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Santiago tour diary

The British Council invited our Artistic Director James to the EDEC conference in Santiago to met Chilean playwrights and see LUNGS make its Latin American debut. Here’s his tour diary.

Santiago from the top of San Cristobal.

Santiago from the top of San Cristobal

Monday 28 September
This morning I watched the sunrise on Orkney at the end of EVERY BRILLIANT THING’s Highlands and Islands tour. Tonight I’m at Heathrow heading for Santiago as a guest of The British Council at Encuentro de Dramaturgia Europea Contemporánea – a conference bringing together European and Chilean theatremakers to discuss contemporary European theatre and showcase plays from across Europe. I’ve never been to Latin America so this is exciting.

Tuesday 29 September
The approach to Santiago over the snow-peaked Andes is sensational. Chile’s capital lives in a big bowl of a valley stretching 50 miles across with mountains all around it. The blanket of smog makes it look like the crater of a volcano until the plane ducks underneath to reveal the sprawling city. My host Alex – the British Council’s international projects manager here in Chile – meets me at my hotel and whisks me straight to Santiago staple Emporio La Rosa, voted one of the top 10 ice cream parlours in the world for a quick introduction to Chilean theatre and a delicious introduction to Lúcuma ice cream.

The opening event of the conference sees critic Jürgen Berger give a talk on current trends in German theatre, which is translated into Spanish and then very kindly by Alex into English for my benefit. Everyone repairs to a beautiful roof garden for wine, canapés and speeches to officially open EDEC 15. Cameras flash as the culture minister turns up to make an address.

Ana López Montaner who is directing the reading of LUNGS on Saturday invites me to join her at The Clinic, a bar famous for political debates. Ana’s excellent English makes up for my shameful lack of Spanish and we set to discussing Duncan’s wonderful play.

This way for my workshop, apparently...

This way for my workshop, apparently…

Wednesday 30 September
I’m running workshops at the beautiful Universidad Católica – a huge old monastery with trees and fountains adorning courtyards and cloisters surrounded by lecture halls and art studios and rehearsal rooms. Playwright collective Interdram has invited playwrights from across Chile to attend the conference and meet delegates. It is fascinating to hear experiences from top to bottom of this huge and varied country (Chile is 2,672 miles long), and to discover the obstacles and anxieties writers face here are largely the same as at home. We focus on politics. What makes a play political? How do the personal and political coexist in great plays? It’s a fascinating discussion here where the scars of the Pinochet dictatorship are still so clearly seen. And it’s a tough workout for my heroic translator George who simultaneously translates the discussion as everyone contributes.

Thursday 1 October
Today my workshop focus is on LUNGS, or rather PULMONES as it is in its Spanish translation. The group has read the play and really love it. It’s exhilarating to be part of a passionate debate about a play in a different language and culture, sensing how well it translates and how relevant and poignant its themes are even on the other side of the world.

Ana invites me to see a production of Camus’ LOS JUSTOS. I don’t understand a word but I’m struck by the very European aesthetic – big, bold, physical, colourful and expressionistic storytelling. It’s staged at the home of Theatrocinema who I’m excited to meet. Their productions of THE MAN WHO FED BUTTERFLIES and HISTORIA DE AMORE have wowed the Edinburgh International Festival with ground-breaking fusions of film and live performance, so I’m thrilled to get a peek behind the scenes of their super cool converted cinema home.

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Friday 2 October
This morning I’m accompanying Alex at a meeting of the Arts Council and artistic directors of regional theatres. Once again I’m struck by the similarities in the discussions here and at home – a desire to see more work tour, a frustration at city hotspots attracting money and talent at the expense of the rest of the country.

Then we meet a group of playwrights who had been part of the Royal Court’s workshop programme in 2012, culminating with their plays being staged as readings in London in 2013. The experience had been transformative for them and it was great to get their take on the state of Chilean theatre. The common theme is the lack of producers, or producing infrastructure, which means writers often have to produce their own work. In fact, they quite often produce, direct and perform in their own work, and tear the tickets at the door.

