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Open Auditions: London & Luton

Abdul Salis and Sian Reese-Williams in THE INITIATE - photo by Richard Davenport

Abdul Salis and Sian Reese-Williams in THE INITIATE – photo by Richard Davenport.

Monday 03 April, 1-4pm @ The Hat Factory, Luton LU1 2EY
Wednesday 05 April, 10am-5pm @ Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond TW9 2SA

After spending a lovely day meeting some fantastic Welsh actors last week with Theatr Clwyd we’re excited to announce our next round of open auditions in collaboration with our friends Revoluton Arts and the Orange Tree Theatre.

As usual, we’re looking to meet actors previously unknown to Paines Plough with a passion for new writing. You can apply in pairs for one of the dates from now until 10am on 21 March and then we’ll randomly select 15 duos to see in Luton and 30 duos for Richmond. We hope this means that everyone who wants to apply is able to, and that the selection process is fair to everyone.

In Luton, we’re only looking for actors who are originally from – or currently live – in Luton or wider Bedfordshire. If you’re not from Bedfordshire please do not apply for these open auditions.

Anyone is welcome to apply for the open auditions in Richmond.

Sounds good? This is how to apply…

– Find yourself a partner – we’re auditioning people in pairs.
– Pick your venue – we only want to meet Bedfordshire actors on 03 April so make sure you apply for the Orange Tree date if you’re not from or based in the area.
– Register by filling in this form by 10am on Tuesday 21 March. There’s no need to send in anything else in advance.
– If you are selected to audition, we’ll get in touch with you by Friday 24 March with an audition time – make sure you let us know if you can make it or not.
– If you’re not selected to audition this time, we will keep you on a waiting list and may offer you an audition if a slot becomes available.
– Once everything’s confirmed, please prepare a three-minute duologue from a play written in the last 15 years.
– On the day, all you need is your Spotlight or CV printout and your partner. Break a leg!

Some things to bear in mind:

– If you have auditioned for Paines Plough before, unfortunately we won’t be able to see you this time round.
– To give everyone a fair shot, agent or not, we only accept applications from actors so, if you have an agent, please apply using your own email address.
– Places are all allocated in advance. Due to high demand we normally can’t accommodate requests for a different time, and we will be unable to see people on a walk-up basis.
– If for any reason you can’t make your audition please let us know ASAP by emailing If you don’t turn up to your audition without letting us know in advance, you won’t be able to apply for future Paines Plough Open Auditions.
– We can only accept applications made with this form before the deadline.
– Due to the large volume of people we’ll be seeing, we unfortunately won’t be able to offer feedback.
– We aren’t casting for a particular show at the moment – we just want to meet some new actors so that we can bear you in mind for future productions. So don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back from us after your audition.
– Check out our FAQs for more information about the application process and what to expect on the day, or ping us an email at if you’re not sure about anything.
– Don’t worry if you don’t live in the area – we try to hold as many Open Auditions as we can throughout the year all around the UK. Join our mailing list or keep an eye on our social media for details of the next ones…

Hope to see you there!

Team PP

You can download our FAQs here: Open Audition FAQs

Happy Christmas from Team PP


The Fringe First winning Roundabout cast (Richard Corgan, Andy Rush and Remy Beasley)

It’s been a bumper year for us here at PPHQ but it’s time to close our doors for 2016. We’ve had a brilliant year, thanks for being part of it. We’ll be back in the new year with another packed programme.

If you miss us…


You can download our COME TO WHERE I’M FROM app from the App Store. It’s completely free and features nearly 150 short audio plays from writers from all corners of the UK.

Download here.


When EVERY BRILLIANT THING played in New York last year HBO made a film that’s airing on Boxing Day. How cool is that? 8pm if you’re in the US or watch it on demand here.

You can see the trailer here.

Festive opening hours:

Just so you know, we will be closing the office and rehearsal room from 5pm on 16 December 2016 until 10am on 03 January 2017. Please direct any enquiries to or leave a message on 020 7240 4533 and we will respond as soon as possible on our return.

In the meantime, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – we can’t wait to see you again in 2017.

