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Broken Biscuits: #nowplaying Scarborough

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This week BROKEN BISCUITS by Tom Wells is on the East coast at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough so we’ll be listening to bands who started life along the beautiful Yorkshire coastline.

Little Angels – Scarborough 

Prolific 80s rock band Little Angels formed in Scarborough back in 1984 (previously named both Zeus and Mr Thrud). They started life with their brilliantly titled debut album Too Posh To Mosh. During their prime they supported Van Halen and Bon Jovi.

Arthur Brown – Whitby

I AM THE GOD OF HELLFIRE AND I BRING YOU… Arthur Brown of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Who remembers ‘Fire’ which reached Number 1 back in 1968 (both here and in Canada)? The eccentric frontman was famed for his operatic singing style which he has sustained through a long career, continuing to record to this day. His followers refer to him as The God of Hellfire in reference to the opening lyrics to Fire.

Ben Parcell – Bridlington

Ben Parcell couldn’t be further from Arthur Brown in terms of style but only comes from down the road in Bridlington. Parcell describes his sound as Pop Folk – which is a similar sound to the BROKEN BISCUITS gang. Although we don’t think Ben has any songs about working on the checkout at Sainbury’s.

We’re at the Stephen Joseph from Tuesday until Saturday – come and rock out with us (in a gentle geeky way). Tickets here.

#BrokenBiscuits

Broken Biscuits: Reviews Round-up

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After playing for three weeks at co-producers Live Theatre in Newcastle, Tom WellsBROKEN BISCUITS hits the road. We thought we’d do a quick round up of all the brilliant feedback our young rockers have received so far.

“A sweet meditation on the fierce, fragile alliances formed on the cusp of adulthood… incredibly endearing.” ★★★★ The Guardian

“Wonderful, funny and original ★★★★ The i Newspaper

“Funny, confessional and well-crafted… Matthew Robins’ music and Wells’ lyrics feel like Victoria Wood for a new generation.” The Stage

“Quirky, warm and hugely entertaining.” ★★★★ The Chronicle

“It’s funny. It’s engaging, even heart-warming.” British Theatre Guide

“Great atmosphere.” ★★★★ The Reviews Hub

“A funny script and rocking soundtrack… filled with warmth.” Narc Magazine

“A brilliant script… may well be the most uplifting thing you’ll see all year.” ★★★★★ Once Upon a Tyne

“Charming and recognisable… provided laughs along the way in its feel good message about growing up.” North East Theatre Guide

“A new play by Tom Wells is always a welcome event.” The Northern Echo

We’re touring until December visiting all of the following places. Are we coming to you?

25-29 October
The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth
01752 267222
theatreroyal.com

01-05 November
Hull Truck Theatre
01482 323638
hulltruck.co.uk

08-12 November
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
01723 370541
sjt.uk.com

15-19 November
Crucible Studio, Sheffield Theatres
0114 249 6000
sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

25-26 November
Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol
0117 902 0344
tobaccofactorytheatres.com

29 November – 03 December
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
0121 236 4455
birmingham-rep.co.uk

#BrokenBiscuits

Broken Biscuits: The Trailer

It’s one week until BROKEN BISCUITS by Tom Wells opens with our co-producers Live Theatre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and we’re very excited to give you a glimpse of Megan’s shed where our musical heroes are tuning up.

We hope to see you at one of our tour dates:

05-22 October
Live Theatre, Newcastle
0191 232 1232
live.org.uk

25-29 October
The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth
01752 267222
theatreroyal.com

01-05 November
Hull Truck Theatre
01482 323638
hulltruck.co.uk

08-12 November
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
01723 370541
sjt.uk.com

15-19 November
Crucible Studio, Sheffield Theatres
0114 249 6000
sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

25-26 November
Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol
0117 902 0344
tobaccofactorytheatres.com

29 November – 03 December
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
0121 236 4455
birmingham-rep.co.uk

The brilliant trailer was created by Rory Gibson. You can check out his work here.

#BrokenBiscuits

Broken Biscuits: Tour & Casting announcement

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© Matt Humphrey 2016

We’ve got a double whammy of news for you today. We’re co-producing Tom Wells‘ new play BROKEN BISCUITS with Live Theatre in Newcastle and we’re very pleased to announce both the cast and the national tour dates.