This evening I’m at GAM, a magnificent modernist arts centre – Santiago’s answer to the Barbican – to see a dance piece EMOVERE which sees performers hooked up to sensors which trigger music to match their physical movement.

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Saturday 3 October
I have some spare time today so I climb San Cristobal hill which looms over central Santiago and offers panoramic views of the city from the huge white statue of the Virgin Mary at its peak. I push through the crowds and marvel at the colours and aromas in the city’s two vast markets La Vega and Mercado Central before tucking into delicious ceviche and chowder.

Then it’s back to GAM for the reading of PULMONES which Ana has staged beautifully with the two actors reading the play from iPads and each scene assuming different relationships with two chairs on an otherwise empty stage. There are around 100 people listening and they love it. I know the play so well that I can follow it even though I don’t understand word-by-word and it is thrilling to hear big laughs come at exactly the points I hoped and a silence descend on the room as the play bewitches its audience just as it does back home. Proof that great art is truly universal.

We repair to an incredible wine bar called Bocanariz that serves tasting glasses from its vast menu and toast Ana’s production and Duncan’s wonderful play.

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PULMONES on stage in Chile

Sunday 4 October
I spend my last morning in Santiago at the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos, a museum dedicated to remembering the victims of the Pinochet regime. It’s a stark, powerful evocation of Chile’s dark recent history and a deeply moving memorial to the many who lost their lives.

It’s been an honour visiting this wonderful country and meeting so many talented, passionate playwrights. Muchos gracias particularly to Alex and Ana for being such generous hosts. Our hope is that this trip is just the beginning of an ongoing relationship between Paines Plough and theatremakers in Chile that will foster the exchange of ideas and see plays like LUNGS/PULMONES cross continents.

Now, I’ve got 48 hours to get to Bristol to see another Duncan Macmillan play. Here goes.

Goodbye from Natalie…

Last month we bid a fond farewell to our wonderful Administrator, Natalie, as she took up an incredible new role as General Manager of Coney. Sobs rang out all over the office this morning as her goodbye blog arrived in our inboxes. Here, in her own words, she has summed up her time with us. Sad as we are, we know it’s not really au revoir, just à bientôt…

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What an incredible two years it’s been. It’s hard to know where to begin and I won’t be able to cover everything that I’d like to. So, I’ll just share some of my fondest memories from my time at Paines Plough in the hope that it’ll highlight how much of an incredible company and inspiring team they are to work for and with.

My very first PP show was Duncan Macmillan’s EVERY BRILLIANT THING. I travelled with Alex Wood our playwright-in-residence at the time, where we found ourselves in the lovely little village of Ledbury at The Market Theatre. It was so close to where my mum lives (out in the regions) that my brother came along. I remember introducing him to both Alex and George and instantaneously thinking, “wow this is really cool, my family can see our work where they are and where I’m from, we travel to them”. Coming from an area with limited access to the arts and a low-income family, I immediately saw how important and impactful touring theatre and new writing was, and knew that I had made it into the right company.

I joined PP as the Admin and Finance Assistant in 2013 through Creative Access, a charity who provide year-long traineeships in the creative industries for people of BAME backgrounds. This marked the beginning of my career in the arts. Without this opportunity, I’d probably be in an industry that I’m not passionate about, struggling to find my way in. Paines Plough were the first theatre organisation to partner with Creative Access, actively addressing lack of diversity in the industry. Unafraid and open – two major qualities that extend way beyond their work.

Watching an intimate dress rehearsal of Andrew Scott in SEA WALL over the bridge in one of the rehearsal studios at The National was a truly unforgettable experience.

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I didn’t know what was happening to me when I watched for those 30 minutes, no more than a metre away from him, sucked into his performance and trying really hard to hold floods of tears back. This had never happened to me watching a play before.

