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Forward Theatre: Genesis

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Our brilliant Associate Company, Forward Theatre Project, are touring their new show GENESIS this autumn. Artistic Director, Charlotte Bennett, tells us what it’s all about…

In 2013, I met a brilliant, inspiring woman called Morag Siller.

Morag was an actress, had incurable breast cancer and was the patron of charity Prevent Breast Cancer. She told me about this small but radical organisation; the UK’s only charity to solely focus on breast cancer prevention, which had started with a vision of finding an alternative way to achieve a breast cancer free future – and I was blown away.

Morag wanted to create a play to raise awareness of prevention and asked if I would work with her. We wanted to look at how we could reach not only scientific minds but non-scientific ones by telling the human stories behind the science. And so myself and playwright Frazer Flintham, interviewed patients and scientists to create a new play: GENESIS, which tells a story about genetic testing for breast cancer.

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As part of ‘tooling up’ we spent hours ensuring we understood the science and the terms (the sort of stuff that if you are a non-science bod make you want to bolt). We know how to tell human stories, but understanding the science was the real challenge. It was hard but GLORIOUS. And the support from the brilliant staff at Prevent Breast Cancer empowered us to make a play that is now as scientifically informed as it is theatrically crafted.

Morag passed away in April. She was a woman who campaigned right to the end of her life to bring the science of this charity into the fore of the conversation about a breast cancer free future. And she was also a brilliant actress who recognised the ability of theatre to have conversations with audiences about difficult things like genetic testing by using humour, drama and story. And so we make this one for her.

And now here we are, rehearsing this important piece of theatre in Manchester. We premiere at The Lowry, Salford. We then tour to Soho Theatre, London, then to Cumbria, Preston and Doncaster.

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Booking details are here:

11th – 12th November The Lowry (8pm, 2.30pm and 8pm) Tickets £12 / £10 concessions

15th – 19th November Soho Theatre (7pm, Sat matinee 4pm) Tickets £16 / £14 concessions

22nd November Beggar’s Theatre Cumbria (7.30pm) Tickets £10 / £7 concessions

23rd November  Preston Continental  (8pm) Tickets £8 / £6 concessions

24th November Cast Doncaster (7.45pm) Tickets £10.50 / £9 concessions

GENESIS is supported by funding from Arts Council England, the Teale Charitable Trust, the Richard Carne Trust, Talbot Validus, the Granada Foundation, the Unity Theatre Trust, the Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, Morag Siller, other private donors, and our crowdfund backers.

Roundabout @ Love Eccles, Salford

RBT Eccles

Roundabout outside Eccles Parish Church

The time has come. Roundabout is on tour. Our first post-Edinburgh date is as part of the Love Eccles Festival in Salford. We’ve partnered with the brilliant team at The Lowry to station Roundabout in Eccles Parish church 08-11 September. Between us and the wonderful Love Eccles Festival we’ve programmed a four day extravaganza with something for everyone.

Here’s everything that’s going on:

Thursday

17:00 ROUNDABOUT TOUR
18:00 WORKSHOP: MAKING WORK IN THE ROUND
19:30 LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY
21:00 MANFORD’S COMEDY CLUB

Friday

10:00 FIRST STEPS
11:00 I GOT SUPERPOWERS FOR MY BIRTHDAY
12:00 WORKSHOP: Schools
13:00 MESSY CHURCH
14:30 GROWTH (Baby Friendly)
15:30 ROUNDABOUT: MEET THE CAST
17:00 ROUNDABOUT TOUR
19:00 SALFORD’S TASTE OF HONEY
20:00 GROWTH
21:30 ROB AUTON: THE SLEEP SHOW

Saturday 

10:00 ROOTS, CULTURE AND IDENTITY
11:30 SOUNDWAVES AND WATERWAYS
13:00 ECCLES TALENT SHOWCASE
14:15 ROUNDBOUT TOUR
15:00 I GOT SUPERPOWERS FOR MY BIRTHDAY (Relaxed)
16:00 ROUNDABOUT: MEET THE CAST
18:00 BARTON THEATRE COMPANY: UP YOUR STREET
19:30 LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY

Sunday

10:30 YEMENI COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION EVENT
12:30 DANCEWORKS SHOWCASE
14:30 I GOT SUPERPOWERS FOR MY BIRTHDAY
16:30 LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY (Baby Friendly)

 

You can book for any of these events on The Lowry’s website here. Or call the Box Office on 0843 208 6010.