We scoured the country for the talent to play Megan, Holly and Ben – the ‘Mis-Shapes‘ at the centre of BROKEN BISCUITS. We did Open Auditions in London, Hull and Newcastle. We met hundreds of talented actors. We did first calls and recalls. And then there were three. Here they are:

Faye Christall

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© Matt Humphrey 2016

Faye is making her debut with Paines Plough and trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Theatre credits include: GONE VIRAL (St James Theatre), ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). Film credits include: CUTE LITTLE BUGGERS 3D and AWAKE. Workshops include: THE UNTITLED MUSICAL (Tricycle Theatre). Faye is also part of the Cirque du Soleil Company.

Faye will play Megan in BROKEN BISCUITS.

Grace Hogg-Robinson

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© Matt Humphrey 2016

TV includes: The regular role of Beth Kennedy in THE CORONER: Series 1 & 2 (BBC1 and BBC Worldwide) as well as appearances in CASUALTY (BBC1), CAMPING (Sky Atlantic), DIARY OF A SNOB (Nickelodeon), DOCTORS (BBC1) and SUSPECTS (Channel 5). Film includes: EDGE OF TOMORROW (Warner Bros.), BIRDHOUSE (NFTS), CANDY FLOSS (HAUS Pictures) and THE NEST (Beyond Fiction). BROKEN BISCUITS will be Grace’s stage debut.

Grade will play Holly in BROKEN BISCUITS.

Andrew Reed

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© Matt Humphrey 2016

Andrew was born in South Tyneside. He trained with The Customs House, South Shields and the Theatre Royal Newcastle. Credits include: THE FIFTEEN STREETS, DRAMA, BABY, TAKEAWAY (The Customs House, South Shields), SCRAPBOOK (Live Theatre, Newcastle), THE MACHINES, 13 (Theatre Royal Newcastle and on tour).

Andrew will play Ben in BROKEN BISCUITS.

We’re also pleased to announce the creative team that will be taking BROKEN BISCUITS from page to stage:

Songs Matthew Robins
Direction
James Grieve
Design Lily Arnold
Lighting Joshua Pharo
Sound Dominic Kennedy

Our brilliant cast will be touring, with shed and musical instruments in tow, to the following venues in Autumn 2016:

Wednesday 5 to Saturday 22 October
Live Theatre, Newcastle
Tickets here.

Tuesday 25 to Saturday 29 October
The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth

Tickets here.

Tuesday 1 to Saturday 5 November
Hull Truck Theatre
Tickets here.

Tuesday 8 to Saturday 12 November
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
Tickets here.

Tuesday 15 to Saturday 19 November
Crucible Studio, Sheffield
Tickets here.

Friday 25 to Saturday 26 November
Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol
Tickets here.

Tuesday 29 November to Saturday 3 December
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Tickets here.

We hope to see you on tour.

#FunFact Tom’s inspiration for writing BROKEN BISCUITS was listening to Pulp’s hit Mis-Shapes. Listen carefully for the biscuit reference.

#BrokenBiscuits

Insights with JFG cast – In Kendal/Scarborough

Last Thursday was National Stage Management Day.  Though this date hasn’t yet reached the levels of pervasiveness and commercialization as Mother’s Day, its subjects are similarly underappreciated and over-worked, and thoroughly deserve the recognition of the rest of the stage community.  Stage Managers are the Strong Nuclear Force that holds a production together: you don’t see them but everything would fall apart if they weren’t there (*end of under-researched physics metaphor*).  I’m not sure it is possible to write a job description for them, but ‘everything else’ would not be innacurate.  They note all the blocking in rehearsals, source obscure practice props, are the go-tos for all of the mundane, workaday stuff whilst on tour and are the link between performers, production company and the theatres.  They set the props and prepare the stage, wash the costumes, listen to actor whinges, book comps, call and run the show itself, do the show report, distribute rail tickets, listen to another actor whinge.  Et cetera.  Ad infinitum.  They are the first to arrive and the last to leave.  And they never get a curtain call.  So, Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the JFG Stage Management Team: Alicia White (CSM) and Amy Slater (ASM).  Take a bow, you two.