NEW: 2017

We’re very pleased to announce that once again we will be working with the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. As part of NEW: 2017 we’ve jointly commissioned writer Alison Carr to write a play for their graduating actors in 2017. The plays will run alongside commissions from the Royal Court and Sherman Theatre. They’ll open in Cardiff and then transfer to The Gate in London.


Tues 28 – Fri 31 March
Richard Burton Theatre & Bute Theatre, Cardiff

Tues 4 – Sat 8 April
Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, London

We’re also very excited that Alison’s new play will be directed by Hannah Banister who was the Assistant Director on our production of James Graham’s THE ANGRY BRIGADE in 2015.

Our past productions with RWCMD have been:

TEN WEEKS by Elinor Cook (2016)
GROWTH by Luke Norris (2015)
BLISTER by Laura Lomas (2014)

Alison Carr, Writer

Alison Carr

Alison’s theatre credits include: CLOTHES SWAP THEATRE PARTY (Forward Theatre Project); FAT ALICE (Traverse Theatre); A WONDROUS PLACE (Northern Spirit, tour); NEVER RAINS BUT IT POURS (Theatre503); THE GIRLS FROM POPPYFIELD CLOSE, CLINT (Live Theatre) and CAN CAUSE DEATH starring Olivier Award-winning actor David Bradley (Forward Theatre Project at the National Theatre, Northern Stage & Latitude Festival).

Alison has also worked with theatres and companies including Paines Plough, nabokov, Old Vic New Voices, New Writing North and 5065 Lift.

Radio credits include Afternoon Drama DOLLY WOULD (BBC Radio 4) and YACKETY YAK (The Verb, BBC Radio 3).

In 2013, Alison was awarded the Live Theatre/Empty Space Bursary Award to develop her play THE SOAKING OF VERA SHRIMP. The play opened at Live Theatre in September 2014 and was subsequently produced by Live Theatre in association with Rosie & Me at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015.

Alison is a member of The Traverse Fifty and last year completed a 6-month attachment with Monkeywood Theatre.

Alison’s first full-length play commission IRIS opened at Live Theatre, Newcastle in April 2016 (directed by Max Roberts). Most recently, Alison was shortlisted for the Theatre503 Playwriting Award for her play CATERPILLAR.


Hannah Banister

Hannah is a freelance theatre director who is most excited about working on ambitious projects which have at the heart of them an extraordinary story. She loves new writing, re-imagined classics, comedy, sketch comedy, verbatim, non-fiction, adventure, fantasy. Anything you might consider to be a bit rock and roll in theatre.

She has directed THIS IS ART by Charlene James at Proud Archivist in Haggerston and was a finalist for the JMK young Directors’ award 2014.

Her other work as a Director includes STRINGS (in development), I KILLED RASPUTIN by Richard Herring (Assembly), GARDENING FOR THE UNFULFILLED AND ALIENATED (Pleasance, Fringe First Award Winner), CRIMBLE (Old Red Lion), TRAPP (Old Vic) and BEST MEN (Southwark Playhouse). As Associate Director, her credits include PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), THE ABSENCE OF WAR (Headlong), TIGER COUNTRY (Hampstead Theatre), ANOTHER COUNTRY (Trafalgar Studios). As assistant director her credits include THE ANGRY BRIGADE (Paines Plough, The Bush, Theatre Royal Plymouth), THE TEMPEST (The Globe Theatre), LONGING (Hampstead Theatre) and JUMPY (Royal Court Theatre and West End).


Workshop: General Management

Growth by Luke Norris rehearsals, Paines Plough- -®HelenMurray-172

A few places have become available for our General Management workshop on Monday 12 December, 6:30pm-8:30pm (with attendee registration from 6pm), in the Paines Plough Rehearsal Room. We are located on 4th Floor, 43 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4DN.

This workshop is a chance for anyone interested in working in the theatre industry as a General Manager, or in Finance and Administration, to find out more about the profession. The evening will consist of a panel discussion followed by a Q&A; there will also be a chance to get to know everyone before and after the workshop.