Tickets are all £5 or less.

Did you know?

The brilliant Barton Theatre Company operate out of nearby Smiths Restaurant where the ticket price includes a meal. Sit down for your meal then head down the basement for a studio theatre performance. That’s our kind of venue.

Smiths by Anthony McCarthy

Smiths by Anthony McCarthy

Programme 2016

Here we go… the grand unveiling of our Programme 2016 in all its glory. A host of new plays from red hot writers hitting the road to the four corners of our green and pleasant land.

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Here’s a snapshot:

ROUNDABOUT features a new rep of three brand new plays by Katie Douglas, Alan Harris and Luke Norris at Summerhall in Edinburgh and on tour to Kent, Cornwall, Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire, Staffordshire, Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.

The world premiere of BROKEN BISCUITS by Tom Wells opens with our co-producers Live Theatre in Newcastle prior to a UK Tour.

WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK by Sabrina Mahfouz tours to 29 venues nationwide.

EVERY BRILLIANT THING is back on home soil by popular demand following an international tour.

COME TO WHERE I’M FROM comes to London with a week of live events across the capital featuring 30 playwrights.

Elinor Cook’s TEN WEEKS opens in London tonight.

Our transatlantic collaboration with legendary New York company Naked Angels sees two new radio plays by Nathan Bryon and Lucy Gillespie released as free to listen downloads.

Here’s what James & George have to say about it all:

“We’re raring to hit the road to the four corners of the UK with this cracking programme of new plays from some of the most exciting writers around. Roundabout will pop-up across the country with comedies from Luke Norris and Alan Harris, a superhero tale for children from Katie Douglas and a host of events from international visiting companies and local community groups, bringing a festival feel to every place it visits. We’re honoured to be working with talents as innovative as Sabrina Mahfouz – whose UK Garage musical is theatre you can rave to – and Tom Wells whose heart-warming new play will delight fans of his previous Paines Plough hit Jumpers For Goalposts. With Every Brilliant Thing returning to the UK after an international tour, London stories in Come To Where I’m From and new plays from Elinor Cook, Nathan Bryon, Lucy Gillespie, there’s a play for everyone, everywhere in Programme 2016.”

Paines Plough presents
ROUNDABOUT
2016 sees the return of Roundabout, our award-winning pop-up theatre. The all new Roundabout programme will preview from 19 – 24 July at Hackney Showroom in London before taking up residency once again at Summerhall during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and then touring nationwide.

Roundabout will tour nationwide in partnership with The Lowry, Hall For Cornwall, Margate Theatre Royal, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, Brewery Arts Centre, Barnsley Civic, Appetite Stoke-on-Trent and Revoluton, Marsh Farm Estate in Luton.

In rep will be three World Premieres…

A Paines Plough, Sherman Cymru and Theatr Clwyd production
LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY
By Alan Harris

A deliciously quirky comedy from Alan Harris about two teenagers in Merthyr Tydfil who fall in love in Tesco but face a fight to save their parents from self-destruction.

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A Paines Plough production
GROWTH
By Luke Norris

A very funny new play from Luke Norris about a 20-something who tries to ignore a lump until it’s almost too late.

GROW 466

A Paines Plough and Half Moon production
I GOT SUPERPOWERS FOR MY BIRTHDAY
By Katie Douglas

An epic superhero quest for ages 7 to 11-year-olds from Katie Douglas.

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PLUS… Roundabout will again host a programme of visiting companies at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe and on tour, and see the return of EARLIER / LATER, Paines Plough’s early morning and late night series of one-off shows, events, workshops and more.

A Paines Plough and Live Theatre production
BROKEN BISCUITS
By Tom Wells

The brand new play from JUMPERS FOR GOALPOSTS writer Tom Wells. A hilarious and heart-warming tale of three teenagers dreaming of rock ‘n’ roll stardom.