Valuable lessons learned:
– I’ll never get left behind in a hotel in Hull after press night again.
– Even though you’ve planned for everyone to meet at the station in good time to catch your train, you’ll always need to run for it #touringPPstyle.
– Pork scratchings vary in taste and texture from region to region. Scottish pubs don’t stock them.
– How to change florescent strip lights and chargers.
– I still can’t do puns…
– Accents, canoeing, ‘being in the lift’ mimes, street dance, the odd prank call and cake really help when you all need a little group pick me up.

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COME TO WHERE I’M FROM at the Southbank Centre was a beautiful installation and interactive map designed by Amy Cook, where audiences and passersby could pop in and listen to plays by writers from all over the UK, for free.

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Invitation to interact with the space, watch some of the writers read their plays live and to hang out with a beer in an open space is my kind of art. This was a lovely weekend.

Touring from all corners of the UK from the Isle of Eigg to Ipswich, Liverpool to Lyme Regis and Newport to Nottingham involves a lot of trains…

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ROUNDABOUT is by far my favourite thing to have been involved in. From its launch in Edinburgh in 2014 to its current Autumn tour, THE HUMAN EAR to LUNGS, Visitor Services to the Street Team, and tea dances in Margate to TORYCORE, the breadth of what Roundabout can do and give is phenomenal.

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EVERY BRILLIANT THING in New York and my (and Francesca’s) first ever trip to the US! We had a whirlwind of five days in New York during the opening at Barrow Street Theatre last December.

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It was very surreal to think how it was only a year before that I was in Ledbury with an audience of 30 to then being Off-Broadway with an American audience of 250! And of course we visited the amazing sights, hung out with Jonny and ate a lot of meat…

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My Paines Plough round-up in numbers:

17 productions

3 Arts Council Annual Reports

1 Big fat 40th anniversary year

2 ROUNDABOUT seasons

2 Edinburghs

2 Latitude festivals

1 Bestival

1 European festival… Wiesbaden

10,220 miles commuted to and from PPHQ by bike

And a lot of miles travelled up and down the country.

And of course there are the people that make all this happen and I’m so privileged to have worked with such a driven and dedicated team. Under the Artistic Directorship of James and George, I’ve constantly been inspired and driven by their vision and resilience. Working with Hanna and Francesca has been like attending free producing workshops everyday, Aysha has shown me how brilliant being a General Manager is and I take from her into what I do now with Coney, Bhavini and Rachel are the two amazing trainees who like me joined PP though Creative Access; all together they are an incredibly strong, fearless and focused team. I’ve also been lucky enough to work with Claire, Tara, Bene, Bernd and Sean. Paines Plough attracts the most amazing people and I’m just happy to have been a part of the family. Thank you for having me.

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For now its goodbye from me as I retire to the red cupboard with my digestive biscuit tin, muji pens and a new picture to hang on the wall…

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Natalie x

We’re off to… Stoke

Roundabout arrives at Appetite in Stoke-on-Trent today on the final stop of the year (sob!). Tonight’s performance of EVERY BRILLIANT THING is sold out, but fear not as we have a plethora of plays and specially programmed one-off events that you can still grab tickets for.

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For those of you coming to join us, our friends at Appetite have compiled a compendium of what to see, do, eat, and drink while you’re in town.

Must see

Stoke-on-Trent (otherwise called The Potteries) is having something of a ceramics renaissance at the mo, so whilst you’re here check out the British Ceramics Biennial, in full swing over in the grand surroundings of the former Spode Factory. A 5 minute walk from the train station, you’ll find the latest in cutting edge ceramic art.

In the City Centre, check out Entrepreneurs, an artist led shop with a public exhibition space upstairs. And just down from Roundabout (opposite the beautiful Bethesda Chapel) you’ll also stumble upon a fauno-tastic new mural (below) by graffiti artist Faunographic, commissioned by Entrepreneurs for Appetite’s Big Feast.

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Also in Piccadilly there’s contemporary art gallery Airspace currently featuring the exhibition ‘Icon’.

