Monthly archives:

A new time of day

Once again I set off early to Oran Mor to see the fourth of the five plays in the A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT season, April De Angelis’ CALAIS.

I got on the familiar 0539 train from Euston to ensure I was around for the tech.  I think it is the calmest tech I have ever sat in and they even had time for a dress rehearsal before doors open at 1230.

I was able to sit in on a stagger through of the fifth and final play on the season, David Harrower’s GOOD WITH PEOPLE, which is being directed by our very own George Perrin and performed by Blythe Duff and Andrew Scott-Ramsay.  It is a fascinating piece, where nothing is, as it seems paired up with electric acting.

Meanwhile the three plays that have already opened at Oran Mor are in various places in the UK:   Marie Jones’ FLY ME TO THE MOON opens in Edinburgh tomorrow (in fact Katie Tumelty and Abi McGibbon returned to Glasgow to watch CALAIS so we enjoyed our pies together!)   IN THE PIPELINE opens today at Live Theatre Newcastle and THE UNCERTAINTY FILES company take a well deserved week off, and all three of the actors remaining at home in Glasgow.

Linda McLean’s THE UNCERTAINTY FILES opened to rave reviews this week at Oran Mor.

‎****The Scotsman for Linda McLean’s THE UNCERTAINTY FILES:

Charlotte Gwinner’s production has a severe and brilliant quiet choreography, controlled down to the minutest gesture; and the performances are riveting, mature, eloquent, beautiful, and not only real, but true.

Whilst the company of Marie Jones’ FLY ME TO THE MOON pioneered the first leg of the tour at Live Theatre Newcastle. I went up there to see the first show and brought back a little souvenir for everyone in the office:

We're loving Newcastle Live A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT Beer Mat

Judging from the show report received today from Stage Manager, Kara Jackson, the Newcastle audience are enjoying it so much that the running time has increased by two minutes due to laughter.

Back at PP HQ LOVE, LOVE, LOVE culminates its second week of rehearsals.  They have it up on its feet after the detailed table work last week and rehearsal props are flying into the room.  The character of Sandra seems to enjoy quite a few cigarettes!

We also had all three of the Creative Team in today to watch rehearsals.  Hartley  (Lighting Designer), recovered from Edinburgh where he runs C venues, and Lucy Osborne (Designer), currently opening THE ALIENS at the Bush Theatre, have a good catch up on the sofa that is on for rehearsal furniture.

Lucy Osborne and Hartkey T A Kemp deep in thought - or are they on facebook?

We, in the office, are very much looking forward to catching a run through next week and we’ll be able to show you some photos soon as Graham Michael is coming in on Friday to take some rehearsal shots.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend – we’re off to see Bryony Lavery’s BEAUTIFUL BURNOUT on Sunday at the Barbican.

All You Need Is Love…

And there was a lot of love in the Paines Plough offices today as we hosted the first day of rehearsals of our co-production with Drum Theatre Plymouth, Mike Bartlett’s LOVE, LOVE, LOVE

It was a real Monday morning treat to hear five talented actors read this firecracker of a script together for the first time.  It is also really joyous to have all the creative and technical teams plus staff members from both companies in the room together which will probably be the first and last time until we tech in 4 weeks time at Drum Theatre Plymouth.  With this in mind every minute is essential and straight after the reading the actors were measured by Lorna Price, Deputy Head of Wardrobe at Plymouth.

Post a revitalising lunch the actors returned to start their around-the-table-work with James Grieve, who directs his second Mike Bartlett play after ARTEFACTS rehearsed in the very same room 2 years ago.

Raring to go...

Elsewhere in the busy hive of Paines Plough activity around the UK – Gary Owen’s IN THE PIPELINE received its first performance at Oran Mor. Click on the link for video footage.

Tomorrow we welcome the writer of CALAIS, April De Angelis, as well as Tamara Harvey (director) and a wonderful cast: Joanna Bacon, Louise Ford and James French to the A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT family at number 5 Sanda Street. I’m looking forward to my 5am train up there for second meet and greet of this week!

The fine actresses Abigail McGibbon and Katie Tumelty and superb stage manager, Kara Jackson, have a well deserved week off before going to Live Theatre Newcastle next week.

That’s it for now, I’m off for my sister’s birthday dinner…

Giggles in Glasgow

Abby (left) and Katie get snapped

Here’s the fantastic cast of FLY ME TO THE MOON being photographed by a press snapper in the rehearsal room in Glasgow today.

Abby McGibbon and Katie Tumelty play Loretta and Francis, two down on their luck care workers whose Frank Sinatra obsessed charge has a posthumous win on the horses.

We’re having a ball in rehearsals. Marie Jones’s madcap script is hilarious and outrageous, and it’s as much as we can all do to keep a straight face for long enough to rehearse a scene. There’s one particular moment with a wheelchair (we shall say no more) that has us all giggling uncontrolably. We open at Oran Mor in Glasgow on Monday, so we just hope the audience find it as funny as we do!

There’s a great buzz in the amazing Oran Mor rehearsal flat where me and Jack are living, which also houses two rehearsal rooms. The IN THE PIPELINE company is rehearsing just across the coridoor from us and the kitchen becomes a green room at breakfast and lunchtimes, with English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish accents mingling over bagels and baked potatoes. As of Monday, THE UNCERTAINTY FILES company moves in too, and the A Play, A Pie And A Pint season will be underway. Can’t wait.

From Edinburgh to Glasgow

It was my turn to head up to the Fringe this weekend, and what a brilliant weekend it was. Leaving PP HQ on Friday morning, I was greeted in the afternoon by glorious sunshine in Edinburgh, and made my way straight to the Forest Fringe foyer to see James Baker’s 30 DAYS TO SPACE. An attempt for Baker to realise his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut with a ladder and a very shiny space suit. Over the weekend I saw a number of fantastic solo performances and plays, including I AM WOOF, created and performed by Robert Taylor, WHERE HAVE ALL THE LADIES GONE? created and performed by Victoria Kember, BUNNY, by Jack Thorne, and 10 DATES WITH MAD MARY, by Yasmine Akram. All were uniquely different and thoroughly engaging. I also got to enjoy HOT MESS, by Ella Hickson, and OTHERS, by The Paper Birds, and followed the crowds to the Traverse to see THE AUTHOR by Tim Crouch, PENELOPE, by Enda Walsh, FREEFALL by Michael West and The Corn Exchange Theatre Company Ireland, and SPEECHLESS by Linda Brogan and Polly Teale.

After my busy weekend hotfooting it around the city, on Monday morning I hopped on a train to Glasgow for the first day of rehearsals for Paines Plough/Òran Mór’s A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT. I joined PP’s James, Tara and Jack, and Artistic Director of Òran Mór, David MacLennan, to meet with the cast and crew of the season’s first play, FLY ME TO THE MOON by Marie Jones. With tea and coffee brewed, and Monday morning pastries on the table, we all gathered to hear the fantastic Abigail McGibbon and Katie Tumelty bring the script to life in the first read through. It was so brilliant to meet the team and see everyone’s excitement. Can’t wait to see the play up on it’s feet.

A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT will tour to five cities in the UK from 30th August, including Glasgow, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Coventry, and Dublin. If anyone has any suggestions for places to eat, things to do, and where to get the best watermelon martini in each of these places, please do get in touch! We want to hear from you.