We already have some brilliant panellists confirmed with more to come:

Natalie Adams, General Manager at Coney.

Fiona Gregory, General Manager at Frantic Assembly.

Catherine McKinney, General Manager at Almeida Theatre.

Sue Storr, freelance Arts Consultant and former General Manager at Paines Plough.

If you would like to register for a place just email Charlotte at with the following information:

– Your name.
– Current role and where you work. (If you don’t have a job at the moment, don’t worry about this part – if you’re a student, please put what, and where, you are studying)
– A few sentences on why you’d like to attend this workshop.

Broken Biscuits: #nowplaying Birmingham


It’s the last week of our BROKEN BISCUITS tour. Tom Wells‘ heart-warming comedy finishes at Birmingham REP this week after touring for three months. We’re going out in style by listening to some of the best bands from Birmingham.

Black Sabbath

One of the most famous heavy metal bands in history, what more can we tell you about Black Sabbath? We know former lead singer Ozzy Osbourne ate a bats head live on stage but did you know they’ve won two Grammys? They also used to be named the Polka Tulk Blues Band after a brand of talcum powder. Very metal. MTV ranked them as The Greatest Metal Band of All Time. We highly doubt the BROKEN BISCUITS gang will be inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame for their songs about working in Sainburys.

Judas Priest

There must have been something about Birmingham in the 60’s because not only did it spawn Black Sabbath but also Judas Priest. MTV has them in at second place in the Greatest Metal Band of All Time rankings. The name comes from the Bob Dylan song The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest. Over the years they’ve had 8 different drummers. BROKEN BISCUITS currently have 0. Although Megan is doing her best to make it 1.

Electric Light Orchestra

Birmingham wasn’t just churning out heavy metal bands though. They were also the home of the Electric Light Orchestra. Also known as ELO. The band with the dubious honour of having the most hits in the Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 without ever scoring a number one. Despite not being quite as rock n roll as Black Sabbath and Judas Priest the prog rock boys will be inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

Duran Duran

The dance-rockers so good they named them twice. Duran Duran have sold over 100 million records world wide, 14 singles in the UK Top Ten, 21 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and have won numerous awards including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Not bad for some lads from brum. There are so many good Duran Duran videos that we struggled to pick one to post below. In the end we went with Rio because honestly, what’s going on here?

Ocean Colour Scene

A band so proud of their roots they named their second album and their record label after Moseley where the band formed. They were part of the Brit-pop wave alongside Oasis, Blur, Pulp and Suede the band had numerous Top Ten album in the 90’s including their second album Moseley Shoals. We’ll leave you with one of the most Brit-pop videos ever made. Check that bucket hat out.

And so end our musical journey round Birmingham. We’ll see you at the REP for the latest chapter when BROKEN BISCUITS take to the stage. Tickets here.


A New Brilliant Thing: James Rowland



We’re excited to announce a new face of EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe. Actor and comedian James Rowland will play the part of the narrator for international dates in Australia and New Zealand in 2017 (and maybe a few dates closer to home too, stay tuned). The original brilliant thing Jonny Donahoe will continue in the role he has now performed a staggering 229 times in three different continents. Jonny will be taking the show to North America while James is the other side of the planet in the Antipodes.

So there will be two brilliant things. Brilliant!

We’ll announce full worldwide tour dates for EVERY BRILLIANT THING with our full Programme 2017 in the New Year, and my word have we got some treats in store for you.

But for now we can reveal James and EVERY BRILLIANT THING will appear at Adelaide Festival  (14-18 March) and Aucklands Arts Festival (21-26 March).

If you follow us on Twitter @painesplough we’ll let slip some more international tour dates in the next few weeks.

We’re thrilled to welcome James to Team PP. His one man show in Edinburgh this year TEAM VIKING was our favouritest thing, and we’re honoured to be working with an actor of James’ calibre.


James has performed in Theatre, Radio and Television. Recently he has done lots of immersive theatre including The Crystal Maze, Heist and You Once Said Yes. He has also performed musical comedy under the stage name ‘James Rowland’ and is a member of the cabaret band The Idiot Circus. He performed his debut storytelling show Team Viking in London and Edinburgh and won The Origins Award (Vault Festival, 2016).