If you have time why not stroll along the canal to Burslem and have cup a tea in the recently renovated Middleport Pottery, the home of the world-famous Burleigh, soon to be seen on BBC’s The Great British Pottery Thrown Down, or take a factory tour at The Emma Bridgewater Factory.

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If you’re feeling historical why not pop your head into the famous Staffordshire Hoard exhibition at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. If you’re with kids or fancy a splash around, on Festival Park just outside the City Centre, you’ll also find the epic Waterworld.

Where to stay

The Quality Hotel is in stumbling distance of the City Centre and there’s also the Great Western Moat House Hotel just a little further away.

Where to eat

In Hanley head to Cafe Zest, café by day and bistro by night or The Exchange, which does burgers and typical pub fare. There’s also Roberto’s for Italian, The Church Bar and Restaurant for upscale British food and Peter’s Tavern for authentic Czech food.A little outside the City Centre there’s also the fantastic Med Bar for authentic Italian.

While you’re here of course don’t miss the world famous Staffordshire oatcake! For the ultimate hot crispy oatcake head to the Oatie Mostons stand, 2 mins from Roundabout, and ask for a cheese and bacon. Warning: only get the large if you’re feeling ravenous!

Where to drink

Stoke’s home to some great pubs. Why not try The Holy Inadequate in Etruria or The Bulls Head in Burslem, the brewery tap of the local Titanic Brewery.

There’s also the reputedly haunted The Leopard in Burslem if you’re feeling spooky or the cosy surroundings of The Glebe in Stoke just 5 mins from the station.

In Hanley there’s the recently opened Bottle Craft which has a tasting room, The Exchange bar and the historic Coachmakers Arms. If you like your ale real, The Hop Inn in Newcastle is 2015 winner of Potteries CAMRA pub of the year.

Where to get coffee

Try tsp. for great coffee, cupcakes and nice surroundings down in Piccadilly in Hanley, also featuring murals by local artist Eight.bit. There’s also the Spitfire Café at the Mitchell Arts Centre a little further down the road and Blondies Twisted Tea Room, in the centre of Hanley. Hang out at The Bread in Common café at the British Ceramics Biennial, run by community arts company B-Arts, it’s a great place to chill and munch on some fantastic bread made in their unique bread oven.

We’re off to… Kendal

Today our ROUNDABOUT arrives in Kendal with THE HUMAN EAR, LUNGS, OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL and EVERY BRILLIANT THING in tow. The team are super excited to be visiting so we asked our friends at the Brewery Arts Centre for their list of brilliant things to see and do while we’re around…

WHERE TO STAY

The Castle Green Hotel, Castle Green Lane, Kendal, LA9 6RG.© www.stevenbarber.com

Kendal’s only 4 star hotel. The grounds are beautiful and it includes a separate real ale pub and fine dining restaurant so you can relax with a pint or do something a little special. There’s something for everyone.

WHERE TO EAT

The Brewery, Grainstore Restaurant, 122a Highgate, Kendal, LA9 4HE.Grainstore Restaurant

Serving a Mediterranean menu featuring tasty tapas menu with a quirky twist using local ingredients and pizzas. Situated in the Brewery complex, it’s a great spot to enjoy a bite before the show.

WHERE TO DRINK

The Brewery, Vats Bar, 122a Highgate, Kendal, LA9 4HE.Vats Bar

Settle into one of the Brewery’s original brewing Vats and enjoy a fantastic selection of local real ales, beers and wines. Super cosy and casual it’s a great spot to relax and unwind.

WHERE TO GET COFFEE

The Brewery, Warehouse Cafe, 122a Highgate, Kendal, LA9 4HE.Warehouse CAfe

Shabby chic café featuring a homemade cakes, pies, crepes, snacks and local Farrer’s coffees and teas. Treat yourself! There’s also free WiFi available so you can Instagram your treats and make your friends jealous.

WHERE TO HANG OUT

Abbot Hall Park.