Another thing that SM’s have to do are the ‘calls’ – the times and places everyone has to be at.  On show days, actors have to arrive before ‘the half’ (actually 35 minutes before curtain up), although we usually arrive earlier than this for notes, warm-ups, important social debriefings and hangover solidarity.  Even then, we’re still not at work until well after High tea.  So, what do we do during the days, I hear you not cry?  In the Good Old Days of Rep, when theatres used to put on a play a week with French windows and shit sound effects, and performers’ faces were fearsomely caked in Leichner and Kryolan, the actor’s day was divided thus: getting rid of last night’s hangover; raking together enough change and finding a quiet phonebox to ring agent, family and mistress; meeting fellow cast members in The [insert monarch/animal]’s Head and embarking on tomorrow’s hangover; do the show; return to the pub.  This is a probably a gross caricature and a thespy cliché.  Probably.  I imagine that they got up, out and enjoyed what the various towns that they visited had to offer, as we have.  We had a cracking week last week; it was spilt between The Lakes and The Seaside.

On Tuesday my train overshot Oxenholme station and I ended up in Penrith…PENRITH!

I was very late.  The Brewery in Kendal was a new venue for all of us; it’s a thriving arts centre that serves up the best touring comedy and theatre to.  Plus, if you’re working there you can get 10p tea.  TEN PEE! – just like the Good Old Days of Rep.  We had one of our best performances there last Wednesday night; a loud and laughing audience lifting the play to its very best.  Production Manager Bernd and the crew burned the Kendal at both ends to get the set out, over to and into Scarborough ready for a show the following night.  No mean feat, that.  The Round at the Stephen Joseph Theatre is a legendary stage.  It is the playground of Sir Alan Ayckbourn, one of the most performed playwrights on the planet and a giant of modern theatre.  We didn’t play ‘in the round’ with audience on all sides (it’s a square, really), but plonked ourselves across the space and played to half of the capacity in a sort of thrust.  The audience was very quiet, which was a bit of a shock after the reactions we have had elsewhere, but the staff at SJT reassured us that this was usual and they were enjoying the show.  Afterwards, more people came over to us in the bar to say ‘well done’ than anywhere before, and on Saturday night, after another seemingly muted response, they gave us a standing ovation.  Strange, eh?  You have to be careful not to be thrown by an audience, boisterous or reserved.  It is a unique mix of people who have paid their money and they’ll enjoy it on their terms.

Scarbados, like any British seaside resort in the off-season, can seem pretty dull (following a vivid, startling Martin Parr summer).  It tried to be – raining throughout our stay – but we ballasted ourselves with Mother Hubbard’s fish and chips, filled our tanks at the Alma (SJT’s local) and went full steam ahead at Bacchus (the late bar named after the Roman god of fake Jäegermeister).

We finish the tour in Ipswich, at the New Wolsey.  Tonight, in fact (last night? Last week?  Anyway – Thursday 17th – sorry, I am very late with this blog).  They won the TMA Most Welcoming Theatre award in 2012. They deserved it; it’s a terrific venue with strong beating heart and loyal, laughy following.

Have to swap with Lisa now.  Pub? #Jump4Goal

JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS National Tour Announced

We’re over the moon to be announcing that Tom Wells‘ brilliant new rom com JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS (“Unreservedly recommended” ★★★★★ The Independent) will be touring to audiences in Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Scarborough, Kendal and Ipswich in the Autumn as well as a London home at the Bush theatre.

A Paines Plough, Hull Truck and Watford Palace Theatre production
JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS
by Tom Wells
directed by James Grieve

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).

Here’s the full details of where it’s heading:

29 August – 14 September 2013, Hull Truck Theatre
17 – 21 September 2013, West Yorkshire Playhouse
1 – 5 October 2013, Northern Stage
8 – 9 September 2013, Brewery Arts, Kendal
10 – 12 October 2013, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
14 – 16 October 2013, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
25 November – 21 December 2013, Bush Theatre, London

Paines Plough Joint Artistic Director and director of JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS James said:

“The autumn tour of Tom Wells’ JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS sees the company returning to seven great theatres across the country with a production we are excited to share as one of the feelgood comedy hits of the year. Along with Hull Truck and Watford Palace Theatre, I am tremendously excited to bring Tom’s important, heart-rending and side-splitting rom com to audiences in Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Scarborough, Kendal and Ipswich. 