Roundabout @ Mandela Gardens, Barnsley

Roundabout audience Rich Lakos

Roundabout (cred. The Other Richard)

Bring on week six of the Roundabout national tour. This week we’re in Barnsley, our only Yorkshire venue, and we can’t wait to open on Thursday with another jam-packed schedule of wonderful events in Roundabout. We’ll be popping Roundabout up right outside The Civic on Mandela Gardens from Thursday 13 October until Sunday 16 October. If you need help finding us, dont worry here’s a map.

We’ve got an exciting mix of events for you this week from stand up comedy to a concert performed in-the-round, not to mention two one off talks from the Barnsley Trade Council.

Thursday 13 October:

19:00 // LOVE, LIES & TAXIDERMY by Alan Harris

Friday 14 October:

18:30 // Ensemble 360
20:30 // GROWTH by Luke Norris

Saturday 15 October:

10:30 // The Yorkshire Rising of 1820 (Barnsley Trade Council)
12:00 // Readings from “The Annals of Barnsley” by John Hugh Burland (Barnsley Trade Council)
13:30 // The Civic Scratch
16:00 // LOVE, LIES & TAXIDERMY by Alan Harris
18:30 // GROWTH by Luke Norris
20:30 // Cabaret Boom Boom

Sunday 16 October:

10:30 // Sponge (Turned on its Head)
12:00 // The Life of A Bee (Manasamitra)
19:00 // Two Pianos (American Rock and Roll Concert)


Roundabout being built (cred. Caitlin O’Reilly)

You can book for all events through The Civic’s website here. Or call the Box Office on 01226 327000. Or just wander over to The Civic – tickets will be available for all Roundabout events from the Box Office up until the performance.

Did you know?

The original Civic was built as a Public Hall by Charles Harvey in 1877. In 1962 the Hall became Barnsley Civic Theatre, a traditional proscenium arch theatre seating 800 people and attracting some of the biggest names in show business to the town. Big names like Ken Dodd performed here regularly and the theatre continued to entertain audiences until sadly closing in 1998. The remodelled building and site reopened to the public in 2009 and now includes a 316 seat performance space and a design led gallery.


Civic Hall (cred. The Civic, Barnsley)

Roundabout @ Marine Gardens, Margate


Roundabout beside the seaside (cred. Francesca Moody) 

Last week we were in sunny Poole and this week we’re in sunny Margate. We are lucky. Theatre Royal Margate have programmed a fantastic four-day festival popping up on the seafront in Marine Gardens from Thursday 22 September to Sunday 25 September.

We’re on the seafront  close to the sea,  the beach and most importantly fish and chip vendors. See the full programme below with theatre, comedy, dance, life drawing, workshops and more.

Thursday 22 September – 2pm (relaxed performance)
A Paines Plough, Sherman Cymru and Theatre Clwyd production
Love, Lies and Taxidermy
By Alan Harris

Thursday 22 September – 7pm
Rachel Mars
Our Carnal Hearts

Friday 23 September – 10:30am
A Paines Plough and Half Moon production
I Got Superpowers For My Birthday
By Katie Douglas

Friday 23 September – 12 Noon
Roundabout Tour (No need to book, just come along and say hello.)

Friday 23 September – 1pm
Annie Sutton/Black Theatre Live
Rehearsal Room Workshop on HAMLET
by William Shakespeare

Friday 23 September – 4:30pm
b by the sea…

Friday 23 September – 6:30pm
A Paines Plough, Sherman Cymru and Theatre Clwyd production
Love, Lies and Taxidermy
By Alan Harris

Saturday 24 September – 10am
An Introduction to Drawing

Saturday 24 September – 12 Noon
Roundabout Tour (No need to book, just come along and say hello.)