Lucky for us, it’s just across the road from the Brewery. A lovely green open space by the River Kent surrounded by trees and historic buildings and with a nearby children’s playground. Ideal if you’re bringing the little ‘uns to see OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL.

MUST SEE

You can’t miss Kendal Castle.

Standing atop a hill overlooking the town, it’s a spectacular ruined castle and the reputed home of Catherine Parr (one of Henry the VIII’s wives). The perfect place for panoramic views of Kendal and the surrounding fells.

If you’re coming to see a show, why don’t you check out some of these spots too?

Now to find some mint cake to take back to PPHQ…

ROUNDABOUT Reviews and Responses

ROUNDABOUT is currently weaving its way across the country and this week we’ve popped up in Lincoln where our partners and good friends LPAC have programmed a fantastic festival of local talent alongside performances of LUNGS, THE HUMAN EAR and OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL.

We’ve been absolutely bowled over by your responses to ROUNDABOUT and our shows so a big hearty thank you to everyone who has already joined us and come to see a show – we’ve loved meeting you and keeping an eye on our Twitter to see what you’ve been saying! Here’s a little snapshot of our favourite responses…

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#RoundaboutPP is, in my opinion, exactly how theatre should be. A small space filled with nothing but great actors, acting their socks off.” (@SarahJCullum)

“I love that #roundaboutpp is able to go into communities without theatres. Vital work. @painesplough“(@shakespeareanLK)

And here’s just a selection of what Edinburgh’s critics and audiences have had to say about the shows…

OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL

“Fast paced and incredibly slick.” ★★★★★ (The Public Reviews)

“Thanks for a great hour of laughter and fun @painesplough #OurTeachersATroll fantastic venue #RoundaboutPP @edfringe” (@jcnewton90)

“Infectious from the off.” ★★★★ (BroadwayBaby)

THE HUMAN EAR

 “Stunning to watch.”★★★★★ (BroadwayBaby)

#TheHumanEar at #RoundaboutPP was unsettling and complex, yet another @painesplough success. @Reese_Williams absolutely riveting as always” (@Lisa_Varty)

“Reverberates quietly long after it’s over.”★★★★ (The Guardian)

“Dazzling technical tour-de-force… astonishing.” ★★★★ (The Scotsman)  

LUNGS

“Simple yet profoundly moving… it is one of the best plays I have seen all year.”★★★★★ (West End Frame)

“Highlight from yesterday had to be #LungsPlay at #RoundaboutPP @painesplough Hilarious and heartbreaking in the same breath!” (@michaelwoodhall)

“What a beautiful creation @painesplough #lungsplay thank you. Think you just broke my heart @edfringe Wonderful performances x” (@AngharadLee)

EVERY BRILLIANT THING

“Powerfully, stunningly, joyfully uplifting – you’ll be rushing off to start your own list too.” ★★★★★ (The Skinny)

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“the new @painesplough roundabout venue @Summerhallery is awesome and #everybrilliantthing defies description. MUST SEE!” (@markagorman)

You can catch ROUNDABOUT on the road until October 18th at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal, Theatre Royal Margate and Appetite, Stoke.

For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

See you in ROUNDABOUT soon.

THE INITIATE in Rehearsals

Here at PPHQ we’re getting mighty excited about heading down to the seaside for ice-cream, sunshine and ROUNDABOUT which pops up in Brighton in just over 2 weeks.  Things in the office have been very busy and our brilliant cast are working super hard on THE INITIATE, OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL and LUNGS. Just to prove it, here are some shots of Sidney Cole, Abdul Salis and Sian Reese-Williams rehearsing Alexandra Wood’s thrilling play THE INITIATE.

For the full album visit out flickr page.

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Roundabout pops up in Regency Square at Brighton Festival from 2 – 24 May. For more information and tickets click here.