BB 466

A Paines Plough and Latitude Festival production
WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK
by Sabrina Mahfouz

Our hit UK Garage musical is back in our rehearsal room and getting set to hit the road to 29 venues nationwide. This is theatre you can rave to.

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A Paines Plough and Pentabus Theatre Company production
EVERY BRILLIANT THING
By Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe

Our worldwide hit show is back on home soil in Edinburgh and on a UK tour this Autumn.

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A Paines Plough and Tamasha production
COME TO WHERE I’M FROM: LONDON

Since 2010 more than 100 playwrights have written plays about the place they call home as part of our nationwide project, but never in London… until now…

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A Paines Plough and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama production
TEN WEEKS
by Elinor Cook

Elinor Cook’s electrifying new play about the Alpha course transfers to The Gate in Notting Hill following its Cardiff premiere.

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Paines Plough and Naked Angels present
BILAL’S BIRTHDAY by Nathan Bryon
322 DAYS by Lucy Gillespie

Our transatlantic partnership with New York legends Naked Angels has resulted in these two cracking radio plays from rising US star Lucy Gillespie and our very own Playwright Fellow Nathan Bryon.

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Woop. And there’s lots more to come including a mega programme of visiting companies, one-off shows, events, workshops and fun stuff in Roundabout, the return of EARLIER/LATER, festival appearances, more tour dates, and probably other stuff we think up as we go along too.

But for now, welcome to Programme 2016. We hope you like it.

#PP2016

Trainee Thursday: Bhavini

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6 months ago I found out that I was going be the Trainee Administrator at Paines Plough for a year funded through Creative Access, a charity that provide internships in the creative industries for ethnic minorities. Now I’m in the thick of my traineeship thinking ‘My word – 6 months already’!

I will always remember my first day, seeing Roundabout getting built in the High House in Thurrock, so excited to be there and see the workings of innovative geniuses get put together, meeting my colleagues for the first time and having absolutely no idea how enriched, busy and fabulous my life was going to become through working with Paines Plough. I’ve learned a helluva lot and have so much yet to learn, I have no idea where to start in my 6-month reflection; it’s all a bit much to fit in this humble space.

Working with such an intelligent and ambitious team has definitely pushed me and developed my skills as a professional and individual. It’s enriching and such an important experience to have – Paines Plough really value and nurture positive growth and I really value that in Paines Plough. We make great and inspiring work that goes all over the place. Hearing the reception we get in different pockets of the country always reinforces my belief in the power of theatre and storytelling.

I don’t usually do this but earlier this year I made a New Year’s resolution to see a lot more of this beautiful island – it is almost poetry that I managed to bag a yearlong internship with a theatre company that tours. I’ve been to see theatre all over the place and it’s been fantastic (although majorly gutted, as was the rest of the office that we didn’t go to the magical Highlands and Islands tour of EVERY BRILLIANT THING with James!). Experiencing both Latitude and Edinburgh the first time this summer was unforgettable. In all honesty I wasn’t expecting any of this. It has made my year so special.

One of my most favourite projects to work on so far has been the Paines Plough Open Auditions. I really admire and enjoy that we spend a few days a year meeting and getting to know as many actors as possible. I’ve really gotten a kick out of co-ordinating the Open Auditions for The Lowry and The Actors Centre (such a busy and fun day!) and am really excited to do the next round.

Looking forward I’m so excited to continue my work with Paines Plough and continue being part of an industry I admire so much. The work that Paines Plough does is SO important and I still occasionally have moments when I ask myself ‘Am I really here?’

In the wider sense of being a Creative Access intern, I am so grateful that I am a member of a movement to achieve more diversity within the creative industries and aim to use that as one of the driving forces of my work in Paines Plough and the subsidised theatre industry.

So bring on the next 6 months! Who knows what it will bring? Sign up to our fabulous newsletter on our homepage to find out ;).