We are also delighted to announce that the production will transfer to London’s Bush Theatre at the end of the year. This will be a homecoming, not only for Tom whose extraordinary play THE KITCHEN SINK premiered at The Bush in 2011, but also for me having spent two years there as Associate Director. 

Our long term relationships with theatres nationwide are the cornerstone of our ambition to ensure everyone, everywhere, has the opportunity to see the best of British new writing.”

For the story of JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS so far you can have a gander at our blog, read the reviews here and to get involved with the conversation tweet @painesplough #Jump4Goal.

INSIGHTS: PP NSDF Workshops

This week our General Manager Claire, Producer Tara and Assistant Producer Hanna headed up to Scarborough for NSDF 2013. As well as watching the final show of the WASTED tour at the Grand Spa Hall, and seeing some of the selected shows at Stephen Joseph Theatre, the team was also delivering workshops on Producing, Fundraising and Budgeting. We were really inspired by all of the young producers and arts managers who took part in the workshops, thanks so much for coming.

Check out the summaries of the workshops below and click on the handy links for the PowerPoints from the workshop. If you would like copies of any of the handouts please do get in touch.

The Scarborough seaside providing the backdrop for NSDF 2013

1. Run by Tara Wilkinson, Hanna Streeter and Claire Simpson

Workshop title: Getting big on budgets

Workshop summary: Practical guidance on how to draft a production budget, primarily for touring co-productions, focusing on all of the details you might need to consider.  This workshop will include group-based exercises.

Maximum number of attendees: 20

Skill level (if applicable): Some understanding or experience of drafting a budget or producing a show would be advantageous, but not essential.

Genre:  Producing, Finance, Administration

Items needed for workshop: Tables and chairs for practical activity and note taking, projector for power point, flip chart, board pens for flip chart

For the GETTING BIG ON BUDGETS powerpoint click here

 

2. Run by Tara Wilkinson, Hanna Streeter and Claire Simpson

Workshop title: Treasure Hunt – funding your way to success

Workshop summary: A summary of the current funding landscape and where the opportunities and challenges lie, with practical guidance on drafting a funding application.  This workshop will include group-based exercises.

Maximum number of attendees: 20

Skill level (if applicable): Some understanding or experience of applying for funding or producing a show would be advantageous, but not essential.

Genre:  Producing, Fundraising, Administration

Items needed for workshop: Tables and chairs for practical activity and note taking, projector for power point, flip chart, board pens for flip chart

Click here for the TREASURE HUNT- Funding your way to success Powerpoint

 

One of PP's NSDF workshops

3. Run by Tara Wilkinson, Hanna Streeter and Claire Simpson

Workshop title: Just the two of us – a guide to the very important co-producing relationship

Workshop summary: Sharing experiences of the different forms of co-producing relationships, how the relationship works in delivering a show and how that is reflected in the co-production contract.  This workshop will include group-based exercises.

Maximum number of attendees: 20

Skill level (if applicable): Some understanding or experience of producing a show would be advantageous, but not essential.

Genre:  Producing, Co-Productions, Administration

Items needed for workshop: Tables and chairs for practical activity and note taking, projector for power point, flip chart, board pens for flip chart

Click here for the JUST THE TWO OF US – a guide to the very important co-producing relationship Powerpoint

For any other information on the workshops email office@painesplough.com and we’ll see what we can do!

Happy Producing!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Podcast 4

The LOVE, LOVE, LOVE tour continued this week at the magical Live Theatre, Newcastle, before heading to The Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, where it opens tonight.

Here’s the fourth in our weekly series of LLL PODCASTS featuring a chat behind the scenes for all you budding Stage Mangers. Introducing the AMAZING Sarah Castleton-Smith…

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE PODCAST No.4

We’ll be bringing you interviews, discussions and audience feedback from across the UK as we bring LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to you, with a new podcast every week.

At each venue we’ll be taking a bit of the 60s out into the towns and cities we’re visiting. See if you can spot the LLL-LP on its journey through the UK – here it is with a Mr.James Barrett and a certain Tyne Bridge hiding behind it!

We’d love some suggestions for where LLL-LP should visit on our other tour dates.

See you in a town near you soon.