Photo credit Richard Lakos

Fringe review round-up

We can’t believe we’re now two-thirds of the way through the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Having officially launched our Roundabout auditorium at the start of this month, cheese comas, kebab slumbers and burger babies aside, it’s been weeks of non-stop shows three times a day as we present this year’s Roundabout season of plays.  We couldn’t be prouder of our incredibly dedicated team, who’ve trooped on each day come rain or shine to deliver their best to Fringe audiences.

So here’s the skinny on what critics are saying:

EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan

★★★★ The Guardian – “Heart-wrenching, hilarious…possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see, full stop.”

★★★★ The Telegraph – “Funny, clever, and surprisingly uplifting.”

★★★★ The Sunday Times – “Absurdly cherishable…fantastically likeable.”

★★★★ Evening Standard – “Immensely likeable…with great sensitivity behind the abundant laughs.”

★★★★ The Independent – “Dual interest in joy and sorrow… a perfect balance.”

★★★★ The Stage – “Extraordinary piece of inclusive, participative theatre.”

★★★★ Time Out London – “Filled to the brim with joy…beautiful, heart wrenching and very funny.”

★★★★ WhatsOnStage – “Beautifully directed…perfectly cast…deeply personal.  I defy anyone not to laugh and cry.”

★★★★ Exeunt Magazine – “Infectiously warm… Somehow manages to overlay utter despair with life-affirming joy.”

★★★★★ BroadwayBaby – “Both devastatingly sad and incredibly uplifting…one of the most engaging, warm and funny performers you are likely to see at the Fringe this year.”

★★★★ A Younger Theatre – “Genuinely wonderful and life affirming. It is impossible not to love.”

★★★★ The Scotsman – ” A piece that demonstrates why life is worth living… you’ll leave feeling elated.”

★★★★ Fest Magazine – “Beautiful…a sweet, comic performance assisted by the audience.”

★★★★ Fringe Review – “One of the simplest, sweetest and most life-affirming hours you’ll experience

★★★★ PostScript – “The spontaneity of it all generates electricity… Funny, sweet, sad and uplifting.”

★★★★ TheatreguideLondon – “Impeccably directed…tears and laughter combine in one of the most uplifting shows on the Fringe in 2014.”

 

LUNGS by Duncan Macmillan

★★★★★  British Theatre Guide – “Rapid-fire…precise…seamless. The script fits like a glove.”

★★★★★ Official Theatre – “Brutal, honest and moving… A must see.”

★★★★ Exeunt Magazine – “Assured, grab-you-by-the-heart theatre that will live on in your mind long after the actors have taken their bows.”

★★★★ TheatreguideLondon – “George Perrin’s outstanding revival… is like a thrilling rollercoaster ride, bringing every emotion in equal measure.”

★★★★ Edinburgh Guide – “Delivered with raw honesty and machine gun speed… powerful, thought provoking stripped back theatre.”

★★★★ Fest Magazine – “Pin-sharp…deliciously quotable…pulses and races.”

★★★★ BroadwayBaby – “Full of comic brilliance…superb acting…ceaselessly captivating.”

★★★★ Fringe Guru – “Poignant, funny and relevant. A brilliant choice.”

 

OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL by Dennis Kelly

★★★★ The Times – “Fun, funny…comic perfection.”

★★★★ The List – “Clever wordplay…equally clever staging. If there’s something to be said, a new and interesting way has been unearthed to deliver it.”

★★★★ British Theatre Guide –  “A lovely, simple production…an enthusiastic ensemble of actors ensure that their guests have a great time.”

★★★★ Scots Gay Magazine – “A joy and delight. Don’t miss it.”

★★★★ WhatsOnStage – “Dennis Kelly has done it again… Has all of the wit, grotesque humour and naughtiness of Dahl’s best.”

 

THE INITIATE by Alexandra Wood

WINNER of Scotsman Fringe First Award 2014 – “An intense, original and memorable play for today, with outstanding performances.”

★★★★ TVBomb – “A complex show that finds power in its simple execution… quality storytelling.”

The Guardian – “A wonderfully slippery and always intelligent play… Beautifully performed.”