B x

Roundabout Round-Up

We can hardly believe it, but Roundabout opened it’s doors for the final time this year earlier in the month. What a whirlwind it’s been as our portable, plug-in-and-play auditorium has undertaken a whistle stop tour, taking it all across our green and pleasant land.

Audiences of all ages have been delighted by our wide-ranging repertoire and now we’re looking back at all the moments that made us laugh and smile.

Newbury

Salford

“A masterclass in storytelling that had every audience member lapping up every word…”★★★★★ The Reviews Hub

The Human Ear is a fine piece of drama” ★★★★ The Reviews Hub

“…gives us real food for thought.”★★★★ The Reviews Hub

Lincoln

Lungs is “clever, excellent, and powerful”” (The Linc)

Kendal

“Portable dome will be home to cutting-edge theatre” (Cumbria Live)

“Students’ actors get an inside ‘view'” (West Morland Gazette)

“ARTS: cutting edge theatre in a Roundabout way” (West Morland Gazette)

Margate

Stoke

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“​Pop-up theatre ‘the Roundabout’ set to wow crowds in Hanley” (Stoke Sentinel)

And you can listen to Hanna on BBC Radio Stoke here, at around the 2hour 15 minute mark.

We’ve been thrilled and humbled by the responses from everyone who has visited and taken in a show and we want to say a massive THANK YOU for coming came along. We’ve loved every minute! Now we’re off to plan next year’s Roundabout programme and we’re determined to knocks your socks off – see you then!

Team PP x

Arts Council backing for Roundabout

High fives at PPHQ with the news that Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Programme will invest £784,052 in the future of Roundabout.

ROUNDABOUT - EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL 2014

This is really exciting news for us because it means that we’ll be able to deliver festivals of brand new work in Roundabout every year for the next three years and develop and expand our already exciting partnerships in Barnsley, Margate, Lincoln, Kendal, Cornwall, Stoke-on-Trent and Salford right through to 2018.

Our aim is for Roundabout to become a creative hub everywhere it visits showcasing top notch new plays from PP alongside locally produced and curated festivals tailored to each community – engaging audiences while giving a platform to local talent.

Here’s what our ADs James & George had to say:

“We are indebted to Arts Council England for the belief and support evidenced by this investment from the Strategic Touring Programme. This enables us to further realise the potential of Roundabout to offer people across the UK access to the best new theatre. We look forward to working with key partners including Margate Theatre Royal, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre and Brewery Arts Centre Kendal to invite local people to curate and take part in festivals of new work in Roundabout in their home towns.”

Roundabout launched as the centerpiece of our 40th anniversary programme in 2014 thanks to the generous support of principal funder Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation along with J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust, John Ellerman Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation.  This funding from the Arts Council will help us pop-up all over England and ensures that the Roundabout will form an integral part of future Paines Plough’s programmes.

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We love being out on the road, sharing our shows with audiences far and wide, and we’re super chuffed that we’ll be able to continue doing that in Roundabout. Thanks to everyone at Arts Council England for their belief and support, and thanks to all of you for your enthusiasm for Roundabout.

We’ll be popping up in a town near you soon…

Open Auditions at The Lowry, Salford

Paines Plough Open Auditions
Thursday 17 September 2015
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays M50 3AZ
10am – 6pm

We’re really excited to be holding our next round of open auditions at The Lowry, Salford. Roundabout pitches up at The Lowry as part of its national tour from 15 – 20 September.

We are looking to meet actors based in the Salford/Manchester area previously unknown to Paines Plough and our next meeting will be held on Thursday 17 September. We will see 60 actors (30 pairs), and these slots will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

If you would like to be seen, please do the following:

– Find yourself a partner – we are auditioning people in pairs.
– Apply by sending ONE email with BOTH of your names to auditions@painesplough.com.
– Please put OPEN AUDITIONS @ THE LOWRY in the Subject line.
– Do not send CVs, biogs or headshots as you can bring these with you on the day.
– If you are selected to audition, we will email you back by Wednesday 2 September with an audition time.
– If you are not selected to audition, we will keep you on a waiting list and may offer you an audition if a slot becomes available.
– Once we have confirmed your time, please prepare a 3 minute piece of dialogue in your pair from a play written in the last 15 years.