Saturday 24 September – 1:30pm
A Paines Plough and Half Moon production
I Got Superpowers For My Birthday
By Katie Douglas

Saturday 24 September – 3pm
Workshop: Acting and Directing in the Round

Saturday 24 September – 5:30pm
The Invisible Man
inspired by Ralph Ellison

Saturday 24 September – 6:45pm
A Paines Plough production
By Luke Norris

Saturday 24 September – 9:30pm
A Paines Plough, Sherman Cymru and Theatre Clwyd production
Love, Lies and Taxidermy
By Alan Harris

Sunday 24 September – 10:45am
A Paines Plough and Half Moon production
I Got Superpowers For My Birthday
By Katie Douglas

Sunday 25 September – 1pm
A Paines Plough production
By Luke Norris

Sunday 25 September – 3pm
Rob Auton
The Sleep Show

Sunday 25 September – 5pm
Looping the Loop

Sunday 25 September – 8:30pm
Billy Bottle & The Multiple
The Other Place

You can book for all events through the Theatre Royal’s website here. Or call the Box Office on 01843 292795. Or just wander over to Roundabout – we’ve got a pop up Box Office right next to it!


The sun sets on Roundabout in Margate (cred. Francesca Moody)

Did you know?

We’ve got an exhibition in the Turner Contemporary foyer at the moment. It details the story of Roundabout. The ideas, the designs and the construction.

It’s free and you can pop in anytime.


The story of Roundabout (cred. Dan Thompson)

Huge thanks to Dan Thompson who helped us set it up. Check him out here.

A postcard from Eccles

Roundabout Assistant Director Anna sent us this postcard from Eccles. We had such a lovely four days working with The Lowry to pop up as part of Love Eccles Festival.

eccles-postcard-back eccles-postcard-front

This week we’re in Margate. Next week we’re in Lincoln. And after that we just keep touring. See full tour dates here.

Roundabout @ Poole Park, Dorset


Roundabout being built in Poole Park (cred. Callum Thomson)

It’s week two of the Roundabout tour and we’re heading south to Poole! Thanks to our brilliant partners Lighthouse, Poole with a little help from Activate we’re popping in the gorgeous Poole Park from Thursday 15 September to Sunday 18 September. Roundabout is right next to The Kitchen – our favourite place to be.

The programme includes Katie Douglas’ epic adventure I GOT SUPERPOWERS FOR MY BIRTHDAY for superheros 7+ (co-produced with Half Moon Theatre), LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY by award winning Welsh writer Alan Harris (co-produced by Sherman Theatre and Theatr Clwyd) and the Scotsman Fringe First winning GROWTH by Luke Norris.

Praise for GROWTH:

Achingly funny and tender… Of the hundreds of shows at the Fringe, few feel as necessary as this.”
★★★ Financial Times

Genuinely hilarious from start to finish… consistently witty, packed with vivid characters and hook-filled dialogue.”
★★★★ The Stage

Genuinely laugh-out-loud funny… heart-stoppingly human.”
★★★★ The Scotsman


A stupidly lovely fantasy… very funny… make[s] you believe that sometimes real life can actually be better than the movies.”
★★★★ The Guardian

“Raucously funny… a joyful, surprising tribute to love, hope, community and big ideas.”
★★★★ WhatsOnStage

Perrin and his cast delight.”
★★★★★ British Theatre Guide


“This is fast-moving, energetic and exciting storytelling at it’s very, very finest.
★★★★★ Edinburgh Festival for Kids

“Watch the kids’ drop-jaw, knee-hugging body language…they are hook, line and sinkered with this utterly captivating show.”
★★★ The Edinburgh Reporter

If only all children’s theatre could be performed in the Paines Plough Roundabout…endlessly dynamic and frequently funny.”
★★★ The List


Roundabout in Poole Park (cred. Callum Thomson)

Here’s the full schedule for our four-day festival in Poole Park:


19.30 // GROWTH




19:30 // GROWTH


18:00 // GROWTH

You can book for any of these events on Lighthouse’s website here. Or call the Box Office on 01202 280000.

Did you know?

Lighthouse’s building has been closed for redevelopment but will be re-opening on Wednesday 12 October. While the building has been getting a make-over Lighthouse have been programming pop-up events all over the city including Roundabout.

Roundabout audience Rich Lakos

Inside Roundabout (cred. The Other Richard)