Time Out London – “An unsettling, forthright piece of writing that will leave you thinking.”

 

Join in the conversation online with #RoundaboutPP @painesplough.

Catch our shows in the Roundabout @ Summerhall until 23 August 2014.

Roundabout pops up in Edinburgh

Roundabout is our beautiful new pop-up in-the-round theatre.

It’s a completely self-contained 168-seat auditorium that flat packs into a single lorry and can pop up anywhere from theatres to school halls, sports centres to warehouses.

We throw open the doors for the first time on 2 August at Summerhall, as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with plays by three of the UK’s most exciting playwrights, performed by an ensemble of actors:

Paines Plough presents
LUNGS BY DUNCAN MACMILLAN
In a time of global anxiety, erratic weather and political unrest, a couple want a child but are running out of time. What will be the first to destruct – the planet or their relationship?

Paines Plough presents
THE INITIATE BY ALEXANDRA WOOD
A British couple are seized by Somali pirates. In East London, a Somali taxi-driver decides to rescue them. A thrilling tale of altruism, greed and the search for how to belong.

Paines Plough and Half Moon present
OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL BY DENNIS KELLY
Two terrible twins rule their school until the arrival of a headmaster with scaly skin and a spiky tail. An outrageously entertaining comic caper from the writer of Matilda The Musical.

Plus, the return of…

Paines Plough and Pentabus present
EVERY BRILLIANT THING BY DUNCAN MACMILLAN
You’re six-years-old. Mum’s in hospital. Dad says she’s ‘done something stupid’. You start a list of everything that’s brilliant in the world. Everything worth living for. 1. Ice Cream. 2. Me. 3. Burning Things

At the end of the Festival, Roundabout will head out on its inaugural tour to NewburyMargate, Hackney and Barnsley.

We’ve created Roundabout because we’re passionate about new plays and we want as many people as possible to be able to see them. In the coming years, Roundabout will travel the length and breadth of the UK bringing a the nations’s best playwrights and a thrilling theatrical experience to people’s doorsteps.

We’ve spent four years developing Roundabout, We are hugely grateful to the organisations and individuals whose belief and support have made it possible, including The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, The John Ellerman Foundation, Universal Consolidated Group and Avolites Ltd, and the many of you who have made donations and sent us messages of support. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Roundabout was designed by Lucy Osborne and Emma Chapman in collaboration with Charcoalblue and Howard Eaton.

We can’t wait for you to see it…

ROUNDABOUT launches this summer

We’re beside ourselves with excitement as we gear up to launch Roundabout this summer at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

After three years of designing and prototyping and problem-solving, we are ready to unveil our beautiful travelling theatre with a repertory of new plays from the nation’s hottest playwrights.

Roundabout means we can tour outstanding new plays further and wider than ever before. Our state-of-the-art pop-up amphitheatre seats 168 people completely in the round. It flat packs into a single lorry and can pop up anywhere from the stage of a proscenium arch playhouse to a school hall, sports centre or warehouse.With a bear pit atmosphere, Roundabout is the most dynamic, most innovative, most essential new theatre in the country.

Designed by Lucy Osborne and Emma Chapman, the Roundabout Auditorium was piloted in 2011 in partnership with Sheffield Theatres and showcased at Shoreditch Town Hall in 2012. It has since been developed with Charcoalblue, Howard Eaton and Factory Settings and made possible by the generous support of principal funder The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, along with The J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust, The John Ellerman Foundation, The Garfield Weston Foundation and a host of you lovely people who have made invaluable donations through our Justgiving page… thank you all.

The Roundabout auditorium will be presented at Summerhall in collaboration with Northern Stage and will play host to our 2014 Roundabout Season, made possible with the support of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation: THE INITIATE by Alexandra Wood, OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL by Dennis Kelly and LUNGS by Duncan Macmillan.

Also playing in the auditorium this summer will be Duncan Macmillan’s EVERY BRILLIANT THING as well as a host of guest productions including productions from Northern Stage.