Please note:

– If you have auditioned at our previous Open Auditions, we will not be able to see you this time round.
– We do not accept applications from agents. If you have an agent, you must still apply yourself using your own email address.
– Places are all allocated in advance. You will not be able to request a different time, and we will be unable to see people on a walk-up basis.
– We will retain a waiting list and will notify you if you are on this waiting list.
– If you are allotted a time but for any reason cannot make the appointment please let us know ASAP by emailing office@painesplough.com. If you fail to turn up to your allotted slot without letting us know in advance, you will not be able to audition at future Paines Plough Open Auditions.
– We will not accept any emails sent to any email address other than auditions@painesplough.com.
– Due to the large volume of people we are seeing, we will not be able to offer feedback.
– We are not casting for a particular show at the moment – we just want to meet some new actors so that we can have you in mind for future productions.

For more information, please download our FAQs.

Best wishes,

George, James and all at Paines Plough

Jonny and Alicia’s Brilliant Things #2

EVERY BRILLIANT THING continues taking the tour circuit by storm and over the last couple of weeks the show has pitched up in Salford, Bracknell, Wellingborough, Norwich and Peterborough. Team PP have continued to read Stage Manager Alicia’s top tips on tour with envy and now you can too – so here we present the next instalment of Jonny and Alicia’s Brilliant Things.

 The Lowry, Salford        

I seem to be finding myself on a mission to find the best Vegetarian restaurant in the UK, so here is yet another incredible one – ‘1847‘. Listed as the best Vegetarian restaurant to be found outside of London. £10 Lunch deal for a main and a drink. Really tasty food and trendy minamilist interior.

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Oh there’s also a Cadbury’s outlet opposite the Lowry.

If you’re interested in a hotel which is a converted warehouse and does yoga in the mornings stay at the Victoria Warehouse near Salford Quays. Equally if you’d rather stay in a 4* Ritz style hotel in central Manchester, it’s also worth booking at the Victoria Warehouse as they may just get your booking wrong and relocate you there… (too good to be true)

Next stop was The Castle, Wellingborough

No time to explore Wellingborough really BUT the venue sells really nice local cider! It’s called Saxby’s and is made ‘just down the road’ in Farndish, Northamptonshire. Proper lovely.

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And then we were off to The Garage, Norwich

Lovely pub behind the theatre. The Coachmen.

Great curry for after show snacks – ‘Spice Paradise

Another vegetarian cafe (not intentional I promise) called Wild Thyme. Sensational brunch with homemade baked beans.

 

Finally we went to The Key Theatre, Peterborough

Nowhere special found to eat but we were very impressed by the Lido and Cathedral. Both next to the theatre!

We’ll be back next week to tell you about more brilliant things we discover!

Alicia and Jonny x

 

We’re off to… Salford

EVERY BRILLIANT THING has been zigging and zagging it’s way across the UK for over a month now – phew! We set ourselves a mission to make the most of each location so asked our friends at The Lowry for the lowdown on what’s good round Salford way! Here’s their suggestions of what ‘brilliant things’ we could get up to…

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Where to stay

The Holiday Inn Express on Salford Quays is great for spotting celebs on their way in and out of the BBC studios…

Where to eat

IWM0059

The Lowry Restaurant (of course!) Part of the theatre itself it’s ideally located if you’re coming to a show, having a wander round MediaCity or simply want to admire the Quays.

Where to drink

The Kings Arms in Salford is a brilliant little pub theatre – good beer, great shows and the best Sunday lunch in the city!

Where to get coffee

The Lowry’s Tower Coffee shop does great ‘Grumpy Mule’ coffee (it keeps the staff going!), though if you fancy heading a little further afield Pokusevskis café and deli at Mediacity UK is a definite winner!

Hang out

In front of the big screen on the Piazza at MediaCity. In the summer you can lounge round on deck chairs and watch Wimbledon with a cool drink in hand – bliss!

Must see

Take the lift up to the top of the air shaft at the Imperial War Museum North for stunning views across the city and out to the Peak District on a clear day.