre

“Consistently funny, tenderly observed and gently moving”
★★★★ Metro

“A delightfully awkward librarian played with great charm by Philip Duguid-McQuillan… More rueful notes are struck by Matt Sutton… an air of furtive daftness by the excellent Andy Rush…generous, warm-hearted…very funny.”
★★★★ Evening Standard 

“A heartwarming message, delivered with fine acting, tart humour and judicious northern understatement.”
★★★★ Time Out

“Wells is not afraid of appearing sentimental: he writes with a brave emotional honesty that proves very moving.”
★★★★ Financial Times

Get tickets here.


It’s been a pretty exciting week for us at PP HQ, with JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS jumping into its second week after opening at the Bush Theatre in London to some brilliant reviews. Followed by the announcement of three Offie nominations this week!

We’re thrilled to impart the nominations are as follows:

JAMES GRIEVE for Best Director

JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS for Best Ensemble Acting

JAMIE SAMUEL for Best Male Performance. 

Tom and James recently did an exclusive interview on JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS, offering a closer look into that ‘magic formula’ that theatre critics are quick to bring up. You can find their insights right here for your viewing pleasure:

We could not be more pleased at the reception to Tom Wells’ heartwarming play. Amongst other things, Twitter has been set ablaze with #Jump4Goal. Here’s a round-up of some of our favourite tweets:


Well worth racing back from Cardiff. I laughed & cried. & cried again!


Adored #Jumpers4goalposts @bushtheatre last night, funny, delicate, deeply moving. Brilliant work again from @painesplough – Go See!


I don’t often revisit plays but @painesplough ‘s Jumpers for Goalposts @bushtheatre thrilled like this again


Loved watching #Jump4Goal @bushtheatre. Fantastic work @painesplough – I laughed and cried. Everyone GO SEE!


Beautiful play, brilliantly acted, directed and staged. A must see.

Have you seen JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS? Tweet us your thoughts: @painesplough #Jump4Goal. Don’t miss out, book your tickets here. See you at the Bush!

Tom Wells’ JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS has been nominated in the Best New Play category by UK Theatre Awards

TMA have just announced the nominations for the 2013 UK Theatre Awards, and we are so thrilled  to announce JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS by Tom Wells has been nominated in the Best New Play category.

PP’s Joint Artistic Directors, James and George have said:

“We are thrilled that Tom’s beautiful, heart-warming comedy has been recognised by The Theatre Awards UK. Tom is one of the finest voices to emerge in recent years and JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS cements his reputation as writer of rare comic brio and real heart. We are so proud to have co-produced this important play with Watford Palace and Hull Truck, and to have toured it nationwide, to audiences who have instantly related to Tom’s team of lacklustre footballers and cheered them on in victory and defeat.”

The other nominees for Best New Play are:

Further details about the TMA and the UK Theatre Awards can be found here.

If you haven’t seen JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS yet, you can catch it at the Bush Theatre in November following it’s autumn nationwide tour, get your tickets here.


Check out the film trailer for JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS by Tom Wells, created by the super talented Mathy & Fran.

Tell us what you think by leaving a comment or tweeting us @painesplough with the hashtag #jump4goal.

For further information, tour dates and tickets for JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS click here.

Watch more PP trailers and video clips on our YouTube Channel.

Insights with JFG cast – First weeks in Hull

We’re in Hull.  That wouldn’t usually be a sentence to lift an actor’s heart, but for the JFG team, and for me in particular, it’s a tour highlight.

The play has finally come home; I’m from Hull, writer Tom Wells is from down the road in Kilnsea, and the play is set in a changing room somewhere in the city.  We have been living with our respective characters since the scripts hit our doormats (email inboxes these days) in February, but most of the cast had never been to Hull before we arrived a week last Tuesday.  I took them on a bit of a tour after we got here and showed them the actual places that we mention every night on stage: Phil saw the Library where his character ‘Luke’ works, Andy Rush saw the twinkling lights across the Humber that ‘Beardy’ can see from Sean’s Marina flat, and Viv Gibbs (‘Viv’) walked the streets that her namesake rues she never got to triumphantly carry the Olympic torch through.  One of those streets is the delightfully named Land of Green Ginger and it has a pub on it with the UK’s smallest window.  They didn’t believe me until I showed them it!

Audiences and critics loved the show when we were in Watford in April, and since then I have been itching to see how we would go down in Hull.  The reaction here has been terrific too.  The themes in JFG are universal; ordinary people dealing with love, loss and the challenges of daily life as best they can, but when you watch a play that is this close to home – especially one as vibrant and warm-hearted as ours – it can have a real impact on the way you feel about where you’re from, and the people you live amongst.  James and George understood this when they took the reins at Paines Plough and set up the Come To Where I’m From project to explore how our hometowns shape us.  A piece of theatre might not have the immediate and wide impact on local pride and sense of identity as the football club getting into the Premier League or a local bantamweight winning Olympic gold, but it can hold the mirror up, distil the spirit of a place into two hours’ stage traffic (well, ninety-odd minutes in our case) and encourage people to think about their town or city from a new perspective.  I hope it makes Hullensians feel good about themselves.

In Theatre, the Stage Manager writes a report about each performance including: the running time, the audience number, and anything noteworthy that occurred on a particular night.  This ‘show report’ is sent to everyone involved with the production (except the actors) so they can see how things are going.  They occasionally make for an alarming/amusing read and I’m pretty sure that the following incidents found their way into last weeks’ dispatches:

I said that the reaction has been overwhelmingly warm. Last Friday’s show was also a bit lively; the front row were, how shall I put it…well, all quite pissed, frankly.  The laughs were loud and, in Tom Wells’ word, ‘pubby’, but I’m sure the less ‘relaxed’ patrons could have lived without the running commentary or toilet traffic.  Nothing like what today’s stand-ups or the actors in Shakespeare’s day had to deal with though.

In scene two my character ‘Joe’ goes off for a shower, leaving Danny and Beardy to have a private chat before I return to the stage an improvised goalie coaching session.  On the Saturday matinee I re-entered to find two bemused actors staring at me from positions I didn’t expect them to be sitting in.  I look ridiculous enough as it is, clad in only a green Carlsberg towel, but when you walk back into a scene about a page too early the only way to salvage any dignity is to walk confidently back in the direction you came from as if nothing was amiss and leave your fellow cast to pick up the pieces of the scene that you’ve just ‘humpty dumptied’ and put it back together again.

Sorry Andy.  Sorry Jamie.

I’ll be back next week with more from backstage, and in the meantime you can keep track (twack?) of how it’s all going via twitter: #jump4goal