Follow the links to see the full list of cast and creatives, check out dates or buy tickets.

#RoundaboutPP

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spacer First up in our Roundabout Season 2014 is the world premiere of THE INITIATE, a thrilling new play by our former Playwright-in-Residence and George Devine Award winner Alexandra Wood.

A British couple are seized by Somali pirates. In East London, a taxi-driver decides to rescue them. Meeting disbelief with determination, he dismisses his wife’s fears and flies out to negotiate their release.

Speeding from the banks of the Thames to the now unfamiliar world of his homeland, he confronts the family he left behind and the bravado of the men he once called brothers.

A thrilling tale of altruism, greed, and the search for how to belong.

Cast: Andrew French, Sian Reese-Williams and Abdul Salis.

#TheInitiatePlay
@painesplough

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spacer Dennis Kelly, the multi award winning writer of MATILDA THE MUSICAL, returns to Paines Plough with a deliciously funny play for young people, which we are co-producing with Half Moon.

Two terrible twins with a talent for turmoil rule their school with terror and tyranny. That is, until the arrival of a new head teacher with green scaly skin, sharp gnarly fangs, and a long spiky tail…

Can the twins save the school from the child-eating Troll? Can they get Brussels sprouts in peanut butter taken off the lunch menu? And most importantly, can naughtiness prevail?

OUR TEACHER’S A TROLLis a hilarious play about mischief and mayhem for ages 7+ and their accompanying trolls (or parents).

Cast: Andrew French, Sian Reese-Williams and Abdul Salis.

#OurTeachersATroll #OTAT
@painesplough
@HalfMoonTheatre

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spacer LUNGS
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spacer Duncan Macmillan’s award-winning, internationally acclaimed LUNGS is back by popular demand.

I 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.

A couple are deciding their future. Thirty-something, educated and thoughtful, they want to have a child for the right reasons. But in a time of overpopulation, erratic weather and political unrest, what exactly are the right reasons?

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

‘The most beautiful, shattering play of the year.’ ★★★★★ Sunday Express

Cast: Sian Reese-Williams and Abdul Salis.

#LungsPlay
@painesplough

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spacer EVERY BRILLIANT THING
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spacer Following its successful rural tour with co-producers Pentabus Theatre Company, Duncan Macmillan’s EVERY BRILLIANT THING will also play at the Edinburgh Festival as part of our Roundabout Season.

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

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

You leave it on her pillow. You know she’s read it because she’s corrected your spelling.

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.

Each performance of Every Brilliant Thing involves members of the audience, making every night unique.

Cast: Jonny Donahoe.

#EveryBrilliantThing
@painesplough
@PentabusTheatre

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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.

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spacer HOPELESSLY DEVOTED by Kate Tempest
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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.

“STARTLINGLY BEAUTIFUL” ★★★★ The Times
“OUTSTANDING”                   ★★★★★ The Public Reviews

@painesplough
#KTHopelesslyDevoted

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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.

@painesplough
#BlisterPlay

spacer Blister by Laura Lomas
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spacer NOT THE WORST PLACE by Sam Burns
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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.

@painesplough
#NTWP

spacer Not the Worst Place by Sam Burns
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spacer AN INTERVENTION by Mike Bartlett
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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.

@painesplough
#AnInterventionPlay

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spacer EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan
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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.

@painesplough
#EveryBrilliantThing

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spacer LUNGS by Duncan Macmillan
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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.

@painesplough
#LungsPlay

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spacer OUR TEACHER’S A TROLL by Dennis Kelly
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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.

@painesplough
#TeachersATroll

spacer Our Teacher's a Troll by Dennis Kelly
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spacer THE ANGRY BRIGADE by James Graham
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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.

@painesplough
#AngryBrigadePlay

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spacer COME TO WHERE I’M FROM by 100 playwrights
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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.

@painesplough
#CTWIF

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spacer JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS by Tom Wells
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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).

@painesplough
#Jump4Goal

All images by Phoebe Cheong

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